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Up until a couple of years ago, no one could have predicted the current boom in social media.
Now, we can’t imagine living without it!
88% of marketing professionals admit to using social media in all aspects of event management.
And that is no surprise.
The Social Element Of Events Has Always Been A Huge Part Of The Industry.
With time, however, the tools for socializing have evolved greatly. With millions of users each day, social media has become the main hub of activity for event-goers and management alike.
That is why the event industry needs social media management, now more than ever before.
What Is Social Media Management?
Social media management is about leveraging social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to maximize the reach of your business through online presence and interaction.
Using social media, you can engage audiences through targeted content. While also monitoring and measuring their responses to better understand what part of your strategy works and what doesn’t.
Previously, social media was sidelined. But it is now at the forefront of strategy development for numerous businesses. That is because it allows brands to not only keep up with their audiences but also engage with them in a way that increases sales and ROI.
Why Do We Need Social Media Management?
In the past, the industry heavily relied on live events as its main source for building connections and doing business. But due to advancements, the social and technological landscape has changed. Currently, 86% of event marketers are optimistic that technology can greatly impact the success of their events.
Social media offers huge earning potential to businesses.
Meaning that with the right tools and tactics, your brand can tap into markets it could not access before.
Top Social Media Platforms For Events
“Think outside the box and take chances, always pushing the limit of what normal is. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and move on, and don’t be scared to try new things that may not necessarily “be a fit” based on what’s been done in the past.”
This is the advice the Global Director of B2B at CFA Institute, Marissa Pick gives to businesses that are trying their hand at social media management.
There are multiple social platforms where brands can connect with common folks. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular names in the game.
Almost 52% of event professionals believed that in 2019, Facebook was the most effective platform for event promotion. And that is true to date.
Facebook offers you several ways to share content with your followers:
- Sharing Links
Facebook allows its users to share links to various websites on the platform. So that you can signal your audience what you want them to do next. You can also add links to your event website in your Facebook description. Which will help direct more traffic to your event platform for more event ticket sales.
- Updating Through Regular Posts
The text content sharing option allows businesses and events managers to update people on the latest developments as they unfold. Meaning all potential event attendees are always in on the latest news.
- Facebook Messenger
This private messaging app lets people communicate directly with your business and ask questions. Thus providing more opportunities for better customer engagement and strengthening brand loyalty.
- Public Polls
With Facebook polls, conducting surveys becomes very easy. It lets you conveniently ask questions and understand what different people prefer.
- Event Promotion
WITH ITS 2.85 BILLION USERS, FACEBOOK IS THE BEST PLATFORM FOR EVENT PROMOTION.
With its multimedia post options, you can promote your events through text, videos, audio, and photos.
Here’s an example of event promotion via Facebook. Gabby Bernstein uses her cover photo to direct her page followers to attend her live masterclass event.
Getting the number 2 spot on the survey, LinkedIn is the second platform preferred by event managers.
It is quite similar to Facebook in its functionality. However, LinkedIn is geared towards catering to professionals rather than the general public. That means the content you share on the platform should also follow suit.
- Photos & Infographics
With the help of infographics and visual content, your business can share its data with other professionals. For instance, this could be a graph of how your ROI has increased compared to the market average.
Sharing such visually interesting content can be a great tool for getting people to engage with your business. And you may also pick up a few new investors for sponsoring your next event.
- Share Information
LinkedIn is a great place to show people that you know what the event industry is all about. Share insightful and informational content in the form of blogs.
It would also be a great idea to share positive reviews and articles about your event written by your attendees. This will help to generate more leads for your events in the future.
- Better Communication
Thanks to its messaging feature, you can use LinkedIn to directly interact with your clients. This will especially be beneficial for event venues that can book customers with their LinkedIn account.
Additionally, you can also find suitable candidates on the platform to add to your team. And since the service is free, you won’t bear any extra costs.
Twitter doesn’t have a huge user base. However, you will find more dedicated followers on the platform. With its text-based format, Twitter allows users to share short messages and engage in conversation with other users. Using this feature, you can also share positive reviews for your event with your followers like Elysium Technologies does on their account.
Due to its lower number of users, it is easier to have your event trending on Twitter than it is on other platforms. This will prove to be very helpful in driving traffic to your events and thereby increasing your event turnover.
This social media platform is heavily centered on visual content.
With Instagram, you can showcase photos and videos along with informative captions to engage your followers.
