Gone are the days of being able to get away without social media platforms for our events, but the frustration is still higher than ever. As a very busy MC, I am involved in many events a year. Each event has a social presence, but event planners are struggling to get the desired engagement, and show tangible ROI. Often you can hear the tumbleweeds blowing through the blank canvas.
It’s best to expand the ‘social media’ term to ‘Online Marketing’ – which then includes your website activity in addition to the traditional social platforms.
WHY online marketing?
Online marketing is the EARNED part in your marketing landscape. You’ve also got BOUGHT (advertising) and OWNED (website, staff, building, email database).
If done ON PURPOSE, online marketing can assist you with all aspects of your event from organising it, promoting it, delegate experience through to continuity to keep the conversation going after the event.
To do it on purpose, you need to start with the end goal in mind. You’re either selling tickets to an event, or for corporate conferences full of employees: you’re looking to build the buzz. In both cases, you’ll provide a platform for delegates to begin connecting with each other before the event even begins.
Let’s break it down to BEFORE, DURING and AFTER your event:
1. A rich, compelling newsletter is the perfect way to keep the conversation going with potential delegates in the lead up to your event. The more relevant subscribers you have, the more people you have permission to market to. The key to getting people to sign up is to offer something irresistible in return for their email address. For example, I’ve got www.yvonneadele.com/topfive – a ‘Digital Marketing Top Five’ download anyone can grab if they sign up. Once they have signed up, I know that type of content is relevant to them and they are now in the funnel for that topic.
2. Set up Google Alerts www.google.com/alerts – You can tell Google to send you an email every time someone mentions your competitor, your industry terms, your speakers, your sponsors or you. This is a great research tool and gives me a never ending supply of content for blog posts etc.
3. Begin to gather social credentials of your speakers, exhibitors, partners and create a Twitter list with them in it. You can use this to quickly see new content from those people and also share the list with your delegates.
4. Create a blog post at least once a month – preferably once a fortnight. Why? To bring relevant eyeballs to your final destination : your website. Blogging provides as many roads as possible to travel to the final destination.
Think of it this way: Someone is doing a Google search using terms related to your industry or event. If you’ve done one blog post every month with those search terms included.. you’ve now provided 12 roads into your website. Imagine if you’d done 3 blog posts a month.. that’s 36 roads into your website.
5. CHOOSE TWO social channels only. Facebook should be the 1st one. Then choose Twitter if you’re marketing to business people or Instagram if you’re marketing to consumers.
6. Have each of your speakers do a selfie-style short 1-2min video with a couple insights they’ll be sharing at the event.
7. Load the videos to your Youtube Channel
8. Share the videos and other relevant content about the event across your social channels
1. Use a unique hashtag and ensure your event materials, your MC and your speakers mention it often.
2. Encourage delegates to post highlights including video and photos by offering a prize (2 tickets to next year’s event / tickets to the gala dinner) for the best post.
3. Be sure to retweet and share the best posts from your delegates.
4. Do short live videos with your most valuable exhibitors/sponsors (more ROI for them!)
1. Keep the conversation going by thanking your speakers on the social channels.
2. Curate a great sample of social posts from the event and put these into a newsletter for a few days later, with a special early bird offer to buy tickets for next year.
3. Your Google Alerts should let you know whenever someone does a blog post or mention of your event, so you can be sure to engage with / share that content.
TO measure the effectiveness of your hashtag, use a platform such as www.tweetreach.com
About the author:
Combining her deep understanding of event social media with her extensive experience as a business MC and facilitator, Yvonne works with organisers to provide advice, strategy and action steps for an effective social media presence. As the MC she seamlessly weaves the social media back channel into her role on stage to create an engaging and memorable experience for the delegates and ensure better ROI for organisers.
www.yvonneadele.com www.twitter.com/yvonne_adele www.linkedin.com/in/yvonneadele
Yvonne Adele was a Program Speaker at the PCO Association conference 2016