Do you want to build an excited, engaged customer base, establish your brand as a go-to expert, and stand out from the other brands in your field? Then a well-organized business event is an excellent way to do just that.
If you want to make your event even more of a success, social media can help you. By using social media before, during and after your event, you can connect the dots for your audience, creating an experience that builds community and engagement.
So just how can you use social media before, during and after your event?
Before Your Event – Build Some Buzz
In the run up to your event, make good use of social media to build some buzz and make sure your event is well-attended.
Create a hashtag ahead of your event – a hashtag helps to keep the conversation going and connect people who are talking about your event.
Make sure your hashtag is unique, easy to remember, and will stay relevant year on year. Always use your hashtag when talking about your event, and encourage others to do the same.
Make sure your event has its own social profile. The authors of the article “Social Media and Events: Connecting the Dots” surveyed business event attendees and found that 93 percent said a dedicated social profile mattered.
Use social media to get your attendees talking and share previews of the day to show what they can expect. Also, offer related content, encourage questions, or even hold a sweepstake or Q&A session to encourage interaction.
During Your Event – Create a Community
Don’t quit using social media just because the day of the event has arrived! By using social media throughout the day you can create a strong sense of community and keep your attendees interested in what is happening around them.
Try posting pictures of speakers and attendees to social media (using your hashtag of course). Ask a staff member to live blog or live tweet the event, sharing some of the highlights and most valuable words of wisdom.
Encourage your attendees to join in by sharing their own thoughts and pictures under your hashtag. You can even run a contest on the day, entering all attendees who “like” or “share” a status into a prize draw.
After Your Event – Keep the Momentum Going
Keep up the momentum after the event and you’ll encourage attendees to stay engaged with your brand and share your content.
Share pictures and highlights after the event, and don’t forget to mention your speakers and how brilliant they were. They’re more likely to share your content that way.
Treat your social media followers to a post-event gift, such as a white paper, blog post, or useful infographic related to the event.
You’ll stick in their minds, and your content will get disseminated among both attendees, and those who didn’t attend but might be interested in your brand.
Encourage speakers and attendees alike to keep using your hashtag to share their highlights and post event thoughts. Don’t forget to reach out to them. Personally thanking attendees and speakers might take a while, but the personal touch will do wonders for your brand.
Finally, use social media to garner some valuable customer feedback. Ask what they loved – and what they didn’t. Analyze the answers to help your next event be even better.
Social media is a powerful tool for any business event, creating a vibrant community before and on the day, and keeping your brand in attendees’ minds long after the doors have closed.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to use social media for your business event.