Planning for social media is as important as any other element of planning your upcoming conference. There are many things that social media can do to help enhance and improve your event. If you are not prepared, you may be overwhelmed once your conference begins.
No matter what social media you are using (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn), there should be one unified hashtag. Make the hashtag very simple and memorable. Once your conference is live, this hashtag will make it very easy to find and share your attendees’ posts. The hashtag for one of our client’s upcoming conference is #NMEBC2017. This is a yearly conference for them and you can see that their hashtag is very simple and easy to remember.
— NMEBConference (@NMEBConference) January 19, 2017
Now that you have this hashtag, USE IT EVERYWHERE! Make your audience remember it and encourage them to share. Leading up to the event, every post that is about the conference should include this hashtag. Then, when it comes time for the conference, continue to put that hashtag everywhere! Brochures, signs, swag, emails, website, app, it doesn’t matter what it is, that hashtag should be on it. Make it not only memorable but embed it in their brain. You will be surprised how many people will post content using that hashtag when they are given the incentive. Even the most non-social people tend to post because they want to show off what they are doing and engage with the rest of the community. Consider even running a contest using this hashtag to create more engagement.
Promoting Your Event
Along with using your hashtag and advertising your conference, there are other fun ways to promote it. Make sure that you know who your speakers are well ahead of time, so you can promote their presentations and get people excited about the speakers. If this isn’t your first conference, then you most likely have great photos and videos from previous years. Use that content to create slideshows or videos to build more interest. What are people getting out of this conference? Why should they attend? This becomes easier to justify with content from past conferences.
This can be one of the most important elements of your upcoming conference and may not be as easy as creating posts on the spot. Give your audience a reason to engage with you on social media and give them something they may not get out of just attending the conference. There are many fun and creative ways to do this but It is good to be prepared and plan ahead of time.
Maybe your speaker just proposed a great question or you want your attendees’ opinion on a subject. You can use this interactive tool to create questions and polls to ask attendees which speaker, booth or speech they liked most. This sleek option can be used to plan ahead or do in real time.
We’re at #CES2016 & letting you choose what we cover. Vote now and watch our Periscope tomorrow!
— Amazon (@amazon) January 7, 2016
Share Speaker Content
Who is speaking next? Show off their profile and let your audience learn more about them before attending. Show off the speakers’ key notes and quotes with creative posts that include their Twitter handle. This is not only engaging content but also encourages the speaker to share and help the post spread. You can easily create these fun images with tools like Pablo or Canva that make this content easy to make in real time.
— #DMWF (@DigiMarketingWF) June 20, 2016
Behind the Scenes
Everyone always wants to see what’s going on behind the curtain. Do a Facebook Live Q&A with one of your speakers. Show off the new merchandise that everyone at the show will be receiving. Every conference doesn’t happen without a few mistakes. Show off stories about struggles and pulling together to face these challenges. This helps humanize the brand and gives the impression of being an insider with a glimpse behind the scenes.
Is your event still lacking the numbers? There are many different ways you can use social media to gain more attendees. Just actively posting about your event and engaging with the community can be enough if you have the right amount of followers. But sometimes it may not be enough and you could use a nice little boost.
Promote your posts with advertisements
Looking for a certain demographic or just want to make your post more noticeable? This can be done by boosting your post or targeting it at the exact demographic you want. Doing this will easily get your post in front of thousands more people.
A lot of people may have gotten to that very last page to sign up and for whatever reason – money, price, date – may not have signed up. With retargeting, you can send ads to those exact people. This can be a very helpful strategy because very rarely do people buy the first time they hear of an event or see a registration.
Every conference will be different, so strategies will vary. Check out Content Marketing Your Event: The Before, During and After for another perspective. Planning ahead will be the key to success. Roundpeg is a marketing strategy company that can help plan an effective social media strategy for your next conference.