Does Your Conference Need Social Media?

Social media for conferences is absolutely essential. In the digital age, there is no question about it. As we have touched on before, this is where your target audience lives.

According to Eventbrite, close to 25% of traffic to event registration pages comes from social networks, and people who register after hearing about your conference on social media are 3X more likely to share it with other people.

Firstly, social media effectively serves as a platform for you to communicate with your target audience. Through engaging with them you can build a community, generate brand awareness, increase customer relations and loyalty.

As an association, it is imperative you achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase customer familiarity
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Grow brand awareness
  • Determine market positioning
  • Develop competitor insights
  • Identify and establish relationships with partners
  • Keep the conversation going after the event
  • Build a community
  • Generate new leads

Furthermore, to achieve any of this, you need an in-depth digital marketing strategy. Social media for conferences can be quite challenging, but we have got you covered! Try out these 3 tried and tested strategies.

1.  Create a unique hashtag

Regarding social media for conferences, you cannot overlook the power of the hashtag.

By utilising a hashtag consistently, you will boost the online conversation around your conference. When people discuss your event online, they will use the hashtag – especially on Twitter. When delegates post photographs online of themselves at the conference, they will utilise the hashtag.

Just pick one, keep it simple and use it every single time you post.

It can potentially:

  • Group together all online conversation and media around your conference
  • Allow your audience to easily connect with one another
  • Encourage their followers to join in your conference conversation and find out more about it
  • Increase the online exposure of your association and conference

You should make your hashtag clearly visible in the following places:

  • Your social media biography’s
  • Your entire association’s email signatures
  • On registration and website pages
  • Encourage speakers to use it in their online interactions leading up to the conference
  • On all your branded material
  • Use it in all your social media interactions

2.  Organic sharing

In order to promote organic sharing, you first must make it easy for your audience, partners and keynote speakers to share your content or event page online.

This can be done by getting a web developer to include social sharing buttons across your conference website. Furthermore, use your followers as a resource. By urging your followers to engage with your content, you will gain deeper insight into what they value. You can achieve this through the following:

  • Telling a story
  • Sharing an experience or behind the scenes content
  • Speaking about current events within your industry
  • Highlighting and discussing a previous speaker’s speech or theme from a past event
  • Pointing out something important about your audience
  • Sharing compelling visual images
  • Asking an intriguing question
  • Discussing relevant facts
  • Being humorous – sharing unique humour relevant to your audience and industry
  • Telling them why you are hosting the conference – why you are interested in the topics that will be addressed
  • Explaining to your followers why attending the conference will be beneficial to them
  • Asking them what activities they would like to engage in on the day
  • Asking them what they would like speakers to address at the conference

Further to this, ask your partners and keynote speakers to invite their followers to your event page. This way you will harness their following and take a step forward towards expanding your community.

Provide them with everything they need in order to do this. Make it easy for them by supplying them with a content pack including branded images, relevant hashtags, proposed copy and links.

3.  Targeted social media advertising

Social media is a cost-effective strategy for promoting your conference because you can allocate budget for paid advertising which gives you the opportunity to reach people beyond your followers, based on the demographics and psychographics of the audience.

You will first need to identify your target audience as this is an effective way to reach like-minded people that will most likely want to attend your conference or at least show interest and hopefully attend the next one. In addition, you can also use paid advertising to retarget already interested users. For instance, through Business Manager on Facebook, you will be able to identify who has clicked on your registration link but may not have gone through with the full process. These could be individuals who are interested but are waiting for a payday in order to purchase a place at your conference.

By retargeting users, you can remind them of your upcoming event.

Social media for conferences can be a tricky and tedious task, especially in the last three months leading up to the event. Outsourcing your digital marketing is a cost-effective way of ensuring you reach the right people and that your interactions online are professional and productive. Above all, get in touch with me today for advice on digital marketing in the MICE industry.

