Published on February 14, 2023
Using the right social media tools for events can help your attendees feel included, informed, and most of all, valued.
To host an event, you need the heart of a dragon, the patience of a saint, the endurance of a prize-fighter, and probably more coffee than is normally acceptable. You need a location, seating, tables, presenters, snacks, a good swag bag, and a capable team. And above all, you need an audience. Can you imagine how different the energy of a Ted Talk would be if half of the seats were empty?
Oh, and you also need to engage that audience. You do want them to come back next year, right? And while printed material is an essential component of that, today’s audiences fully expect that your event will have a digital presence. Using social media tools for events both big and small isn’t just another thing on your to-do list, though. The right tools can enhance your event, increase audience engagement (and satisfaction), and they can make your job a whole lot easier.
What are those “right” tools, though? What will you and your audience actually use? The answer will vary, depending on the specifics of your event, but there are two qualities that the most useful social media tools for events all have. They are:
- User-friendly: Any tool has to be intuitive and bug-free.
- Free for users: As the host, you may pay for things like app development, event-wide internet access, or other costs, but you shouldn’t expect your attendees to pay an additional cost for access.
Engage your attendees with a real-time, fully customizable social media wall with Everwall.
5 Social media tools for events that you need right away
1. Your own app
Your event attendees have questions. What is the schedule? Where is the Apex room? How can I get in touch with that last presenter? If you have your own convention app, the answers are right there where anyone can find out all the critical information they need – even if they aren’t on wifi.
Several services, including guidebook make it easier than ever to build your own app with a simple drag and drop setup. All you have to do is fill in the content.
Wait! Yes, you have heard this before, but don’t ignore one of the most simple and powerful social media tools for events. Don’t believe it? Go to Instagram right now and search for #comicon. There are hundreds of thousands of posts. But #comicon is pretty general. What about a hashtag for the San Diego comic convention? In 2018? #SDCC2018 has over 180,000 posts, and one post from stunt performer Cassidy Kahler has more than 19,000 likes.
You may (or may not) have online celebrities at your event, but clearly, hashtags are still in vogue.
3. Digital signage
Speaking of hashtags, did you know you can use hashtags in conjunction with digital signage to improve your events? Conventions are busy, noisy, and often filled with excitement, which is great for the energy, but it can make last minute changes or information updates challenging. What to do? Employ digital signage to keep attendees in-the-know on all the vital information.
You can post upcoming events, room schedules, last minute changes, and other valuable information to Twitter with your event hashtag, then have that post immediately to the digital signage across your event. Can you imagine how much easier it would be to get the word to 350 people that the talk on the future of electric cars, for instance, is moved from room 14 to room 23 if that info could appear on large screens?
4. Plan ahead with Buffer
There are plenty of reasons to use social media in real time during your event, but you can also plan some your posts. Buffer allows you to set up your social posts in advance, and will then push them to publish on the day and time you indicate. For instance, once you have your schedule confirmed, you can start writing your Tweets and scheduling them on Buffer. If the lecture on environmentally friendly landscaping takes place at noon in room 15, you can schedule a Tweet for 11:50 that reads, “Professor X’s lecture on the importance of environmentally friendly landscaping begins in 10 minutes in room 15.” Best of all, you can set up these “static” posts days or even weeks ahead of time. (And if you have digital signage, everyone will be able to see this information, even if they aren’t perusing Twitter at that time.)
5. Design engaging posts
Crowd-sourced social is excellent, but you need to be social, too. Word Swag is a free graphic design app that lets you easily superimpose text over images. So you could, for instance, post a photo of a presenter with a quote from her talk included in the image. All you need is a phone with a camera, and about 30-seconds to make a post. Word Swag is compatible with email, Twitter, and Instagram among others.
The most important part of using any social media tools for events is to remember to be social. Respond to questions, “like” posts, tag presenters, sponsors, and vendors; thank attendees, and be sure to invite everyone back for your next event.
Display all the social posts from your event attendees in real-time! Everwall is built to handle large volumes of social posts, with filters that help ensure the content shared is appropriate and relevant. Start building your social wall today!
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