Your event is in the works and you would like to create a little more “buzz” about it ~ what can help you do this? Voilà! Enter ~ Social Media. With a little planning, social media can help you let your prospects know why they should attend your event and also get your registered participants excited in the days leading up to showtime.
Dividing your plan up into three stages will help you brainstorm about the important messages you would like to share at each point in time. Here are some things to think about at each juncture:
- Before the Event
- Create a simple, unique #hashtag that can be used year after year and is easy to remember. This way everything posted about the same event can be easily found in one place.
- Choose your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or YouTube). Know your audience and what social media channels they typically use. This way you’ll get more traction from your posts and waste less time on platforms that won’t see much engagement.
- When planning signage for your event – make sure to strategically place signs in high traffic/visible areas to promote your social media channels, handles & #hashtag. (See example from 2017 NRA Show shown below)
- Thank your sponsors.
- Promote your keynote and session speakers, countdowns and special events. (Twitter has a 140 character count limitation, but you can get around that by placing more details on your images. See example of IAEE Twitter post shown below.)
- During the Event
- Thank exhibitors who have signed up for next year’s event.
- Post reminders, important announcements, and special events for that day.
- Promote successes! (See example of IAAPA Twitter post below)
- Post Show
- Post an event survey within one or two social platforms.
- Use social media as a resource to keep conversations going about the show (images from event, link to blog post, announce contest winners & next event)
- Retweet positive posts by event participants. They make great testimonials! (See BOMA 2018 Twitter post below)
Once your timeline is created, you can start gathering images and content to use for each stage of your social media campaign. Writing and scheduling your content beforehand will make things so much easier and allow you to focus on other aspects of your event that need your attention. There are several software apps that enable scheduling social media posts on multiple platforms all at once.
Social media is an inexpensive way to promote your event and a fun way to get people excited about it. The feedback and responses can also get your organization more in tune with what your event participants are seeking from your show and how you can improve upon it in the years to come.
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