Organizing an event? This is how you use social media to have real impact
So you’re organizing an event. You’re organizing a BIG event. You spend months and months organizing this event and you spend loads of money on it. Half of the team is working on it. During the final weeks prior to the big day, all anyone in the office can talk about, is this event. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people have registered. You have a venue, speakers, food, leaflets, backdrops, perhaps even a hashtag (although you might not have thought about how to get people to actually use it).
But have you thought about the one thing that can make sure that your event doesn’t just reach the people in the room, but hundreds of thousands more? The one thing that allows you to make your messages heard by a much wider audience?
In other words, have you properly prepared your social media strategy?
Or have you left this to the most junior person(s) on your team? Do you expect them to just tweet a little next to the twenty other things they have to do? And do you think that “trending on Twitter” is something that just magically happens?
I am taking a wild guess and betting on the latter. And if that’s the case, I am here to tell you it is a huge shame and a wasted opportunity at that. Oh and trending happens because we make it happen, unless you happen to be a world-famous celebrity.
This is 2018, and people spend more time on their smartphones every single year (you know YOU do). It is such a missed opportunity to focus just on your actual physical visitors when you could increase your impact by reaching out to the online community.
And your social media strategy should start well before the event. It begins by mapping out your target audience. Define whom are you trying to reach. Conduct an influencer and subject matter mapping and start reaching out.
Tag those people in your posts. Tailor your content to the people you care most about. Don’t just push out information, make it relevant. Engage. Make it interesting and as visual. Then prepare the content.
On the day itself, visitors in the audience are much more likely to share content than to create it themselves. To do this right, you need a team of social media activators and a designer to get good content such as live quotes, pictures, GIFs and digestible videos out in the Twitosphere as real-time as possible.
In all honesty, most event pictures that we come across on Twitter are pretty horrible. They show underlit stages, a PowerPoint presentation that cannot be read, people in suits doing undefined and boring looking things. We see people sitting in the audience. We see half-empty rooms. How unnecessary.
You have to actively CREATE the photo opportunities, add light, make visitors hold the hashtags in front of customized backdrops, cut out interesting quotes from the 30-minute speeches. This makes you look good in front of the world. This is the type of content you can share not only now and not only on social, but in your reports, in newsletters and board meetings afterwards. Create content showcasing your success.
Used well, social media activations during events are a great way to:
- Make the most of your events and reach the widest possible audience
- Send out a clear message that you are a dynamic organization
- Expose your products/services/ideas
- Attract more young people
- Extend the communication lifespan as the materials created during the event can be used for many months after
- Build the foundations for long-term community engagement: Reach out to members, suppliers, commission, research institutes and trade press
- Grow your number of followers and more importantly your credibility
- Kick-off a long-term digital communication strategy that works
- Show your success internally, to your board/leadership
ZN Consulting has the team and the experience to do what you don’t have time for: Make your event a success on the interwebs. Events big and small are trending on Twitter when ZN’s social media activators get involved.
ZN brings the #DigitalAdvantage and always thinks of new ways to get the audience to engage. We brought the 3D printed hashtags to Brussels and we find them a great way to get the audience to interact with your brand. The result is great looking pictures which include your hashtag and which people usually want to share on their channel. Our team makes sure the materials are just perfect.
After the event, you probably feel like you deserve a break. That was A LOT of work. But our work is just beginning. This is the perfect time to build relationships. With this event, you firmly put your organization on the map and now is the time to build on this success. Publish more (short and shareable) event videos, tweet insights and connect with influencers. This is when they will be most interested in interacting with you. Build out your social media presence.
So do yourself a favor, take your event to the next level. Give it the online exposure it deserves. And if it sounds like a lot of work, ZN’s award-winning social-media activators can help: https://znconsulting.com/digital-impact/