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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.