If you need a way to elevate your next corporate event, think about developing a short term social media campaign to drive event awareness. Here are a few tips to build a short term social media plan for events that will elevate your online exposure and engagement with attendees and non-attendees.
Planning Before the Event
In order to see the impact of your event, you need to compare pre and post metrics. Start by determining the metrics that are most important for determining success. Then, ensure that they can be benchmarked. Also determine how to best assess the overall awareness and anecdotal sentiment others have for you and your event. Social listening can give you an idea of the current conversation online and how you are seen by the influencers.
Activity: Document the number of followers on the social sites you plan on using and observe how active you currently are on those profiles. Klout is a great tool to illustrate how you are influencing the social space through their “Klout Scores.” The average Klout Score is 40 and those with a score of 63 are considered some of the most active and influential users online. Klout can give you daily score updates so you can keep track of your biggest social media moments.
Execution During the Event
Roughly five thousand tweets are sent every second. And that’s just Twitter. In order to create and see the traffic and conversations related to just your company or event, you need to do some basic segmentation in your social media plan for events, as well as make sure conversations in those segments are going well.
Activity: Determine the unique hashtag for your conference or show and market that hashtag throughout the event. Embed it inthe PowerPoint templates you ask attendees to use, post it in central areas and ask the master of ceremonies to announce it each morning and afternoon. Be sure to leverage all social media platforms, the most important being Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Almost all social media sites have hashtagging capabilities, so your unique hashtag can be used across all sites. Find a creative way to stream live tweeting or Facebook commenting. This gives your attendees an incentive to interact online (who doesn’t want to see their Twitter handle up in lights?). If your event isn’t already doing so, post content about speakers, session times, event highlights and more. Using your unique hashtag makes it convenient and encourages people to join the conversation.
Activity: Designate an in-house point person to watch all of your social media channels. That person’s job is to answer questions, guide conversation, correct any misunderstandings before they take on a life of their own, and seed material over the course of the event. You may assume that since everyone is on social media, then everyone will be talking about your event on it. That’s not true. They will want examples of what’s appropriate, what’suseful to the group and what is getting responses before they will play along. No one wants to eat at an empty restaurant, so make sure there’s always some activity going on to more interest.
Regroup After the Event
All that work leads to greater awareness, engagement, excitement, and passion. So what happens when all of your attendees go home? How do you keep that engagement extended beyond the event itself?
Activity: Provide a recap of your event for your attendees and followers. Post photos, videos and attendee testimonials from the event. If you can, be sure to tag users in the photo. The more tags, the more “likes” and re-sharing. Be sure to analyze how many new followers you gained so you can see the success (or failure) of your social media plan.
Activity: Time to measure. Take a look at your Klout score before and after the event. Examine the moments where your scores peaked and fell to tell you what worked and didn’t. Then take a look at your profiles and see what you did to cause those changes. Most importantly, use this data to analyze what worked and what didn’t and how you can improve or enhance next year’s event.
Engage with your audience! The best way to get noticed online is to be seen and heard without just talking at them. The more you show up in someone’s newsfeed, answering questions, helping participants, and being generally useful, the more interested they become. And the more interested they become, the more likely they are to click on your profile and follow you.
But remember, spammed newsfeeds equal annoyed followers. There is such a thing as being TOO active online. Be sure to post your tweets far enough apart that your followers won’t be annoyed, but close enough that you are still seen in the newsfeed.
Your social media plan for events isn’t hard to build or execute. It takes time to to them right and help your audience feel more connected to the event. But without a plan, you’ll never see the kind of engagement you want to see.