Social media most useful for creating buzz prior to events

Almost nine in ten event organisers are currently using social media platforms in relation to events with almost three quarters using it to generate buzz and publicity in the lead up to them taking place, according to new findings released today.

The Social Events Survey, carried out by IET Venues, the premier family of venues across the UK, reveals that only 14 per cent of event organisers aren’t using social media platforms for their events, with Facebook the most popular platform, used by 65 per cent of organisers. Unsurprisingly, Twitter and LinkedIn were the next most popular with 61 per cent and 55 per cent respectively using these platforms.

In findings that demonstrate the importance of word-of-mouth and a multi-channel approach to physical events, the research also found that social media is considered most useful in creating buzz and publicity leading up to events with 68 per cent of respondents using it for this. In addition, 41 per cent consider social media a useful platform for people to pass on interesting discussion from events, 35 per cent cited post-event discussion and word-of-mouth, with 33 per cent using it for getting people to attend.

“Social media is a great compliment to other forms of event marketing, and while our research shows that it is not necessarily a great driver of footfall, it can be very useful for facilitating word-of-mouth and building awareness of your events and brand,” says Lucy Wright, Sales and Development Manager, IET London: Savoy Place. “Social media will hopefully enhance and prolong the event experience and venues themselves can also help facilitate this with their own twitter feeds and services like live streaming of events. Like any other form of marketing though, it’s important to know your audience and identify the correct channel before launching any activity.”

Other social media channels are used by event organisers, but are not nearly as widespread as the main three. Location-based social network, Foursquare is used by six per cent and a further six per cent also use other social media platforms, including YouTube, Xing and Minglemore. Only 2 per cent of respondents feel that social media isn’t useful for events.

The Social Events Survey surveyed 130 event organisers in March 2011.

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