There are many articles on how to build buzz on social media before your event. And as important as that is, you should know that is only the first step to a successful event. So, let’s focus on something different and learn about what you can do with social media during the event. Whether you are hosting a conference, fundraiser, or a tweetup, check out these experience-verified tips on how to get the most from social media at your event.
1. Identify social networks you’ll use
This is the first step on our list because, actually, this process starts way before the big day. Even though you may have a presence on many different social networks, some channels are just a better fit for events—and audiences—than others. While it is good to update all your social media platforms with your event information, it is best to pick one specific channel—or even two, at the most—for your event. Here are our “to-go” social media platforms when it comes to events:
This is perhaps the main social network to focus on because of its public, real-time nature. Mobile devices have the biggest impact on Twitter with “the highest proportion of mobile vs. PC photos sharing of any social network”.
Its use at events is also on the rise! Instagram is one of the most engaging social networks, with more than 150 million users and 16 billion photos shared.
2. Make sure your hashtag is everywhere
Again, you should take care of this step way in advance of the big day. In your event planning phase—hopefully—you came up with a unique, creative hashtag, short, easy to pronounce and spell. In a nutshell, your hashtag should give event participants a better idea about the topic of conversation. To make sure your hashtag is unique, search the platform you will be monitoring during your event for the hashtag you intend to use.
Once your hashtag is set, make it a part of all your digital and offline marketing materials. We are talking about emails, your website, the conference app, brochures, posters, and others. Remember to promote your hashtag at the event venue on highly visible spots—on screen before the presentations, during the program, on flyers, etcetera.
3. Designate people and their roles
You have to have a dedicated person to monitor and fuel the conversation by sharing and replying to all the activity on your already chosen social media platforms. You should also have a second person to feed the community manager with pictures, videos, quotes and highlights. Ideally, people handling your social media are present at the event. Of course, you should ask your delegates to always—always, always—include your hashtag in every post they share. Their ultimate goal should be to keep the conversation alive.
Whatever the number of people you designate to social media—it really only depends on the size of your event—, the team managing your profiles and streams should be at the event. It is quite common to have a person managing the engagements remotely, but those who are on site will always do a better job than those who can’t get the first-hand experience of the event and its vibe.
4. Make sure there’s internet access
Seems simple but your digital marketing on the day of the event will hinge on the availability of internet access. Without a wireless connection, you won’t be able to share your content, an even more so, people won’t be able to interact with you.
Make sure the internet is available for your attendees to use easily. If you need to protect your network, make sure the network name—preferably an obvious name, such as the name of your event— and password is provided to every single person who comes to the event. That way, people attending you event will be keen to share their content and interact with you too. It is 2017, folks! People expect and demand connectivity to the internet pretty much everywhere, and your event will definitely not be the exception.
5. Encourage social media use
Once you know the internet is working and you’re good to go, find the way to encourage social media use during your event! For starters, you should let them know you actually want them to use social media. Some attendees may refrain from mobile device use during presentations out of respect for the speaker. So, ask the speaker to invite participants to check in, tweet and interact with them via social media so they know it is ok to be on their phones while he or she is speaking.
You should also incorporate engaging remainders on-site. Something like “Got a question? Tweet it for our panel with #YourHashtag” will let people at your event know that Twitter and Instagram—or whichever platform you prefer— is the way to reach you and your special guests.
6. Display your stream at the event
It is in human nature to enjoy public recognition. Take advantage of that! Set up a social media wall on site and display interactions in real-time. This way you can have tweets and photos appearing live in front of audiences. A social media wall can be a powerful way to encourage participation as people see their efforts rewarded with inclusion in your stream in real-time. In other words, you’ll make them feel important and they will love every minute of it.
But DIY-ing this sort of task can be achieved to a very limited extent with Twitter displayed on a tv screen. It can look a little too amateur—not to mention that some unpleasant surprises may pop-up—gripes, complains, and even some triple X rated content—. If you are going for professional and curated, it is worth getting some dedicated software in place. Hashslider will not only display your social media feed in an attractive way, but with its many advance features, you will also get to pick and choose which posts you actually want to display on screen, thus, avoiding being hijacked at your own event. Let you audience know how much you appreciate them, but do it in a safe way, using Hashslider at your event.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses when used well. With these simple, easy steps you can ensure that your social media activity makes your event a dazzling success!