Last Updated on October 7, 2021
The growth of social media is astonishing. Starting with Live Journal and MySpace, this trend began to pick up steam 15 years ago. In today’s world, social media is all the rage, with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, among others, leading the way.
Consider this excerpt from a SocialTimes article published in 2014:
“Since 2004, the growth of social media has been near exponential. Back in those days, Facebook — arguably the most mature of the top social networks — only had about 1 million users. By 2011 the network had grown so large, its population was being compared to that of a country. Today, Facebook has more than 1 billion registered users.”
What does this have to do with event planning and management? Everything!
Regardless of industry, type of event, or how many attendees you expect, there are steps you can take to promote social media use.
Note: even if you do nothing, it is likely that some attendees will take to social media to share their experience. However, you might as well do your part in pushing this forward.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- It all starts with the organizers. If you aren’t dedicated to social media how can you expect your attendees to go down this path?
From day one until your event comes to a close, you should focus on the use of social media. Use Twitter to market your event to potential attendees. Use Facebook ads to spread the word. Use LinkedIn to connect with speakers.
Choose one or two hashtags to represent the event. Be sure that they are easy to remember but also not commonly used, which would make it hard to track. Plaster this all over the place, from welcome packages to posters and much more. Encourage attendees to use it every time they post on their social media pages.
It’s hard to go overboard with social media, so there is no point in pulling back the reins.
- Share your social media profiles. SXSW, for example, is one of the most popular conferences of the year. You won’t have to look hard if you want to engage with this brand via social media.
Your numbers may not be this robust, but guess what? It doesn’t matter. As long as you share your profiles with attendees, they will find it easy to spread the word, thus boosting your online presence.
- Engage with the audience. Let’s face it: you and your team have a lot going on during an event. Even so, this shouldn’t stop you from engaging with your audience. Have you come across complaints from attendees on Twitter? Answer them promptly. Have you found that some people are being extremely complimentary? Be sure to thank them.
Social media is much more powerful when people are engaging with one another. It is your job to promote engagement whenever possible. It may even be useful to hire a full time person to monitor your accounts during the event.
Your Time Will Come
The next time you find yourself planning and managing an event, make sure you consider the power of social media. The three tips above can help you promote social media use during (as well as before and after) an event.
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