The Importance Of Social Media At Events
The events industry has seen a major shift in recent years as more and more organisers turn to social media in order to plan and execute effective events. An essential tool when it comes to ensuring that your event is an incredible success, social media is now an integral part of any productive event marketing strategy, and the value of using social media extends far beyond just promoting your event. When utilised to its full potential, social media can be harnessed to attract potential attendees, build relationships with customers, stimulate engagement, and extend interaction well beyond the duration of the event, making it an important aspect before, during, and after the occasion.
The importance of social media at events falls into three main practices, and by following these methods, you can expect a marked improvement in engagement and attendance.
Social media is the most effective way to engage with potential event attendees, gain media exposure for the occasion, and generate an early buzz around the proceedings. Here are some ideas on how to use social media to promote your event:
- Create an event hashtag. One way to successfully promote your event is to create a hashtag – something short and simple – that can be used on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, which is a great way to grow visibility for your event and encourage attendees to interact with one another. If you are attending a trade show or exhibition yourself, it is likely that there will be a hashtag in use to promote the event, and using this is ideal for notifying other attendees that you will be exhibiting there, increasing footfall to your stand, showing that you are an active participant, and enabling you to network with fellow attendants before you go.
- Offer sneak peaks. Another way to promote your event via social media is through teaser videos and images, which are an exciting and highly shareable method through which to build up anticipation for your event. One of the most popular mediums, videos will increase the popularity of your event hashtag and generate interest in the event itself as they can be shared on any platform. Longer videos can be uploaded to YouTube or directly onto Facebook, whilst Vine, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to upload shorter clips for maximum impact.
- Engage with influencers. Increase media coverage of your event and reach out to a wider audience by getting influential bloggers and media figures involved. Interact with key influencers in the industry via Twitter and LinkedIn, and get them interested in your event enough to help generate a buzz, whether by writing about it on their blog or using your hashtag to tweet it to their followers. Invite them to attend your event to cover it from their various social media accounts, providing them with plenty of relevant information beforehand and making sure they have full access and priority seating.
- Start a countdown. Keep your event in the public eye with a countdown, alerting people to the upcoming occasion and building up the pre-event excitement. Begin by counting down every few days, until it draws much nearer to the event, when you can then do a countdown for each day. Make the countdown graphics or video clips visually appealing to encourage people to share them and get involved themselves.
Social media is a powerful tool for improving the live experience at your event too, and should not be underestimated when it comes to engaging attendees, keeping your event relevant, and helping you provide essential services:
- Live stream the event. By streaming your event live, you can reach a potential audience of millions, with the video footage giving people who aren’t attending a way to experience what’s happening, opening up the opportunity to connect with people without them being present. Apps like Periscope and Hang make live streaming an easy and effective possibility.
- Get snap happy. By taking plenty of photos of your event and uploading them to platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook throughout the day, you will manage to keep your company and event in the social stream of consciousness, and peak interest in your event as it happens.
- Keep up the event hashtag. Don’t simply use your event specific hashtag as a tool to promote – it is also a great way to have those not attending follow along with the action. Live posts using your hashtag will amplify the reach of your event far beyond those that are present, with both attendees and non-attendees able to monitor what’s going on via Twitter and other platforms. These posts also serve as a great way to get potential content creators motivated and excited, with tweets containing hashtags receiving twice as much engagement as those that don’t.
- Run a contest. A social media contest or giveaway will instantly drive more traffic and increase engagement, and is a great tie-in with any hashtags you’re promoting. Award prizes for the most engaged attendees, e.g. Tweet Of The Day or Photo Of The Day, keep it simple, and offer a prize that matches your event-goers’ interests, such as free entry or registration to your next event.
- Provide customer support. Social media is also highly valuable when it comes to providing instant support for your customers, and will enhance the live event experience by allowing you to quickly respond to enquiries from attendees, such as how to reach the venue, or timings throughout the day, etc.
Social media also allows you to maintain the hype surrounding your event long after it is over, helping you to build excitement for the next occasion, and strengthen bonds within your event community:
- Spread the content. Be sure to distribute the content generated from your event as widely as possible once it is over, in order to increase your reach, and garner interest for your next event. Highlight videos are a highly effective form of content with which to do so. Reward good content created by attendees or followers with shares and mentions in order to encourage more potential content creators to get involved.
- Write blog posts. It’s a great idea to write about the event experience once it has happened, giving you a chance to thank participants and recap your reasons for holding the event. Blog posts will keep the buzz going, and make your event discoverable to new audiences, spreading awareness for the next one. Sites such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, and even LinkedIn’s publishing platform Pulse are all popular choices for event professionals.
- Get feedback. By monitoring social media, you’ll be able to gain an insight into what worked and what didn’t, enabling you to make improvements in the future based on candid suggestions and critiques. You can also use social media to encourage attendees to voice their opinions by conducting a quick post-event survey through tools such Survey Monkey or TypeForm.
- Maintain an engaged community. Social media is ideal for keeping your online community engaged all year round, which is particularly useful for annual events. By following these suggestions and keeping your content relevant and interesting, your overall event experience is sure to improve year after year.
Bring Social Media To Your Event
One of the most effective ways to encourage attendees to participate in the online conversation you’ve initiated is to integrate social media into your event. Here at Scarlett Entertainment we have a fantastic range of interactive entertainment options that will bring your social platforms to the forefront of your event, help spread brand awareness, and engage participants from the get go.
Brilliant event promotion, our Twitter Wall displays tweets and Instagram posts that contain a specific hashtag, as defined by you, creating an exciting visual spectacle whilst publicising your event hashtag and prompting people to get involved themselves. Populated with user driven content, the wall can be tailored to your event and branding, with a choice of 12 different templates to choose from, displaying interactions in the exact format you require.
Motivational Mirror Photo Booth
A one of a kind concept, this wonderful mirror combines a mobile photo booth with motivational quotes for truly unique interactive entertainment. With a touch screen surface, the mirrored screen allows guests to interact with animations and write messages over their reflections in order to activate the camera, with photos printed instantly for attendees to enjoy. The images can also be shared digitally via a social media hub, providing both real-time content and highly shareable material for you to use after the event.
Giant iTab Presentation Screen
Bringing together smart phone, tablet, and multi-channel marketing in one seamless digital integration, our Giant iTab is the perfect way to attract, inform, and engage your attendees. An innovative piece of smart technology, the iTab is easy to use with a familiar format, and is available in a range of sizes to suit your occasion. Ideal for digital showcasing and acting as a social media centre, this gigantic tablet screen is the ultimate event solution.
A unique photo service, our fantastic Insta-Selfie Printers use the latest technology to enable event-goers to instantly print photos taken on their mobile phones onto branded magnetic paper, providing them with a keepsake and you with effortless content. Uploading their images to Instagram complete with your specific event hashtag, the smart technology will pick up guests’ photos straight away, allowing them to print their magnets instantaneously with the easy to use touch screen interface.
Digital Hashtag Projection Wall
Using cutting-edge technology, this Digital Hashtag Wall will increase brand awareness and help get your event trending as guests share their experiences of the occasion, with the projection wall instantly displaying photos tagged with the event specific hashtag and growing your event’s presence on various social media platforms in a fun, interactive, and fully customisable way.