Three Ways In Which Social Media Are Becoming Increasingly Event-Centric

Technology and with it Social Media is changing the events industry from the inside out. In one way or another, current industry trends are linked to tech developments ranging from experiential meeting planning to ROI measurement. As an integral part of modern technology, social media are not only gaining broader acceptance among attendees at live events and other professional meetups but are also gradually adapting their nature to the changing environment that characterises the digital era. Today we take a look at the three main ways in which social media are becoming more event-centric and bringing like-minded professionals together into meaningful experiences, both face to face and online.

1. Helping Personalise Events

Personalisation is one of the defining trends of the 21st century. When it comes to meeting planning, social channels can help rise to the challenge of personalising the experience for hundreds or even thousands of attendees.

Social networks give access to a wealth of data, which make it easier than ever to fine-tune every aspect of conferences and other events and to deliver exactly what the audience wants. Organisers can use these platforms to gather data directly from attendees via surveys and other direct feedback methods, and the results can be used to give a personal touch to crucial aspects of the meeting, like the registration process, seating arrangements, agenda selection, etc.

Related: A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan

Instagram or Twitter hashtags are one of the most useful tools in this respect. Don’t limit the use of hashtags to the name of the event: to increase the personalisation levels of each meet up, you can create hashtags for “micro-moments” at the event and use them to draw the audience in (e.g. ask a keynote speaker, share the highlight of the morning session, etc.).

Lastly, personalisation is the key to a successful brand marketing strategy. If we view meetings as brands in themselves, we can easily create an identity for them using visual tools like Pinterest, which help define the meeting’s style and create a personal connection with attendees who identify with it.

2. Facilitating The Creation Of Immersive Experiences

Immersive experiences are naturally robust and engaging. Organisers can turn meetings into immersive experiences using favourite social channel features, like real-time streaming or curated user-generated content with a high visual appeal.

Live videos in the form of stories are one of the key social media trends due to their ability to capture attention and keep viewers engaged. You can put the power of storytelling right into the audience’s hands by encouraging them to publish Instagram or Snapchat stories, or make the meeting more immersive by building a sense of community around it with platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, which rank high for their community building potential.

Related: Lights, Camera, Action! The Why and How of Video Marketing

3. Helping Create Interactive Experiences

Real-time interaction is an integral part of the nature of every social network, and recently we’ve seen how this aspect is being brought into meeting planning. For example, Periscope lets attendees broadcast their meeting experience. Periscope live streams can be hashtagged and once published. They are live for at least 24 hours, so they can help extend the meeting’s momentum beyond its end date and be used for future event promotion purposes.

Similarly, over the past couple of years, LinkedIn has been offering the option to take part in invitation-only online events, mainly built around video interviews with recognised influencers in different industries, Q&A style. This tool could be used to connect the audience with keynote speakers before, during, or after a meeting.

Related: 4 Concepts To Understand Digital Transformation in the Event Industry

Conclusion

All social media channels are diversifying their offerings with a focus on making events more participative, interactive, and genuinely engaging, and that’s undoubtedly a sign of where things are headed in the event marketing industry as a whole. Before you start planning your next meeting, why not speak to a digital strategist about how to make social platforms work for you?

Social Media For Science And Research: Current Trends And Future Possibilities

It’s no secret that social networks are among the most widely adopted technologies of our times. Almost 40 per cent of the world’s population now uses social media and the figures only keep growing. Yet it seems that there is a gap between science and technology when it comes to the use of social media in scientific communities. In this post we explore the advantages of using social media for science, as a scientist and the possibilities that these technologies offer to both science and society.

Related: A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan

The Role Of Social Media In Science Communication

Rates of social media use in the scientific community are low when compared to the general public or even to other professional groups. The traditional nature of scientific communication is unidirectional (think about conferences or articles in peer-reviewed journals), but this long-form narrative contrasts with the current evolution of communicative preferences across the globe. Nowadays, two-way interactive exchanges find in social media platforms the ideal space for conversations between people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Scientists and researchers usually prefer to use professional networks with a clear scientific or academic focus. This is the case of Researchgate, Labs Explorer, Academia, or Mendeley, which are considered the best scientific social networks. But this begs the question of whether platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn are being unfairly overlooked and could in fact contribute something to scientific research.

