How to “Sell” Social Media to Your Client

When it comes to twitter walls and creating event apps, some clients just need a little more persuasion…and data.

By Michelle Bergstein-Fontanez

The hottest topic today is event technology. You know how effective and powerful it is, you want it at the event you are planning, but how do you successfully sell it to your client? And how do you sell it so the old school executive director of your event knows the difference between a tweet, an app, a ping, a push notification, a share, reach, data captures; you know, all that techno babble that as soon as you bring it up their faces get that glazed “deer in headlights” look?

Here are give ways to position your social media “sell” that makes all the tech talk simple to understand, and all the more attractive to the client!

1. Breakdown the Benefits

Attendee Behavior
Your event has an audience — use it to its maximum potential. The benefits of integrating event technology are absolutely amazing. Event technology allows you to track the activity and usage of what’s happening at your event.

Your Event App
An event app provides a great ease of use by being accessible through your attendees’ smart phone. Through its different features and functions, you can give live schedule alerts, interactive maps of your event, vendor listings and even social media channel integration.

Social Media
Social media affords you the ability to look inside what conversations people are having about your event. You can track conversations through your event hashtag; interact with users prior to the event, during the event, and after the event; and maximize engagement and interaction with your audience, helping build and reinforce their loyalty to your event.

2. Monetize New Technology Opportunities through Sponsorships

This point is one of the most important approaches in our series of steps.

Brand Recognition
Gone are the days of adding logos to a poster or T-shirt with the promise of exposure and brand recognition. Through event technology, we can prove brand visibility and recognition through the data we collect. Your event website can prove it through your analytics, highlighting impressions and click-throughs to selected sponsor logos, therefore proving that your own event site is driving impressions to your sponsors websites.

Data from Your App
Event apps can provide that data through the process of downloads and uploads of our event apps and different contest integrations. You can gain all that valuable data and information from your attendees. The key is to simplify the offerings to your sponsors and visually show them your new technology sponsorship offerings and benefits.

For example, for a local annual festival, we broke down the different opportunities within the event app, social media, and a potential Twitter wall:

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Easy to Present

The formula to do this is simple. While working with your technology vendors, ask for samples of the different advertising opportunities you can create and then re-create them to fit the needs of your event.

3. Socially Strategize

Do not begin your social media without a full-fledged strategy in mind. Treat your event like an all-star launch event or a celebrity that travels each month with different activities and events. Create an editorial calendar to match the event. Be sure to include relevant events in and around your community and worldwide and highlights of what’s to come at your event.

For example:

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4. Describe and Divulge on Big Data

As mentioned previously, another extremely important benefit is the data you gather from your event. Big data is all the activity, the impressions, the conversations, the tweets, the retweets, the opt-ins, the email addresses…all valuable information to pass on to your sponsors. They need to feel like they’re not just doing it for the community, but doing it for return on investment. This data can prove that their sponsorship dollars are being spent wisely.

5. Analyze your data

Finally, throughout your event (through pre-promotion, during the event and post-event) it is crucial to analyze the data and the activity around your event. You can ensure that you are giving your attendees what they want and how to improve the experience year after year. Social media can also play an important role in acting as a pure customer service line for identifying the victories and fails of your event.

Bottom line: The world is evolving and so are events. As event professionals, we have to deliver smarter solutions and prove our worth and value to our sponsors and event underwriters. We want our large sponsors to come back and contribute even more money the following year because we delivered smart data and intuitive insights. We want local sponsors, who may have contributed years prior but never got anything out of it, to contribute this year because they are getting a sponsorship opportunity that works. Sponsors want to drive sales through their door — let’s help them by sharing the new way to do this!

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