Using social media effectively during a live event begins long before the registration tables are set up. Like any other marketing strategy, a social media plan should be carefully crafted. The audience must always be at the forefront of any consideration. Without them we’re really just talking to ourselves, right? Here are four steps to using social media to maximize your live event.
1. Determine which medium (Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.) is best for your audience–then focus on one or two. Your audience prefers to connect with your brand in a certain medium. Do your homework and figure out where your demographic hangs out online. Focus on one or two outlets. Hint: most CEOs don’t want to talk business on Facebook. Find your audience and go there.
2. Brainstorm before the event how to maximize social media to improve the attendee experience. Gather your most creative team members and have a round table discussion about how to implement social media throughout the event. Research ways other cutting edge companies have successfully utilized the medium in the past. Figure out how your company can utilize it in a fresh and exciting way.
3. Flesh out the plan before you begin. While using social media is a “real time” activity, it is simply foolish to have no plan before a live event begins. Post content in both real time and ahead of time via programs like HootSuite and Tweetdeck. Craft a plan. Yes, write it down. Will you have keynote Q&A via Twitter? A contest on Facebook? A Google+ Hangout? Plan these online events ahead of time.
4. Don’t be timid about using ideas that have worked for other events–but don’t expect just any strategy to work for your event. Paying attention to what is happening in technology, social media, and the world of handheld devices is not only a good idea, it is crucial. Keep tabs on how leading brands are utilizing social media. Feel free to adopt strategies that have worked for other brands, but don’t expect just anything to work with your audience.
What do you think is key to unlocking the potential of using social media at live events?
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