Related: Developing Social Media Strategies for Conferences & Events

The truth is that there is a reluctance when it comes to using social media as a scientist. A 2014 survey revealed that a large amount of US-based scientists will never consider using Twitter or Facebook for academic or professional work. The problem seems to stem from issues of reputation and credibility, hence the preference for more exclusive or professional networks like the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. Within the scientific community, social media networks are generally perceived as not suited for “high-quality” science given the amount of banal or irrelevant content that is available on them. Credibility issues stem from the fact that very few authoritative voices are present on these platforms, but at the same time this can be an opportunity for scientiststo fill the void.

Advantages Of Using Social Media For Science

The “Big 3” (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) have the potential to be the best scientific social networks if they are used to promote research interests expertly.

2018 study showed that some science-related pages and Facebook profiles have a follower base in the tens of millions. The fact that they can reach such wide and non-specialised audience means there is potential for scientists to see this platform as a space where to create online communities that have common interests. Facebook’s social nature makes it easy to find audiences with similar concerns or likely to collaborate in projects ranging from research sponsorship to events funding. On this note, a study of the engagement levels generated by science-related Facebook pages showed that the highest engagement was achieved by posts related to research funding, and a US study confirmed that many scientists think that having a social media presence can help them demonstrate relevance to funding agencies.

Related: Content Performance Marketing: Making the Right Choices at the Right Times

LinkedIn has a wider acceptance among scientists perhaps due to the idea that this network as a high-profile platform with a predominantly professional focus. But this platform offers more than the option to create an online profile, and it can become the virtual equivalent of a lab meeting or a discussion between like-minded professionals.

Twitter is often used to interact with fellow scientists, tweet about research or link to relevant articles. Some studies have shown that academic tweets lead to increased citations and paper downloads, so this platform can be an alternative way of establishing a presence within the scientific community. It is also worth noting that only 5 per cent of Twitter interactions involve organisations and the media, so there is potential for exposure when organising events or drawing attention to scientific activities that require funding.

There are two Twitter features that are specifically useful in the scientific arena: conference hashtags have proven particularly powerful, and lists can help create online communities of individuals with common interests and goals.

What’s more, Twitter can indeed be used to support the scientific process by providing raw data that has immense value in and of itself from a sociological point of view. Researchers, scientists, and conference organisers can gain extremely valuable insights into how social media users react and interact with news and announcements, and these findings can be then used to discern patterns and modify online strategies to reach an even wider audience in terms that make sense to them.

To recap, social media can become a productive communication channel for researchers to find funding, for conference organisers to attract delegates and sponsors, and for scientists to raise awareness about their work. All these platforms can be used to cultivate stronger links with colleagues all over the world and to raise awareness about current research on social issues. To make the best use of social media, it’s important to keep two things in mind: focus on the audience and focus on purpose. The quality of social media content and interactions is not an inherent characteristic of the platform itself, but rather depends on how they are used. And only good things can happen when they are used for purposes like outreach, communication, and collaboration.

Related: 4 Concepts To Understand Digital Transformation in the Event Industry

Social Media Platforms And Science Technology: Future Trends And Possibilities

Ultimately, the issue at stake is whether and how social media can be used in a better way for science. In this sense, it’s sensible to suggest that the expert use of social media can complement and boost scientific endeavours across three main areas:

  • Social media networks can help spread scientific knowledge. Sharing is the very nature of these platforms, so they can help bring down barriers to the dissemination of scientific information and foster a culture of science communication between different stakeholders.
  • They can also help make research and scientific contributions more widely available. Traditionally, scientific communities have been “gated”, but social media can contribute to the democratisation of scientific discourse and make it available to more people. As a side effect, this can generate curiosity and / or a deeper appreciation for the contributions that science has made and can made to society at large.
  • Last but not least, science itself can have a stronger online profile thanks to social networks. This can add credibility to the wealth of information generated in the public sphere, counter the effects of fake news or unproven claims with solid scientific research, and generate public debate about issues that are of paramount importance for society as a whole. This is already happening in areas like food security and environmental science.

