Social Media Event Strategy
Social media has added an entirely new dimension to the experience of any event.
It allows us to document every aspect in realtime to the point that we almost don’t need to attend. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but when major social media platforms are used to complement one another and offer different perspectives from a single place at the same time, we can almost experience an event via social media: the setting, who was in attendance, the discussions taking place, the vibe or mood, and even the key takeaways.
No matter the event, you need a solid strategy to support your social media plan. Whether you’re aiming to tell a story, connect with customers, create buzz, or generate engaging content, you need a strategy. I call these goals micro-strategies because they fit into the larger, overarching strategic framework we use to tell a brand’s story. Yes, sometimes even strategies have strategies. Mind-blowing stuff. Now, scoop your brains off the ground and let’s keep moving.
In addition to having a great strategy, cultivating your relationship with a social-media-savvy audience is crucial. Today’s consumers want to connect with their favorite brands, so brands should seize the opportunity to establish individual rapport via social media — especially during events. If done correctly, this can significantly increase brand awareness and brand image.
Here are some things to consider when planning a successful social media event strategy:
1. Create a short, unique #Hashtag
Hashtags can be used to find and connect with your target audience, generate conversation, and build your brand awareness on social media.
There are 3 things to consider in creating a great hashtag:
Some platforms like Twitter have a set limit on the number of characters you can use. Keeping your hashtag short allows you to write more. There’s also nothing worse than having to decipher an overly long hashtag. Don’t be that brand.
Uniqueness – can you own it?
When you’re creating a hashtag, you want it to be something people will automatically identify as yours. If it’s unique, catchy, and easy to understand, it will stand out. Also, don’t forget to see whether your hashtag is already in use before committing to it.
Try to avoid hashtags that put words with the same letters next to each other. For instance: #theelephanttrainer is hard to read. If you can’t avoid it, try capitalizing the first letter of each word in your hashtag. #TheElephantTrainer is much easier to read. Tricks like this will make your hashtag clear and legible, and therefore more memorable.
2. Make a social media promotion plan
Which social channels do you plan to use during the event? What will you be posting/sharing leading up to the event to promote your presence or create a buzz? Do you have incentives to get people to share or talk about your brand during the event? You need to answer these questions before arrival.
Addressing each of these questions can significantly improve your brand awareness at a trade show or conference by driving traffic to your website or social media pages or getting people to talk about your brand. It is vital to do your research, know the audience attending the event, and adapt your social media strategy accordingly.
3. Use targeted ads
One of the best and most efficient ways to increase brand awareness at an event is to create ads on major social platforms, and then target them to the event address. Event attendees are always checking social media throughout the day, and this approach will ensure that they see your ad. You’d be surprised how many people you can reach over a two-day span with even $50.
Follow these social media event strategy tips and your brand is sure to make a splash at your next event.
About the Author: Harrison Blankenship is a Digital Strategist at Macleod & Co. based in Minneapolis, MN. As the Holistic Marketing Agency ™, we believe that in a hyper-social world, culture drives success, every employee is a customer touch point, and every customer is a broadcast network. We live at the intersection of marketing and organizational effectiveness. And we see marketing as the entire process of bringing a product, service or business from inception to maximum ongoing profitability.