- Photo Sharing
Event teams can share exclusive behind-the-scenes photos with the event attendees to get them pumped for the real event.
Take Gallery Poulsen for example, who shared images of their preparation for event day. This simple yet effective post will help generate buzz for the event and will surely get people talking.
- IG Live
Instagram also lets its users broadcast live videos. This will be the perfect tool for updating your followers, who are not attending, on what is going on before and during the event.
- IG Stories
Instagram has an interesting feature that lets you share photos and short videos that only last online for 24 hours. This feature could be used for giving out discount codes for event tickets or informing the attendees of the latest news.
Why Is Social Media Management Important For The Events Industry?
While social media handling may sound easy, the reality is actually the opposite. Managing multiple social accounts while also successfully implementing the brand’s strategy is the kind of work only a professional team can do.
“It is time to start thinking about social media for engagement, building community, nurturing tribes within your attendees and members, customer service, sponsorships, and something that should be top of mind for us all, crisis communications. If you focus on those uses for social media, the marketing will naturally occur.”
Says Alex Plaxen, President of Little Bird Told Media.
THE BIGGER THE BUSINESS OR EVENT, THE BIGGER YOUR TEAM NEEDS TO BE TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE ALL YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.
Here are some reasons why we need social media management in the events industry:
- Driving Sales:
Each of the major social platforms has active users in the millions. So, properly managing your account on even one of these platforms opens doors for you to generate new leads. While you can sell your event tickets on your website. Talking about them on your social media will engage more people, who will in turn invite more people to your event. Thus, creating a ripple effect on your ticket sales.
2. Attracting Online Attendees:
If your brand is planning on having a virtual or hybrid event, then the importance of social media for your event can’t be overstated.
No matter the kind of event you are planning, be it a product launch or an educational masterclass, social media always plays a vital role. Your strong online presence will result in better engagement with your crowd. And you will intrigue more people to buy your tickets to attend the event online if they can’t attend in person.
3. Gain Credibility:
Herd behavior is as relevant in the online world as it is in the physical. That is why having good reviews posted on the internet for your event can convince people of your credibility. People are more likely to trust brands they can find positive reviews for as compared to others.
4. Making Connections:
Social platforms allow event-goers to interact and discuss among themselves before and after the event. This lets the event attendees’ network among themselves and have a more immersive experience. This adds value to your brand so that people feel more closely connected with your event and brand in general.
5. Better Sponsorships:
Getting positive feedback online doesn’t only get you more attendees for the next time.
It also gets you bigger and better sponsorships over time. Which aids the event management to plan even better events for the next time.
6. Using Latest Technology:
Social media such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are already using Augmented Reality features to give their users a fun experience. These can prove to be an engaging tool for events. AR games and filters can be used during online campaigns to create excitement for the main event.
“Don’t be afraid to try out new features to see which ones will work for your event like bitmoji characters, augmented reality features, and live streaming.”
Says Lindsey Ault-Authier, Director of Employer Branding at PVH Corp.
7. Live Streaming At Events:
Live streaming videos and uploading photos in real-time are the norms these days at events.
As Angela Skeen of Ingersoll Rand says, “Now, more than ever, the success of an event depends on fast, reliable, secure internet, so be sure there is adequate infrastructure at the event venue to support the use of social media and onsite event apps.”
Many events already use platforms like YouTube to broadcast their live stream. It is a great way of promoting your event and also catching more leads while entertaining the crowd.
How To Incorporate Social Media Management With Event Strategy
Below you can find ways of using social media platforms at all stages of your events.
Before The Event
- Set Your Targets
According to reports by Skift, Inc., 74% of event managers find social media to be the most effective method for event marketing.
Before you plan anything else, Set Your Goals and Targets for the Upcoming Event.
These can be quantitative, such as ‘the number of attendees at the event’. Or qualitative, like ‘how satisfied were the attendees after the event?’
These points will later help you to determine how successful your event was and which areas need improvement.
- Be Strategic With Your Online Platforms
“When it comes to social media marketing, you don’t have to post 3 times a day. It’s never about how often you post but the quality of your content,” advises Janet Benson Amarhavwie.
When developing your social media strategy, don’t start pushing content one after the other.
INSTEAD, PLAY TO EACH SOCIAL PLATFORM’S STRENGTHS.
Use exciting cover photos on Facebook, hashtags on Twitter, and make short and interesting videos featuring your guest speakers on Snapchat and TikTok.
