If you want to amplify your event’s reach, you should consider covering it live on social media. We’ve built a handy guide that will help you to take your next event even further, using the reach, engagement and power of social media.
Personally, I’ve been covering events on social media since 2011. The first event I covered was the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Ever since then, covering events online has been fascinating to me. The last event I covered was #OGIgnite for our client ORGANO™ and the hashtag reached millions of people from about 50 different countries! Today’s blog will cover some of the basics you’ll need to make sure your event is memorable both off and online.
Use a unique hashtag to measure reach and engagement
Hashtags are key for event coverage on social media. They main purpose of the hashtag is to help you group conversations from around the topic regarding your event, making it easier for everyone attending to connect and engage with each other and with you online. Using a unique hashtag will help you measure the reach and total engagement of your event. Since no one else is using it, you will be able to get metrics that belong only to you.
What should you keep in mind when creating your hashtag?
- Print the hashtag on offline marketing material and event banners.
- Engage with people using the hashtag inside and outside of the event.
- Reach out to influencers attending the event ahead of time to tweet using the hashtag.
- Use a unique hashtag to get an exact measurement of your analytics.
- Check the hashtag ahead of time to make sure it’s not in use.
Promote hashtag engagement by running a contest or giveaways
You should almost always run a contest to motivate people to use the event hashtag. It’s a sure-fire way to get more people to engage with the event hashtag. However, don’t just run a contest for the sake of having more engagement! Your main objectives should be collecting leads and/or growing your followers. Make sure that you are rewarding your event attendees and not just anyone tweeting. Use geo-targeted searches, these are searches that are limited by geographical location. Use a tool such as Hootsuite to organize the searches by name and separated by column in order to make it easier to find and prioritize.
Quick giveaways are great to increase loyalty and get people tweeting at the event. The prize doesn’t have to be big. A small gesture can go a long way.
Add a Photo Booth
Using a photo booth is a great way to know who was at your event. With your own custom wall background, it will be easy to identify who was there. Make sure that the event hashtag is clearly visible on the wall.
To make sure they upload their photos using the hashtag, consider showing Tweets, Instagram and other social media posts on the big screen, whenever they use it. Tools like Tagboard, provides solutions for your event, that allow you to filter by hashtags and searches the most popular social media channels.
Reach out to influencers
Influencers can help you jumpstart your contest and give you some engagement from the offset. If you have outside speakers attending your event, try to engage with them online, before, during and after. Go outside of the box and send the influencers personalized invitation and custom made packages to encourage them to give you a shout out online.
Don’t have any speakers at your event? Reach out to local bloggers to help you reach and engage the local audience. They can be great influencers, but their services will come at a cost. Use either a product or some reciprocal gesture to return the favor. A few tickets for the blogger and for her/him to giveaway may do the trick depending on the event and the blogger. You should do your research in advance and do some blogger outreach.
Scheduling posts in advanced
Use Hootsuite to schedule posts on twitter, Facebook and even Instagram! Scheduling your content in advance saves you a lot of time. If you have big announcements during keynotes and you know about them in advance, you should schedule the posts and save them as drafts. That way, you don’t post them ahead of schedule but already have the approved post ready to go.
It’s all about the Content:
The success of your hashtag entirely depends on the content you’re sending out and of course, your event itself. Have a content plan in advance to help you during your live coverage. Not everything needs to be tweeted out, but just don’t miss the really important stuff!
- What content are you posting live?
- Do you have a cross channel social media strategy?
- Are you capturing the moments of people experiencing the events? Video works great for that!
- Make content exclusive to certain channels.
- Go behind the scenes.
- Interview influencers and speakers.
- Use a live video streaming such as Periscope, Blab, Facebook Live or Meerkat.
Using streaming services like Periscope or Meerkat are great for transmitting live, but they don’t allow you to charge to view the livestream. If you have a separate livestream service, consider only broadcasting small portions of the event to retain the value of the livestream for paying customers.
Run a social media ad campaign.
You should be running an ad campaign before, during and after all of your events. If you are constantly doing these types of events and you want them to be memorable, you need to keep at the forefront of your audience’s mind. Your ads don’t have to be boring and promoting all the time. They should also provide value to the reader and maybe given a sneak preview or some exclusive material.
Always rewards your social media audience with freebies. Do random giveaways to fans that engage with your brand, as well as the big influencers.
There are many things you can do to make your event more memorable online. The examples listed above are just some of the few things you should be doing. Think outside of the box and constantly ask yourself: how do I use social media to amplify my event’s reach? What is the main message I want people to take away from the event?