You have a large event taking place in the coming weeks and you have been tasked with getting it trending on social media… How do you go about making sure that the right people are following it and that they engage in conversations about it, in the build up to the event, and on the day?
There is no doubt that you will have dozens of other things happening to do with the event… and well, not to do with the event, because we know the rest of the world doesn’t stop turning just because you aren’t in the office that day.
Firstly, if you are going to take this seriously, then you need to make sure either you, or someone else, is the designated social media manager on the day. In the run up to the event, sure, everyone can chip in, but on the day… you will need one person looking after social media, and that will have to be their only role.
- They need to make sure that they know the days running order perfectly so that they can post the appropriate content at the right time. Even better, have it all prescheduled through a social media tool well in advance, so that they can spend their time actually replying to people and driving those all-important conversations.
- Have a decent amount of content ready to go… you know what the likely questions are going to be, so have responses ready so you can just paste them in.
- It sounds obvious but make sure that all the platforms are ready to go, far too often people just focus on one platform and miss out on a huge amount of potential interest.
Contests. These are always a great way to stir up interest in your event. The more exciting and unique the prize, the more interest you are likely to generate. These contests can take several different forms and there is no limit on the number you can have running concurrently as long as you have the prizes to dish out… (competitions are an art form all of their own, and we will be putting together a list of dos and don’ts for this very soon.)
- The most basic is just a tweet containing the hashtag that you have assigned to the event, but why not make it more interesting than that add a leaderboard, the more tweets with the hashtag that a user makes, the higher they climb… keep track of it openly and get some competition flowing.
- Take a photo with a certain person (warn that person!) to enter.
- Caption contests can be good fun… but know your audience here, this can go horribly wrong, as Shell learned with their “Arctic Ready” campaign.
- Fastest fingers… quiz your followers about the event and the first one to respond wins. Simple.
Make sure your content is interesting, and is delivered with a punch. Posts with images get a lot more views, favourites and a hell of a lot more retweets. Get someone posting photos of the speakers, the networking and some of the parties going on. The more images and exciting content that you can get out there, the more likely people are to post their own experiences as well. Get some videos loaded onto your channels as well. Maybe have someone on your team wandering around the event taking photos of attendees and then sending them directly to them on twitter or Instagram… this is also a great way to capture leads!
Choose those Hashtags carefully.
- Make sure you check every possible way that the # can be read, otherwise you could end up with some embarrassing tweets being added to your event.
- Keep the # short and simple, people need those extra characters for their tweets.
- Educate the audience; make sure that everyone knows the # before they arrive, at the very least as they enter the event. Why not encourage people to start using the # before the event itself, let them know that they can start using it for networking before the event. You can also run a pre-event competition to get the # out there early on.
- Showing social media up on screens around the event will encourage people to use the # in hopes of seeing their message up on the screen.
Got a sponsor? Get them using the hashtag as well. Get them running competitions where entrants need to use your hashtag to enter; it is win win for you and the sponsor as both of your coverage will increase across social media.
Got a big guest? Same rules apply.