Also, don’t forget to optimize your event website.
Around 91% of people use their phones to browse social media. This is an important point to keep in mind while designing your event website. Because if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- Don’t Forget Smaller Platforms
Smaller social media platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr may not be as popular. However, that means there is also less competition on these networks.
98% of Pinterest users say they actually try out new things they discover on Pinterest.
Meaning you will be able to target more audiences and have a more intimate connection with the followers. So, it is worthwhile to invest in lesser-known platforms.
- Get Influencers On-Board:
These days there is hardly any difference between social media influencers and celebrities. Influencers offer just as much reach and lead generation as an A-list celebrity.
- Generate Video Content:
60% of all businesses use video-based content for marketing.
Videos are a powerful tool for capturing your followers’ attention. With interesting content, be it fun or thought-provoking, you can use video marketing to further your cause.
“Content-based marketing gets repeated in social media and increases word-of-mouth mentions; it’s the best way to gather buzz about a product (service or event).”
Marsha Collier, author of “Social Media”
At The Venue
- Live Stream Updates From The Event:
Give live updates from the venue to keep your followers updated about everything. Share live videos and photos directly from the event with your event hashtag. This will help your event gain traction online.
Also, encourage your attendees at the venue to share their event experience live with people watching from home. The more views your event gets, the better.
- Provide Photo-Friendly Atmosphere:
Make sure that your venue has enough lighting and décor for attendees to take some amazing photos. Consider adding a dedicated photo booth to your event. Also, hiring a professional photographer will provide you high-quality pictures to post on your social platforms.
Because even when the event is over, these photos and videos will circulate online. Thereby increasing your sales for your future endeavors.
- Involve Your At-Home Audience:
This is a wonderful opportunity to cash in on the audience’s fear of missing out on the event. Update your event social media accounts regularly and interact with people in the comments in real-time.
Followers online will be enticed to buy the ticket to your next event after they see how amazing your events are.
After The Event
Just because your event has ended, doesn’t mean it is time to pack your bags. The real work has just begun. There is still a lot that social media has to offer to your business for what is to come next.
- Exceptional Customer Service:
Following an event, the event team has to stay on track and interact with followers on every platform.
Whether you have small or large-scale events, it is hard to satisfy everyone. So while you will have positive reviews, you will also get some nasty ones.
Good customer service is all about dealing well with your customers. It is about showing them that you really care. Hence, the way you interact with your followers will highly impact the way people will respond to your brand going forward.
- Reflect On The Statistics
All those statistics gathered during the event will now be analyzed to get usable information. Determine how well your social media strategy worked and which areas suffered. Find out which of your posts gathered the most likes and comments as that is the kind of content your audiences prefer.
All these insights will prove to be fruitful for planning future events. And also in avoiding any mistakes made in the previous ones.
- Accumulate Event Attendee Data
Using all your interaction with your event attendees, collect their data for targeted marketing. You can find out about your audience’s preferences, which social media they use the most, and what kind of posts they engage with. So, you can send them targeted content that will surely convert. Just make sure your data collection doesn’t violate any privacy protection laws as that can land you in hot waters.
- Conduct Surveys
Asking for feedback is a great way to find out what your attendees think and feel. It’s not just the numbers that are important. Qualitative information like this will help you find out your event Return On Emotions, which Is Just as Important a Measure as ROI or Revenue.
- Plan Ahead
It is never too early to start planning for your next steps. Especially right after attending an event, the attendees’ emotions are still high. The good memories are still fresh in their minds. That makes it an excellent time to sign up your followers for upcoming events and commitments. Through your social media, let people know that you will soon be back with another inspiring event. So, they better buy the tickets before they run out.
The use of social media is on the rise and won’t be stopping any time soon. Therefore, you must accommodate for it.
Whether you accept it or not, social media has now become an integral part of the event industry. It has proven time and again to be an effective tool for driving engagement, sales, and therefore the revenue, and ROI of events. And it will continue to do so in the future.
Event attendees and followers want to feel more included and social media gives them just that. There are regular updates, latest news, and developments with photos and videos available at just a few taps on the phone screen.
Social media is fast-paced and it waits for no one. New advancements are happening every day as businesses are trying to take as much benefit of this resource as they can.
So to stay relevant, you too, need a dedicated social media management team. That will strategize your every move on social media to ensure the best possible results in both the short and long terms.
Do you want to know how we can help your marketing and social media efforts? Book a demo today.