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.
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.
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.
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.
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.