As the age of technology progresses expeditiously, embracing it, and integrating it into every facet of our daily lives becomes more and more essential.
As a result, social media for conferences is now fundamental to their success. Furthermore, encouraging user-generated content at your conferences is even more crucial.
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content is any form of content created and posted by an unpaid user. Whether it be testimonials, tweets, pictures, videos or blog posts, it is essentially the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand promoting itself.
Now that you understand what it is, why should you encourage user-generated content (UGC) at your conference?
- It can supplement branded content
- UGC shows that your brand is open to conversation with your audience and listens
- It is a great way to stand out amongst your competition
- UGC puts your audience front and centre
- It provides social proof
- It is more trustworthy, therefore unbiased content
Conferences are perfect for user-generated content as they are interactive and experiential.
Regarding social media for conferences, as you can see, the benefits are tremendous, with no choice but to start applying these tips for encouraging user-generated content immediately.
Plan your goals
What is it exactly that you want to achieve with this user-generated content? Is it to promote the experience from a delegate’s perspective? Is it to promote your keynote speakers? Do you want to gain repeat attendees? Whatever your goal, it needs to be pre-planned. Once you have established this, you can then begin to accumulate this content. You should base your goals on your target audience and where they live online.
This will then determine the information you request, and the conversations attempt to get started. If you’re unsure of your target audience, it is imperative to find this out before you plan your goals.
A tried-and-tested technique that always produces results. The truth is that people love competitions because we all love giveaways. If you are looking to encourage user-generated content at your conference, then make it known to your audience.
The most effective way of achieving this is through competitions. This is because you indirectly determine their tone of voice and therefore generate the content around your event.
How? By setting clear instructions. If you set guidelines, attendees will feel more confident when talking about their experiences. Through setting up a competition, you will also be incentivising them to do so.
Ensure that the requirements of the competition are clear and simple to follow.
Social Media for conferences: Integrate technology
Integrating technology into your conference is an effective way to get your attendees engaging on the day.
There are many ways to do this, but the three most efficient methods are as follows:
· An interactive photo booth
Set up a mobile photo booth at the entrance of the venue, so, once attendees have registered, they get a photograph taken of their team.
These can easily be branded then uploaded on to your event page, and as a result, you will have people tagging themselves in the images.
· A social media wall
A social media wall is a live feed of social posts from platforms displayed on a digital screen. This is an incredible way of encouraging user-generated content because many people resonate with this form of engagement.
Why? Because they will get to see their posts on a big screen for in front of everyone that is there.
Posts using specific hashtags or handles are filtered through to the display, which constantly rotates new content automatically, displaying the social media interaction and engagement from your conference in real time.
· A quick questionnaire
If your delegates register electronically on a tablet upon arrival, then why not include a quick questionnaire? It can be made up of two questions such as, “What are you most looking forward to at the conference?” and “How do you feel attending this conference will benefit your association/business?”.
Create awareness around your conference
Having an in-depth digital marketing strategy is still very much a necessity. Aspects such as branding, promoting your event page and a frequent, well-curated social presence is essential to creating awareness around your conference.
Effective social media for conferences is what will fill your seats. User-generated content is supposed to maximise the presence you have already established. The foundation of this is built through the creation of an authentic hashtag for your event as this is what users will use when sharing their content online.
If you are looking for a digital marketing transformation, and more specifically social media for conferences, get in touch with me. With over 20 years’ experience in the MICE industry, my solutions are specifically tailored to our industry’s needs.