Have you ever been out for dinner with your friends and you end up playing the 'no cell phone' rule? You all put your phones into the middle of the table and whoever reaches for it first has to pay the bill that evening. The purpose of this is to try to get everyone to engage with one another and be present, no snapchat selfies or text's going out for those few hours. Let's flip the switch and look at the exact opposite of this scenario. Imagine going to an event, where being on your phone was not only allowed, but it was encouraged. Yip, welcome to 2017 and the wonderful world of using technology to grow your personal and business brand.
Before the event
Just as your brand needs an image, your event needs one too. Use social media as a tool to help do this in the weeks and days leading up to your event. You want to create awareness about your event, excitement and reach as many potential guests as possible. After all, no one can attend your event if they don't know about.
When it comes to social media event marketing, that means knowing what to post, when to post and where to post it in order to reach optimal users. Based on your brand and the type of event you are putting together, concentrate your efforts on one or two platforms that you are going to predominantly use to interact with potential guests. Reveal snippets of what guests can expect at your event, such as; speakers, prizes, exciting surprises etc.
Introduce your event hashtag right ta the beginning of the planning process and include it in your event invite. Allow people to start using it as soon as they can and use it in all your events communication.
During the event
The main reason it is encouraged for guests to be online and actively engaging is in order to create an online buzz about the event. For exposure and brand awareness, get your guests to tweet about the event as it plays out in the hope of reaching users outside of the event and to (hopefully) make your event a trending topic. Also, FOMO is a real thing. Remind those not at the event they are missing out on the event of the year! (You don't have to be that dramatic but you know what we mean). Prepare posts about related topics and any free downloads etc. so that those not attending can also get something out of the content (other than insights from the event itself).
Events offer tons of content opportunities. From pictures to videos to quotes, a great event can help generate blog and social media content for months to come. Plan ahead of time to write down any awesome quotes or favourite moments of the event as it plays out. It’s also smart to have a specific list of images you want to capture ahead of time so you can ensure they’re taken. Eg; decor, food, staff members.
Respond to mentions, questions comments and like/retweet/share posts from attendees with good insights and make it your mission to really engage with your audience. Encourage even more conversation with a competition for the best tweet of the day, or to someone who has posted the most creative image, or posted the most insightful comments.
Include your event hashtag in every post and in every response/comment relating to the event. Never drop your hashtag.
After the event
What's worse than someone leaving an event with nothing but terrible things to say about the occasion? Someone leaving an event and not saying anything at all. In fact, a few days later they have completely forgotten about it all together. Yikes! C'mon, we all want to be unforgettable - for the right reasons. So get people talking about your event long after it's over.
One of the best ways to do this is by having a photo booth at your event. These pictures, with your brand logo, will be posted all over social media. Use social media to collect feedback from your community. Create online polls or questionnaires to find out what guests liked/didn't like from the experience so you can focus on improving for the next one.
With social media at your finger tips and the whole world watching, the options of how you can incorporate social media into your events are endless. With preparation and focus, social media could be one of the best things to ever happen to your brand. Hopefully, after reading this inspiration has struck and you are going to get creative at your next event; whether it be for business or pleasure!
Side note: For help with your live event coverage, get in touch with us for a quote.