Why You Need To Consider Social Media For Your Event
Event management is an intricate business. I know -- I studied it. You have to consider and manage so many different things throughout the process from security, crowd flow, guest allergies, insurance, speakers, parking... the list goes on.
Back when I studied event management, social media wasn't really part of the mix (I'm not that old -- social is a pretty new phenomenon!). But today, that sure isn't the case.
Social media has now become a part of every phase of events -- from beginning to end. Let's take a look at how and when it plays a role -- and why you had better make sure you've got it covered.
Promoting your event is obviously key to your success and to do that, you've got to use some form (or many forms) of advertising. Print, TV, radio, posters and email mail-outs are all effective avenues to advertise and should be considered. But don't forget about social media here! Everyone is hanging out on social, consuming content on the daily, so you need to get your event in front of them!
Social media presents an easy and affordable way to get your event in front of the right people. You can create messaging, attach imagery and share on networks or in groups that are clogged with the right people. Tell them all about why they want to come -- who's going to be there, what's going to go down and what they'll take away from it. Share links to register or to get more information. Try offering incentives -- promo codes or giveaways -- to encourage people to register or re-share. And you can even sponsor your posts to show up to a specific, defined target market and watch the new impressions and clicks roll in.
If tickets sell out? Announce it quickly and easily! Want to up the hype? Share a sneak peek! Ready to connect attendees? Advertise a hashtag or create a group!
The options are endless and it's so easy to customize the promotions along the way based on what your event needs.
Okay, so it's event day and you've got 1000 things on your plate. And maybe you've decided not spend a second of your oh-so valuable time worrying about trending hashtags when you have a zillion other competing priorities and clearly already have everyone in the door. If you did, you'd be missing out.
These days, people are share-a-holics. They say if it's not on Instagram, it didn't happen. This means all of your event attendees are more than likely going to be at your event sending Snaps, posting pics, tweeting, sharing, commenting, liking... you name it, they're doing it. And this is great news for you! This is free advertising for your event. You want this to happen! (One of the biggest mistakes people make is to try to silence and control social media at their event. Quick tip: Do not do this! Embrace it and let it work for you!)
The best thing you can do here is to join and maybe even lead the conversation. Chime in on chatter -- re-sharing and encouraging any positive posts and jumping in to respond to anything negative. Make their experience with your event that much deeper by taking it online WHILE being in person. #MindBlown
Once the event is over, your work is not done (which you know if you've ever worked in events). Usually, events are put on for a specific purpose -- maybe to generate new relationships or to sell on-site. Either way, getting people in the door is the biggest and most important step, but once they leave you need to figure out how to make that new connection keep working for you.
After events, an email mail-out is often sent out to say thank you, provide any additional information and remind people to do... something. Whether you want them to come back next year, to sign up as a customer or just to stay tuned in for the future, you need to get in front of them again! Social media is a great way to do this. Did they like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter? Awesome! Now they're likely to see and engage with posts of event photos (which may even feature their smiling faces) or share ticket sales for next year. Want them to stay connected to each other and make them feel like they're part of a group? Create a Twitter list or a Facebook group to keep the conversation going.