So you want to throw a conference huh? Awesome! Conferences are great opportunities to learn and network, plus sometimes there’s free stuff! As far as marketing that conference and reaching your audience of attendees and potential attendees, conference social media can be a great place to start. Let’s dive in.
Lead Up – Which Social Platform is Best?
As you plan your conference social media you do not need to be everywhere. So start with the easy question, where does your audience live on social media? Is your conference targeting an older crowd (40+)? Facebook. Is your conference for a younger crowd (18-35)? Instagram. Many conferences, however, cross generational boundaries and are focused on industry niches and seniority levels. For those events, LinkedIn is where you want to be. LinkedIn is all about business, and what better way to improve your business than by attending a conference to learn and grow?
It isn’t just about where your audience is, but where they are when they are thinking about your event. Users log in to Facebook and expect to see family updates and expect travel pictures when they log in to Instagram, LinkedIn users expect to see content for professionals. That makes LinkedIn the best place to promote business events and reel in new attendees.
That isn’t to say other platforms don’t have their place. If you have a tech-savvy community, Twitter is the best place to communicate with attendees in advance of and in real time during the event. Facebook is a great place to talk to people registered for the event about what they can expect while they are there and to connect with alumni for a look back at past events.
During the Conference
Twitter is the best conference social media tool for live interaction during your event. This is what Twitter was made for. Make announcements, answer questions, and share what’s happening at the conference from the conference Twitter page. Individual slides or quotes from speakers can be scheduled in advance to occur at just the right time during the event. Keep everything organized with your own conference hashtag. And be sure to monitor tweets from attendees. Like, retweet, and reply from the conference account to keep the conversation going and gain even wider exposure for the event.
A lively Twitter conversation will go beyond just the attendees, engaging their friends and followers, helping you build a larger potential audience for your event next time.
During the conference, Facebook and Instagram are great for individual photos and end of the day recaps and photo slideshows. Attendees will enjoy reliving the highlights of the day and can share with their friends and family.
When It’s Over
Once the conference is over, recap everything that happened and reach out to attendees for photos and thoughts. Facebook is going to be the primary driver of reliving the experience. Don’t forget to write a conference summary post for your website. Collect photos and videos that you can share and share again.
Then when a few months have passed and it’s time to start promoting next year’s conference, just repeat the steps above, linking to the content from the previous year.
If you think I missed anything, or want to add something you’ve found helpful when doing social media for a conference feel free to reach out to me on Twitter at @PageJones31. If you liked my insights, you can read more social media tips here.
Beyond Conference Social Media
Often a conference includes a trade show. If you are planning an event or attending one, use our trade show guide to get organized.