Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn
In today’s time, it isn’t surprising to find anyone on a social media site. Be it a common man looking to connect with friends and family or celebrities, using social media as a platform to interact with their fans. Currently, there are more than 1.6 billion social network users worldwide. Where earlier these sites were used solely for the purpose of engaging and interacting with the near and dear ones, the case certainly isn’t the same anymore. Marketers and promoters use social media extensively.
If statistics are to be believed, about 92% of marketers say that their business gained exposure due to social media. And therefore it mustn’t come as a surprise that marketers spend a good $8.3 billion on social media advertising. (New Cred) However there seems to be an array of such sites. From Six Degrees and AOL to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we’ve come a long way. However which is the “best” site for promotion when it comes to conferences? Let us have a look at the three social media giants, namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Total number of monthly active Facebook users: 1.3 billion.
- 84% respondents use Facebook to promote their event.
- 70% of marketers used Facebook to gain new customers.
Why use Facebook as a promotional tool?
Facebook launched in 2004 as a Harvard-only exercise and remained a campus-oriented site for two full years before finally opening to the general public in 2006. And today with 1.3 billion active users, it has undeniably become the king of social media networking. A large number of conferences have their groups or pages on Facebook as part of their promotional planning. Due to the large number of audience that Facebook caters to, through their Facebook page, conferences can have a larger reach. Moreover, because Facebook provides options such a sharing, post boosting (for a certain price) and advertisement to a certain targeted audience, it is made sure that the event is reached to just the right people. However, purely academic conferences, usually avoid any kind of social media promotion. 47% of marketers even said that Facebook is overrated as a marketing platform. (iMedia Connection)
- Total number of registered Twitter users: 6.5 Million.
- 61% respondents use Twitter to promote their events.
- 36% of all marketers have found a customer via Twitter in 2013.
- Advertising on Twitter costs nearly six times as much as Facebook ads on a CPM basis; however, the CTR for Twitter ads is 8–24 times higher. (Smart Insights)
Promotion in 140 characters or less
Twitter was created on March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and launched by July 2006. The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity, with more than 100 million users who in 2012 posted 340 million tweets per day. (Wikipedia) Twitter, with its 140 character limit allows “to the point” talk. Hence as a promotional tool, Twitter doesn’t lag behind. Although when it comes to conferences, surprisingly, professionals are more active on Twitter rather than Facebook. The hashtag feature allows conferences to get them easily featured. Live tweeting is a common phenomenon when it comes to conferences and it helps people meet fellow “like-minded” attendees and promote the event.
- LinkedIn has over 347 million members. (LinkedIn Press Room. February 5, 2015.)
- In over 200 countries and territories (LinkedIn Press Room. February 5, 2015.)
- More than 4 million companies have LinkedIn Company pages.39% of users pay to use LinkedIn via premium accounts.
- Over 39 million students and recent college graduates make up the fastest growing demographic (LinkedIn Press Room. February 5, 2015.) LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and launched on 5th May 2003. It differs from Facebook and Twitter in respect that it serves as a profession, business oriented site. According to Forbes, “LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today”
Promotion through connection
However if we are to talk about promoting conferences in general, LinkedIn doesn’t have a lot of Conference oriented pages. Profiles of individual speakers maybe found, however only the large scale conference groups tend to have an active LinkedIn profile.
Even though social media has taken the world by storm, some areas still prefer to do the work in the old traditional way. Conferences are one such exception. Although, the new, up and coming conferences make use of social media and conference management software to make their work easier, some still prefer the good old fashioned way therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that even today, the most commonly used method is email, with around 76% of the business population using email to promote their events.
Other than email, the conference website sometimes serve as the lone promotional factor online. Also, about 47% still prefer snail mailing their invites and 46% still rely on phone calls. More than 27% still send out press releases to inform people and the media.
In conclusion, one can say that when it comes to promoting an event, what matters is the target audience. Even though half the world is using various social media portals, what’s important is the demographic one is individually concerned with. As long as the focused group can be found, it doesn’t matter what promotional method can be used. However what new trends come up in the marketing and promotional sectors in the near future is yet to be seen.