How to maximise your social media at live events

In this post you’ll learn:

  •    How to use social media to its full advantage for live events
  •    The key social media channels to target before, during and after a live event

Social media is a key tool for ensuring that your brand makes the most from face-to-face marketing, which is still the leading platform for delivering high value sales leads.

Over 170 million tweets are sent out every day. The fundamental attitudes towards social media are changing and becoming more and more positive, hence social media is now one of the most important marketing tools for event marketing.

Whether you are attending a one-day conference or a week-long exhibition, as a brand it is important to fully utilise the power of social media marketing, in order to amplify your product and stay ahead of the competition.

This article looks at how you can make the most of social media at live events. This will increase the impact for your brand and/or organisation – leading up to, during, and after a live event.

Before a live event

There are various ways that you can use social media to create a growing buzz about the event and your involvement in the weeks that lead up to it.

It’s important to ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ the event on Twitter and Facebook. It can be worthwhile to do the same for other brands attending the event. Stay active on these sites.  Cross-promote the announcements, website links, photos and videos made by the event and/or other brands by retweeting and sharing. You can even create your own Facebook event, posting details of where you will be at the event, what you will be doing and what visitors can look forward to – and invite people to attend.

Use the event #hashtag. The more you engage with it, the more likely it is that your tweets will get retweeted. Make sure that you also monitor the hashtag – check out what other brands are saying about the event, and reach out to people you deem to be potential customers after reading their profiles.

Write a blog post about the event on your website or separate blogging site, and share it via social channels – again using the event hashtag.

Finally, it will be interesting to set up methods of measuring your social media activity and success. Don’t be afraid to repeat updates to make sure your messages aren’t missed. (The automatic scheduling tool Hootsuite is really useful for this.)

During a live event

Once you are at the event, you can still involve social media. Consumers agree that this makes things more engaging.

Think about how you will access your social channels at the event. Will you have a laptop and WiFi, or will your staff use their smartphones? Plan ahead to ensure you don’t waste an opportunity.

Once set up online, you can create a Facebook Place for the event and encourage people to ‘check in’ once they are at your stand.

Think mobile. It is important to make the live experience mobile-compatible and easy to snap, post or share.

Create content throughout the event by taking and uploading interesting photos, interviews with stand visitors and updates about the event. All these can be shared on different social media platforms.

To record who you met at the event and to join the dots between the social media contacts, consider hiring a barcode scanner from a visitor management service.

After a live event

Social media is a great place to keep the buzz going after a live event. This will ensure you and your brand are not forgotten.

Live experiences create new fans online. Keep talking to them and share a variety of content. Ensure you ‘Like’, ‘Follow’ and make friends with all the new contacts you made at the event. More importantly, connect with them. Upload more photos to Facebook, and more video clips to YouTube. Put together a follow-up blog post with the best bits of content from the day, and share it; and continue to monitor the event hashtag.

Finally, pull together a report of successful social activity. This will help guide you in your next event; you can assess your strengths and weaknesses, and maintain or improve on them next time.

What are your best tips for using social media at live events?