In this highly virtual and social world, social media can not be ignored. Not only does it keep your attendees engaged and communicating with your efforts, but it also spreads your message beyond just your attendees. Encourage both your internal team and attendees to share event content - the net will grow to their friends, their network and entire industries.Create and Promote a Branded Hashtag
When choosing your event hashtag, make sure it isn't already being used for something you don't want your event affiliated with. Keep it short and easy to remember, so it's more likely to be used by your event attendees. Also, consider choosing a hashtag that can be used year-to-year demonstrating a strong history of engagement around your event.
In addition to using your hashtag when sharing content on social media, be sure to promote it on every piece of marketing material. Some examples of places to promote your hashtag include:
Include a Social Activation
Attendees want to show off their time away from the office and are looking for the next best photo opportunity to do just that. Make it easy by providing the perfect Instagram-worthy backdrop for their next post, while promoting your event at the same time.
Visual props are a great way to encourage social sharing. Examples of these include:
Live videos are an effective way to bring your event to life and broaden your reach beyond attendees. Facebook, Twitter (via Periscope), Snapchat and Instagram provide the ability to live broadcast. Not only does live streaming content outperform all other content in terms of reach, it also offers a glimpse into what others could be a part of enticing them to attend next year.
Create a Snapchat Custom Geofilter
Snapchat has quickly evolved from a selfie haven for teenagers to a powerful business tool, especially when you add geofilters to the mix. A geofilter creates a virtual fence around a specific geographical area, most often your event venue. Attendees who are also Snapchat users can add the event geofilter to their images, which then become visible to their followers. This is a fun (and fairly inexpensive) way of spreading brand awareness and engaging more attendees.
Engage with your community
Before, during and after the event, monitor activity around the event hashtag, event mentions, direct messages, and content posted to your social pages. Tools like Hootsuite provide dashboards that can assist you with monitoring and responding to conversations. Questions or complaints should be quickly addressed to show that you are listening and dedicated to providing exemplary customer service. A simple, thoughtful reply can easily turn a frustrated attendee into a loyal fan.
Remember to bookmark this page, so you can re-visit when planning your next event! Questions? Tweet us at @TheGICC.