To summarise what we have discussed so far, one of the key roles of science is to research social issues and find transformative solutions to questions that concern us all, and social media platforms are just another medium to promote scientific activity and make it more accessible. The channel is there, so all that remains is for scientific communities to make the best possible use of the tools available to promote their research interests and extend the benefits of science to the general public.

A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan

A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event’s Communication Plan. Compelling and engaging communication is an essential aspect of conference marketing, as it plays a crucial role in driving genuine engagement. Since social media marketing is a powerful tool used to achieve the same objectives, it makes sense to incorporate it into your event’s communication strategy. In this post, we show you how to leverage social marketing tools to boost communications and make your event stand out.

The Facts

Modern events must include social marketing to some extent or another, as this strategy has proven to help organisers build event and brand awareness and create an information channel that delivers what attendees expect in engaging ways. According to this infographic, approximately 40% of businesses know that integrating social media marketing into their event planning and promotion is the way to go forward.

Related: Developing Social Media Strategies for Conferences & Events

Conferences and events are now primarily social, with the most popular platforms used being Facebook (78%), Twitter (56%), LinkedIn (49%), and YouTube (42%). The effectiveness of these tools is so evident that in a recent study, more than 80% of event organisers said there were planning to increase their online marketing activities.

Why It Works

Social marketing works because it is highly versatile. In addition to increasing event and brand awareness, it can boost loyalty, generate leads, increase overall revenue, and reduce marketing expenditure. Because content is so crucial in today’s digital environment, every action you take to produce and distribute event-related content online has an impact on your event’s ranking and reputation.

Another reason to include social platforms and tool into your event’s digital marketing strategy, social marketing makes it easy to gather feedback, which is mainly valuable in real time environments (such as events), when immediate solutions and agile problem-solving are expected. Moreover, social media tools can also be used to handle customer support using a personal approach, to measure performance and engagement, and to generate valuable insights that can be used for future research and reputation management.

Moreover, a diverse online marketing strategy can extend the event’s impact beyond its actual date, add an interactive element, and provide resources that can be accessed anytime and anywhere.

How To Integrate Social Media Into Your Event Marketing And Communication Plan

When integrating marketing plans with event communications, you should follow the principles of any marketing plan: research your audience and offer an experience beyond their expectations by using a variety of channels and formats.

Related: Social Media Marketing for the MICE Industry

First of all, your event marketing and communications plan should be split into three stages: pre-event, event, and post-event. Start with creating a content production calendar and match it to the organiser’s communication goals, ensuring that it also has a solution-focused component. Think about what problems or questions attendees are likely to have: anything from the agenda to accommodation, travelling to the venue, things to do in the area, registering, buying tickets, etc. Before and during the event, your key priorities should be:

  • Considering that nearly 80% attendees use a smartphone to find info about events, communicate using mobile-friendly content and formats.
  • Make content shareable and interactive: Some ideas include Twitter chats, unique hashtags, LinkedIn invitations or showcase pages, event guides, video testimonials from previous year’s attendees, sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes footage. Ensure that content is released at the right time and familiarise yourself with the best time to post on each social platform.
  • Focus on creating opportunities for content generation during sessions and also during breaks. The objective is to build relationships and keep the conversation going using real-time tools like live streaming or social walls in the break room with live feeds or quotes from speakers. Gamification is another technique that lends itself well to conference marketing, for example creating contests where attendees can submit their own content. Doing this shifts the focus of where content and value originate from organiser to participant.
  • Monitoring is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for events. Apps can make this task much more straightforward and insightful, as long as you use them on a daily basis and use social media management tools to integrate multiple networks. And since we have mentioned apps, mobile apps for attendees should always be considered. If you choose to do this, make sure apps offer something attendees can’t do elsewhere. For example, use an app to boost the event’s social and networking component by letting attendees find matches based on interests, job title, or other relevant factors, and allowing them to book their seats next to each other.

