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Social Media Do’s and Don’ts at Every Stage of the Event Lifecycle [Infographic]

September 5, 2013   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: Social media

This post is written by Colleen Donnelly, etouches Community Manager and sponsored by etouches.
More information about Event Manager Blog’s sponsored posts.

Social media poses an exciting opportunity for event organizers to drive engagement, attract more attendees and build a strong community- at every stage of the event lifecycle.

From monitoring to measuring, social media can be a tricky landscape to navigate. Here are key do’s and don’ts to ensure social success before, during and after your event.

Socialmedia

Before Your Event:

Do:

Identify Your Audience: Which social media platforms are most popular within your target audience? Is there an active LinkedIn group your community participates in, or is your audience more of a Google hangouts kind of crowd? Get to know the people you want to reach and know them well. This will pay off in the long run.

Choose the Tools to Best Suit Your Needs. Evaluate your priorities and choose a tool or set of tools that works best for you and your team. If you’re a one man show, you might want to use Buffer to schedule content ahead of time. If you have a team working on all your social media channels, consider purchasing a collaborative tool such as Sprout Social to keep everyone on the same page.

Don’t:

#Get #Too #Hashtag #Happy. We know you want to promote your event expand your reach, but avoid using too many hashtags or you’ll come across like you’re spamming your followers.

Pick out a few hashtags to use (besides your own event hashtag) to promote your event. For example, if you are promoting a blog post related to your event’s topic, you might include a hashtag related to the overall industry, not just your event.

Sell Straight Off: Only posting or writing information about YOU and YOUR event right off the bat will turn people away. Become a valued member of a community before you go in for the hard sell. Establish your presence, build your brand, define your voice and trust from your community will follow. Guaranteed.

During Your Event:

Do:

Select a Social Media Monitor: Delegate one member of your team to post updates and respond to questions throughout the event. This ensures that all attendees are always kept in-the-know. Chances are, if someone has a question they’ll ask for the information on social media first. It’s much easier to type a message on your smartphone than go out looking for the answer, right? Informed attendees = happy attendees.

Encourage Engagement: Enhance the live event experience by facilitating opportunities for your attendees to get active online. Set up an official Flickr gallery for the event, and incentivize attendees to take photos and upload them. Give prizes for photo of the day and set up opportunities for strategic networking.

Don’t

Expect to Fully Monitor the Conversation: No one owns the social media landscape, so you can’t predict or prevent what will be said about the event. Be prepared to respond to the haters but don’t overrule the conversation.

Let your attendees spark discussion and use your voice through social media accounts to guide it. Social media is a conversation. Conversations are bi-directional and can have rough edges. Even if you don’t want to participate, your attendees are already talking. Join them.

Limit Yourself to One Channel: Your attendees are social- and will definitely be checking multiple social channels throughout the day. Capitalize on automation apps to streamline your content to multiple channels such as IFTT (If This, Then That). Keep your audience informed and impressed with your multi-channel updates. The app works by setting recipes- so if you post a photo to Facebook, you can prompt IFTT to post it to Twitter with certain hashtags. Who can say no to saving time and maximizing efficiency?

After Your Event:

Do:

Curate Content: Take your event’s conference content and spread it like wildfire. Your goal is to get the people who didn’t attend your event to check out your content and feel inspired to attend your next one. Take every conference presentation, and instead of just posting them on your website or emailing links to attendees, release them on SlideShare. Take it to the next level and use Storify, a great tool that collects media from across the social media landscape such as photos or videos.

Get Down and Dirty with Analytics: Evaluate results and optimize your efforts to assure continued success after your event. After all, you can’t manage if you don’t measure. Key metrics include (but are not limited to) number of followers gained, number of retweets, social influence and engagement.

Simply Measured offers free reports for a variety of key performance indicators on each social media channel. You can also use smaller boutique-style tools to analyze specific metrics, such as Twitter Counter. Don’t forget to take advantage of the integrated analytics within Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Don’t

Be Too Repetitive. Give continuity to your event’s voice by keeping threads of content alive, but don’t annoy your audience with the same tune over and over and over again. Use resources to liven up content you’ve already created.

Develop an online newspaper compiling all your event’s content using paper.li, a tool which helps you automatically find, publish & promote engaging articles, photos and videos from across the web. Capitalize on what’s already living online related to your event to create new, engaging forms of media to avoid beating a dead horse. Your audience will thank you for it.

Talk Only About Your Event. Social media must add value to your community. If you are too self-promotional, you will lose followers and weaken your engagement. Don’t use social media to overly market or sell. Use a content generating tool like Social Dynamite to generate industry-relevant content. Educate, enlighten, inform, and even entertain your audience! This ensures you’ll position your brand as a thought leader and valued member of your community.

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In Conclusion

Today event organizers use social media to better understand the needs of their target audience, engage attendees, and foster connections so that live interactions can be more meaningful. It’s vital to understand the most important things to do on social media, and the absolute don’ts. T

he social space is constantly evolving, so it poses and exciting opportunity for event organizers to jump on in and spark event innovation.

Do you use any of the tools mentioned above? What are other key do’s and don’ts to remember for your event’s social strategy?

etouches is the most comprehensive web-based event software management platform available. The multi-lingual, multi-currency product line includes modules for scheduling, budgeting, registration, seating, appointment setting/networking, venue sourcing, email marketing, surveys, mobile, lead retrieval and event websites.