By Corey Christiansen
So you’ve used social media to create some buzz about your event, and you have a list of RSVPs that’s well-stocked with perfect party guests and attendees. What now? There’s no shortage of ideas about using social media to promote events, but the real challenge is often how to manage social media during and after an event.
Here are a few tips to keep the social buzz going after the RSVPs are received:
- Make sure you have working Wi-Fi and everyone knows how to access it. Failure to provide Wi-Fi is often one of the biggest oversights by busy marketers trying to coordinate a social event. You can’t assume that all of your attendees will be able to access a cellular network, and a Wi-Fi backup is handy for guests using tablets and devices that can’t connect to cellular networks. Even if you think you have Wi-Fi covered, you should test it and immediately take action if anyone has problems with it.
- Promote the use of one Twitter hashtag in all materials leading up to the event including invitations, posters, and event collateral. Encourage all invitees to follow and use the hashtag, even if they can’t attend.
- Designate someone to live tweet and monitor the stream. Live tweeting encourages others to engage with your event. Monitoring conversations, replying and retweeting during the event strengthens the event’s social footprint.
- Collect Twitter usernames prior to the event, especially from VIPs. As speakers and guests interact, the person live tweeting can capture key moments and virtually attribute them to the right attendees. Having a list of Twitter usernames will allow the live tweeter to match the person speaking with their Twitter username. This will increase the reach of the event to guests’ Twitter communities, and it gives anyone viewing the message on Twitter an easy way to find out more about the person speaking.
- Prominently display real-time media from the event using a large TV/monitor or projector. Twitter has become the preferred social network for event updates, and there are several free tools that can help you display a Twitter feed at your event, including VisibleTweets, Tweetwally, Twitterfall, Tweetbeam, and Hootfeed. Photos are also a great way to showcase your event. Facebook doesn’t offer an easy slide show option for brand pages, but you can play a slideshow of photos you’ve uploaded to Facebook from your computer. Include a link to your Facebook page at the bottom of the screen and request that attendees tag themselves so you can earn the additional exposure to their friends.
- Use the increased engagement at events to gather intelligence. If you’ve followed the previous steps, your social media channels will likely have a more engaged audience during the event than at any other time. Take advantage of this by posting polls, following people who are using the event’s hashtag, and listening to what people are most excited about. If you’re not using a social media listening tool like Radian6 or Sysomos, you can capture the feed using a free tool like The Archivist or Tweetreach so that you can analyze the data after your event.
- Give away something to highly engaged attendees. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be unique, appealing to your attendees, and in alignment with your event brand. It may be helpful to incorporate game mechanics to get people talking about your brand and event online. Make the rules, terms, and conditions available, simple to understand and easy to find.
Following these simple steps will greatly improve the social buzz around any event.Additional resource: Social Brite’s 12-step live tweeting guide.
Corey Christiansen creates and implements social media marketing strategies that produce authentic relationships between consumers and brands. His significant experience creating, managing, and measuring online communities for brands including AT&T, Google, Microsoft, Reebok, Revlon, and T-Mobile has built an impressive arsenal of best practices, measurement tools, and success stories. As a social media strategist at Metia, Corey continually engages with clients regarding social business, building social roadmaps for clients, and delivering action-oriented research and recommendations based on real-world data. Corey received his Masters of Communication in Digital Media from the University of Washington.