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Last month we looked at tips for planning a successful conference and touched on using social media for events. Social media enables event organisers to rally attendees, increase affinity, stimulate engagement and sustain the event buzz long after the event has finished. It is not surprising therefore, that the use of social media for publicising events has gained much popularity in recent times. Here we take a more in-depth look at how to leverage social media to publicise your event and engage your audience.
To provide an example of the power of social media for creating interest in your event take a look the social media campaign created by Ponderosa for Rapha Tempest which was a festival hosted on the fringe of Le Tour Yorkshire. The campaign generated a lot of buzz about the event, gaining an engaged audience of 1,500 in six months as well as generating 20% of site traffic and 3% of bookings from social media. And all this without using any paid advertising options.
Whether you are hosting a conference, a business networking event or an evening of live music, there are a few simple steps you can take that will help you maximise the reach and engagement of your event.
Create event pages on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, keeping them regularly updated and responding to queries and comments left by users. Create a hashtag for your event which you use in all your social media activity.
Target relevant followers who you think would be interested in the content of your event, as well as relevant journalists and press channels. Retweet, repost, like and favourite any mentions of your event by others.
Get people engaged early in the planning process of your event. Pose teaser questions and challenges. Take suggestions for event content and let people vote or provide feedback. Use a multi-media approach – videos, text, images. Providing informative, engaging and entertaining content by sharing interesting information, photos and videos with your audience will really capture peoples’ interest.
If you have speakers at your event, ask them to share the event hashtag on social media and during their speech. Request social media information from your speakers so that you can start interacting with them and sharing their relevant posts with your audience. Do the same with your attendees, tagging them in posts to reach a wider audience.
During the event stream live video content for free to get people talking and create a buzz. Get a live Twitter wall to encourage your attendees to post and upload comments, photos and videos incorporating the event hashtag.
Once your event is over keep using your event hashtag and interacting with speakers and attendees to prolong the buzz around the event. Share as much content from the event as possible with the aim of attracting more people next time.
For more tips Ekaterina Walter provides some great advice, tools and examples here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/15-ways-to-bring-social-media-to-events/. For social media tools that will help you get the most out of your campaign check out: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-tools-used-by-pros-today/ and http://blog.visual.ly/15-tools-every-social-media-manager-should-use/.
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