To say that social media is everywhere these days would be an understatement. The same can be said of event technology. The two, in fact, go hand in hand, and event planners would be wise to incorporate the two in some fashion or another for their next event.
So how might event technology be used to create a social media stratosphere full of tweets and selfies galore? Here are 5 ways tactics you can use to turn active your event community on social media.
1. Implement IFTTT
IFTTT is a new service that automates a lot of simple tasks, thereby saving you tremendous time in the planning process. The system uses a very peculiar “if, then” formula. You can set it up so that if a certain action is met, then a second desired action is taken automatically without you having to do anything. If you take a selfie and submit it on Instagram, for example, then you can set up IFTTT to have it automatically save the pic to your Dropbox.
So how might you use a tool like IFTTT to enhance social media engagement? The sky is the limit; you can also arrange to have a photo uploaded on Instagram to be automatically tweeted for your followers to see.
As you can see, IFTTT acts as a time saver by saving you a few seconds here and there. This can really make life easier if a normal day for you entails one errand after another.
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Hashtag
You’ll need a catchy and easy to spell hashtag that people associate with your event. Once you have an event hashtag, encourage your staffers and followers to use it for all company and event-related posts. Use the hashtag before the event to promote it.
Continue to use it during the event by posting updates. This keeps people in the loop for those not in attendance. Within 24 hours after the event, continue to post some more, sending thank you notices and digital gifts as a show of gratitude to the attendees that made the event possible.
Whatever your hashtag is, keep it clear and simple. Followers should be able to make the association between it and your event with a single glance. #DigiMarketingExpoSF, for instance is far more effective than #DigitalMarketingExpositionSanFrancisco. At the same time, it shouldn’t be something like #DMExpoSF, which may be to obscure. Find the happy medium between clarity and brevity.
By nature, people are more willing to take a specific action when they see that their peers have done so. When guests see what their fellow attendees are posting, they’ll be much more inclined to chime in. To get the ball rolling, have your staffers, sponsors, and speakers contribute.
3. Social Media Wall
To get the most out of a social media wall, you can also change the layout at regular intervals to show other endorsements or branded messages from sponsors. Yet another way to use the wall is to have it shown during a presentation. If the lecture is being live-streamed, people watching from home can post questions, which can dictate the direction of the conversation. This is a great way of involving people watching online since they are not physically present to raise their hands and shoot a question.
4. Live Blogging
Live blogging is a relatively unknown art. Yes, you or someone from your crew will be quickly writing a blog-length post and submitting it as the event is in progress. Basically, you can think of a live blog post as a really long social media post. Their beneficial in the sense that they provide more detail and can be read as a whole rather than having to read a dozen 140-character tweets.
So what do you live blog about? You can post on the same stuff you would tweet about. These can include:
- Materials covered in a workshop
- A Cliff Notes version of what was covered in a presentation
- A run-through of a product that was presented along with its specs and features
Once posted, show the post on the social media wall, or send a tweet with the link to it.
Aside from live blogging
through your tweets and selfies, you can also do a live vlog. Some people may find this easier especially since it takes less time to speak than it is to write.
5. Make Good Use of QR Codes
In this era, a wealth of information can be acquired from a quick scan. Use QR codes to your advantage to encourage social media activity. You can do this by incentivizing guests who contribute to the social media wall. For every person that submits a post using the event hashtag, allow them to scan a QR code, which contains a mystery freebie. In addition, content acquired from a QR scan can also include brief reminders to have fun at the event and to share the festivities through your tweets and selfies.
In addition, there are also social media QR code generators that enable you to embed a QR code on your social media profile. This can be done when promoting the event. Followers can scan the code for exclusive “behind-the-scenes” content to create more anticipation and hype.
Don’t Let Good Event Technology Go to Waste
With social media and collaborative event technology being a part of everyday life, make them a part of your event. The tools are always evolving and are always at your disposal for creating optimum engagement among your guests. Take full advantage of them to keep up with the trends of the time.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.