Social Media at Events: You Talkin’ to Me?

A picture tells a thousand words, but to whom?

When the picture is on Instagram or Twitter you know. Social media at events now allows the intended event branding and message to extend far beyond who is physically at the event. It also gives planners a way to measure social media, creating access to even more marketing information.

“When it comes to social media at an event, you want to make it easy to promote your brand; fun so that it creates energy; and smart in that you control the messaging and can measure its impact,” says Elizabeth Glau, CMP. Glau, a meeting expert and strategist for attendee engagement is also an account manager at SocialPoint, a turnkey social media engagement service for events.

Three Great Ways to Increase the Conversation Online

1. It’s called social media for a reason, so don’t be shy! It’s proven that most general sessions create a Twitter spike and yet most event planners don’t even include the hashtag on their decks or signage. Bring social media conversations out in the open at General Sessions with a robust moderation panel. This can also be great for Q&A and feedback. Glau points out that even texts and emails can be employed to facilitate this type of interaction.

Twitter Tower

2. Create incentives for being social by displaying social conversations, leaderboards and other creative visualizations of social content and contests. Social hubs are a great place for guests to get hands-on help from social media concierge. Announcements, sponsor logos, videos and other content can be added to the social display to make it interactive digital signage.

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3. Use social media as decor by branding and customizing the look of your social media displays, photo sharing stations and photo printing stations. According to Glau an 800-person event SocialPoint was recently involved in increased the event’s reach to more than two million people on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A word on creating special areas for social engagement — make sure the company you work with uses high-quality, professional, yet candid photographs instead of an area with props that may not support the branding and message of your event. And be sure that attendees are able to share their photos at their convenience instead of interrupting what they are doing at the moment their photograph is taken.

Finally, don’t think that just if you put a logo up, or have brand-colored flowers, people will share that. “Make it easy for  attendees to share the content you want them to share by making it look great then putting it front and center,” Glau says. For an example of an effective use of “Instagrammable” decor, check out this event by Cara Kleinhaut of Caravents.

Photos courtesy of SocialPoint

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