When it comes to event management, social media is a necessity.
Using it to promote your event live, in real-time? That can give you a decided advantage over your competitors.
Integrating social media live promotion into your live events can have a number of benefits to help you:
- Target the right people
- Spread your message to a wider number than the people sitting in your event space
- Help strengthen the value your attendees (and social media followers) gain from your event
- Lead to better outcomes of your future events
Before integrating live social media into your event, however, it’s important to know how you do it, and why.
Here are five recommendations for best practices and successful strategies for incorporating social media live into your next event.
1. Know your “why”
In an inspiring speech captured on video, comedian Michael Jr. urged his audience to know their “why.” The comedian said, “When you know your ‘why,’ then your ‘what’ has more impact because you’re working towards your purpose.”
Before you begin integrating live social media into your event, you need to know your “why.” You should have an understanding of why you’re holding your event and what you hope to get out of it.
If you don’t have the desired end state envisioned before you begin planning, it will be unclear what your event will accomplish. Think of shooting an arrow without having a target in mind. You’re not sure whether it was a good shot or not because you couldn’t visualize the goal.
This knowledge – knowing your why – will drive every element of your social media event promotion including which platforms you use, which audience you target, and what type of content you develop.
2. Understand your audience
Once you’ve determined why you want to promote your event, you can then target the right audience to promote to. To do this using social media, you’ll need to understand your demographic to customize your digital marketing strategy.
This essentially means that once you’ve determined which audience you want to target, you can plan which social media platforms you’ll need to promote on to meet their needs.
For example, if your audience skews younger, Snapchat may be a great platform to spread your message. If it skews older, Facebook may be more effective.
Don’t waste time promoting on platforms your audience isn’t using. Customize your event’s social media experience so it reaches the maximum number of people in your target audience where they spend most of their time online.
3. Customize your social media content based on the platform
Once you’ve chosen the right audience and found them on the right platforms, now you can develop content.
The content you create should be optimized for the platform you’re posting it on. Some content is evergreen and can be posted anywhere – for example, you can promote a link to your registration site using most types of social media networks. But some content is tailored to specific platforms.
For example, a blog posted during your event containing a value proposition about the advantages of attending may play great on LinkedIn, where business and networking are two of the dominant reasons people use it. But it may not resonate as part of an Instagram post, where the medium is specifically visual. On the other hand, a high-resolution photo of your event location would be a great fit for Instagram but may not be as effective on LinkedIn.
Polls conducted via a platform like Twitter or Facebook may be able to gauge what topics your attendees like hearing about the most. This can help you tweak your event on the fly, or if that’s not possible, tweak the content of future events.
Whatever platforms you choose to use, understanding the ones you’re using and optimize the content you post to each platform so you can maximize its value.
4. Use social media live to drive engagement
One of the biggest advantages of promoting your events live via social media is the opportunity for instant engagement.
You can get real-time feedback from attendees during the event. You can start conversations about the topics your event is covering while the event is still ongoing, in some cases adapting your presentations as they’re set to happen. You can promote it to members of your target audience who chose not to attend this year, but now feel like they can’t miss out on your next edition.
If your event hashtag is trending on Twitter or another platform, you can create a buzz around your event while it’s happening. High levels of social media engagement can create the perception of a prestige event that’s not to be missed. It can also help you spread your great content to other people not attending. Short video clips of presentations or infographics shared during the event can be spread even further, sharing your message with a wider audience.
5. You can promote your VIP attendees
Online marketing – and event promotion – is an attention economy. Simply put, you need eyeballs on your content to move the needle. What good is promoting your great event if no one hears about it?
That’s where using one of your event’s greatest strengths – attendance by a well-known figure – can be useful when promoting your event live.
If you have a VIP keynote speaker or presenter attending your event, this is a great opportunity to leverage their social media following to attract attention to your event. Encourage them to promote their appearance before, during, or after the presentation. You can post pictures of your VIPs following the event as well, asking them to share it with their audience.
This helps you reach new followers, users, or customers who may not have been aware of what you offer before.
Using social media live can help grow your event in many ways as it’s happening. It can enrich the user experience as well as attract the attention of people you may have missed in your pre-event promotion. With some coordinated planning and well-developed content optimized for the best platforms for your specific audience, you can get the most out of your live social media presence for your event.
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