How to maximize your event coverage with social media

Should you invest time and $ on social media when running an event? With only a few exception, the answer is almost always yes.

It’s a no brainer really, instead of having only physical attendees, with social media you can get many more people to know about it.

If you are investing x $ to prepare the event for y number of invitees, with social media you will be investing almost the same + a light marketing budget to reach additional thousands.

The following is a guide on how to do it.

You need to plan for it first

Like all social media initiatives, understanding your objectives and who you are targeting is key for success.

If you want to take your event into the digital world you need to think about two types of invitees.

Those who will attend the event and those who will follow it on the internet. Each one of these groups should receive different content and treatment .

Ask yourself:

How can I use social media to make people in my event have a great experience?

and also ask yourself:

How can I optimize the event’s content so it’s most helpful for those I want to reach in the social world?

Here is a chart to help you plan your objectives based on who you are targeting and when.

Event objectives split by type of attendees and timeline

Before the event

There are a number of things you can do before the event to start the buzz.

Build an authentic true story about your event or product. The story should be then told on social media in a way that encourages people to participate with their own personal social accounts

Give them a reason to engage with you before the event

Let them help you plan the event .

You could for example ask invitees to vote for which band to bring in that night for entertainment or any other activity in your event that is relevant to vote for.

Twitter has recently launched a new poll feature which would be perfect to build pre event engagement.

This will make them feel as part of the event and you are more likely to get higher attendance and more content about your event in social media .

2. Create a # for the event and include it in all your pre event communications (invitations, social media posts…etc)

3. Facebook events is constantly being updated to allow higher engagements from participants . Here are more details about existing and future planned FB event features.

During the event

The branding and the way the activities flow in the event should be designed to work in social media .

Stream it or story tell it.

My favorite two apps to share events on social media are SnapChat and Periscope.

What would they like to see, is there something entertaining worth their time ?

Many brands just hire an intern and get them to stream the event without a story in mind. This will not work, people will drop off in a few seconds after you start the stream.

Here are some specific tips for using SnapChat and Persicope for events.

SnapChat and Periscope stand out from the crowd of social apps for making stories and streaming events

SnapChat

If you have a SnapChat account then create a SnapStory about the event. If not, invite a social media influencer and use his account to post the snapstory. Here are some tips:

  • Total time 100 Sec (this is the sweet spot for SnapStory length)
  • Make an introduction, a middle point and ending to your event story
  • Make it authentic, fun and entertaining

Periscope

  • Promote a tweet with your periscope streaming (use twitter ads to target your audience)
  • Use Hashtags
  • Stream something cool not just people hanging around or someone presenting on stage with a suite.

You should also consider doing some promoted posts about your streaming on other channels 24 hours before it takes place. Follow us tomorrow live at…… for an exclusive reveal of ….. .

Promote your posts

Here you need to give some $ to Facebook / Twitter to promote your posts and work on the targeting to ensure you are sharing the right content to the right people @ the right time.

Remember you are adding some $ to make your total event investment much higher than it would be without social media.

Make your stand social

Integrating social media in your event does not only make your stand and brand look hip, it also encourage visitors (who are potentially influencers or press) to talk about it.

For example a visible # on the stand with a reason to use it. “Use this # for a chance to ….. “

Another example of this is having a visible screen with a twitter /instagram wall, this will allow people to read the conversation around the event and join.There are many software solutions like this one that you could use in the event.

Engage

Follow what attendees are sharing on their profiles are talking about and try to find opportunities to make them have a better event experience.

Respond to question or complaints and if there is a speaker in the event you can use this as another opportunity to share the event hashtag as well as respond to questions.

POST EVENT

Continue working on your relations

The end of the event should not be the end of your relations with attendees, it should be a starting point.

You need to continue your relation with those who followed your event and share with them meaningful content until your next event.

Have you got other effective social media tactics to amplify events? Please share and I will update the best ones on this post with reference to you.