As you plan your next big event, social media is sure to be high on your to do list. This is a great way to spread the word about your event, ensuring that you reach your attendance goals.
When your event finally comes to an end, it is safe to assume that you will use social media to share photos and experiences while also connecting with those who were in attendance.
But aren’t you forgetting something? You should also consider the benefits of using social media during the event. This can go a long way in keeping attendees engaged, showing the world what the event has to offer, and so much more.
With all this in mind, it is time to create a social media strategy that can help your event thrive from day one until the last person walks out the door. Regardless of your knowledge and experience, here are five ideas that are sure to give your event the boost you are looking for.
Hire an Event Photographer
You may be wondering what this has to do with social media, right? Think about it this way: an event photographer will be staffed with the responsibility of taking pictures throughout the day. From keynote presentations to tradeshow booths to those who are wandering the floor, there is always an opportunity to get a good shot.
These photos can then be shared by event organizers, as well as attendees, via social media. Most of the time, the organizer sends the photos out via social media, with the attendees “retweeting” or “liking” them.
Don’t have the money to hire a professional photographer for the event? In this case, somebody on the event staff can takeover. All this person needs is a digital camera and the willingness to snap photos.
In today’s day and age, more people than ever are sharing photos via social media. This definitely holds true when a large group gets together for an industry event. Everybody wants to share what they are doing with the rest of their network.
Why not organize a live photo contest? The goal of this is simple: to get as many people as possible sharing photos from the event. Doing so will increase the reach of the event, beyond those in attendance, which can be quite powerful.
If you want to ensure the success of a live photo contest, all you have to do is offer a prize to the winner. For example, you could offer a $500 gift card (or some other type of cool giveaway) to the person who receives the most “retweets” on a photo from the event.
When there is something to be won, you can be rest assured that a large number of people are going to get involved. This is particularly true when the prize is worth chasing after.
With a Tweet Wall in place, it is easy for attendees to see what others are saying about the event – all in real time.
There is nothing better than real time updates, as this gives event-goers a better idea of what is happening in the “here and now.” This is much better than these people reading event-related tweets several hours after they are relevant.
Not only can this go a long way in keeping people updated as to what is going on at the event, but there is something else to consider: it will drive event engagement. When people see that others are tweeting about the event, they are going to do the same – especially if there is an opportunity for them to communicate with others in attendance.
You want everybody, regardless of who they are, to use the same #Hashtag when tweeting about the event. This has many benefits, including but not limited to:
The use of #Hashtag can help enhance your efforts, drawing people to follow along with the event even if they are not able to attend
Makes it easy for people to locate tweets related to the event
If you are lucky enough to have a large number of people tweet with the designated #Hashtag in place, it could begin to “trend”
When selecting a #Hashtag, make sure it is unique to your event. Something you may want to try is using the official name of the event followed by the year.
If nobody knows about the #Hashtag nobody is going to use it. This is why it should be included everywhere, from marketing material to signage and much more. When people see the #Hashtag they are more likely to use it.
Much the same as a Tweet Wall, you should consider adding at least one photo wall to the main gathering area of your event.
As you know, people get excited about sharing photos of themselves as well as others. This is why the “selfie” craze has become so popular over the past year or so.
Playing off of this, you can take advantage of the power of a photo wall. You may not think this is a big deal, but once you see how excited people get when they see their photo on the screen you will realize that you struck gold.
Using a photo wall is quite simple:
Display these photos in real-time during the event
The ability for people to browse and contribute from their mobile phone
Don’t Neglect Social Media
With the five tips above, you can give your event a social media boost as the action is playing out. Why wait until the event comes to an end to take full advantage of this strategy?
Even if you only implement one of the ideas above, you may be surprised at how much success you have.
When it comes to planning an event, you know that people will be connecting in person. At the same time, you can implement a high-powered social media strategy. Talk about the best of both worlds!