Once the event is over, remember that content creation must be followed up with content curation. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, consider capitalising on any visual content generated during an event, such as videos, blog posts summarising the event’s highlights, SlideShare presentations, Pinterest boards, or by offering virtual access to most important sessions. And of course, always end on a positive note by sending personalised thank yous via email or social network mentions.

Conclusion

Integrating social media strategy into your event marketing and communication plan will help create a unique voice for the event and provide a seamless and wide-reaching experience that communicates value. To bring communication and engagement together, use the tips outlined in this article and don’t hesitate to draw on the know-how of digital marketing experts like fmwaechter.com who specialise in promoting events using social business models.

The post A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan was first published on fmwaechter.com. Author Frank M. Waechter.

Building Relationship Online With Social Media Marketing

What´s the issue with building a relationship online?

Thеѕе days а lot оf uѕ аrе online, wе socialise, purchase, run businesses оr аrе part оf а community. Social Media Marketing hаѕ tаkеn thе trіеd аnd true method оf word-оf-mouth marketing, mаdе іt global аnd immediate. Building relationships wіth your online community wіll hаvе а powerful impact uѕіng Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, аnd mаnу оthеr social platforms. Building relationship online wіll gеt уоu іn front оf уоur target market/audience аnd gеt уоu noticed rеgаrdlеѕѕ оf уоur type оf business.

Related: Social Media Marketing Productivity: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Bеttеr Exposure

Bеіng present online wіll provide exposure fоr уоur product, services оr personal brand. Yоu muѕt hаvе аn optimised website; we are nоt оf thе belief thаt уоu dо nоt nееd а dynamic and responsive webpage thеѕе days. Hаvіng а website іѕ wіthіn уоur control. Post оn уоur blog аnd social platforms; valuable, relevant аnd shareable content thаt wіll expose уоur knowledge аnd expertise tо уоur audience. Thrоugh уоur efforts, the people, wіll start tо notice уоu аnd уоur brand.

Gеt Fоund bу Potential Members or Costumers

Thіѕ аlоnе іѕ аn incentive tо bе present online. If уоu аrе nоt whеrе уоur potential people are, thеn whеn thеу аrе іn nееd оf уоur services, guess whеrе thеу wіll go? If уоu wаnt tо bе found, gеt online аnd start creating а presence. Aѕ а service business, gеt thаt website uр аnd running аnd set uр уоur social media platforms ASAP.

Related: Content Marketing for Associations: How to Grow Membership in the Digital Space

Mоrе Opportunities

Hаvіng а presence online соmеѕ wіth mоrе opportunities tо connect tо stakeholders, members, influencers, sponsors, business partners, like-minded people, thе potential fоr mоrе work and many other. Communicate аnd interact, wіth people, seek оut opportunities tо dо business аnd collaborate.

Building Relationships online

Whеn building а business offline, relationship іѕ key. Thе ѕаmе applies tо running/promoting а business online. People buy frоm people. Join industry-related forums, groups оn social networks etc. Forge lasting relationships, ѕо whеn аn opportunity соmеѕ along, guess whо thеу wіll contact. Start today!

Social Media Marketing Productivity: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

The role of a social media marketer is now more in demand than ever before. Managing a social media platform takes a unique alchemy of skill, experience, insight and the ability to think outside of the digital box. Having said this, the ultimate goal is still the same. It is to successfully present the product or service of a particular business to the intended audience. Working smart as opposed to hard will breed success. Working smart heavily involves the concept of productivity in social media marketing. Let us look at some of the ways that this essential feature can be leveraged to produce viable results.

Boosting Social Media Marketing Productivity: Knowing Your Goals

Would the captain of a sailing vessel ever set out to sea without knowing the ultimate destination? Planning your exploration is the same concept to take into account from the very beginning. Professional social marketers always have a sound game plan in place before they undertake any projects. A handful of questions that must be answered well in advance include:

  • What are the short- and long-term targets?
  • How will social media help to address these goals?
  • What is your intended demographic?
  • What type of brand identity do you hope to establish?

Examining each of these questions will enable you to place your focus in the correct direction; minimising wasted efforts and vastly increasing productivity.

Related: Social Media Networks Basics: Consistency

Time Management

One of the most pragmatically useful tips is to plan the release of your content around a predetermined schedule. Many would-be marketers tend to become quickly overwhelmed with when to post, how often and on which sites. This will ultimately lead to confusion and lower levels of productivity. There are several social media tools which can help with the planning aspect of content and when it should be publicly released.

Easy-to-Learn Tools

Social marketing should always involve the latest productivity engines and CMS platforms. Unfortunately, there are many times marketers use the wrong medium. To be at fault with channels or tools can result in lots of confusion, and ultimately, PR campaigns will suffer. Choosing the best portal for your specific needs is critical. Each should boast a user-friendly architecture, and ideally, it should be scalable so that you can add or subtract different sections as might be required in the future. The basis of any productive campaign in digital marketing always involves laying a firm groundwork.

Collaboration and Interdepartmental Accountability

Many of the most efficient media campaigns are the products of collaborative thinking and a well-oiled team. Communication is therefore essential so that each member can express his or views to the others. Thankfully, the majority of marketing platforms will allow you to delegate certain tasks to specific stakeholders based off of their skills and expertise. It is still critical to point out that relying upon these systems alone can be dangerous. It is the responsibility of the team leader to make certain that everyone is actively involved and meeting the appropriate deadlines.

Well-Defined Development Processes

Social media marketing productivity also involves setting up clear steps towards achieving a clear goal. Examples can be hitting certain sales targets, gaining a particular number of followers or surpassing revenue figures from the previous financial quarter. The main takeaway point is that defining the steps involved will provide all stakeholders with a clear course of action. Another benefit is that checklists and other step-by-step guides can help to highlight any potential problem areas within a campaign.

Related: Advanced Data Analytics: One of our Data-Sets is Missing!

The Decidedly Negative Impact of Distraction

In this sense, we are referring to the distractions that can be caused by news feeds about marketing tasks. It is quite easy to lose focus while working if we happen to come across a site’s or friend’s update or an interesting third-party article. Distraction can be the downfall of what would have otherwise been a productive activity. Remaining focused on the one task at hand is critical. If this proves nearly impossible, there are numerous software algorithms which will block the incoming newsfeed.

Outsourcing Tasks

Even the most experienced marketing specialists will outsource specific tasks to third-party firms and similar consultants. Outsourcing will often involve ancillary concerns such as content calendars, customer service enquiries or blog and social media updates. The key point here is that the overall levels of productivity will be streamlined if the experts can devote more of their time to the core metrics involved with a project as opposed to tackling countless responsibilities to no avail.

These are some of the most efficient ways to increase social media marketing productivity within the existing workplace. Each should be implemented alongside the others so that the overall impact is more pronounced. The expression “time is money” is certainly appropriate here.

The post Social Media Marketing Productivity in 2017: Putting Your Best Foot Forward was first published on fmwaechter.com. Author Frank M. Waechter.

Frank M. Waechter | fmwaechter.com
Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Growth Marketing, Data Analytics for the Meetings Industry, Events Industry and Associations. Conference and Event Activation, Live Marketing, Onsite Engagement.
Carrer del Mestre Joan Corrales 107-109 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 691 328 572

© 2015-2019 fmwaechter.com

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