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The Skinny: Events + Social.

by Gloria Janek | 02.10.2014
There were heaps of great talks during last week’s Social Media Week but one that really resonated with me was a talk about ‘marrying social with events’ which was hosted by Eventbrite UK.

The powerful impact of a live event one physically attends, in combination with the far reaching tentacles of social media is a glorious union indeed. The trick is fully utilising social for the greatest impact in order to boost your brand and build long lasting relationships with fans.

The plan of attack can be broken down into three stages: Before, during and after the event.

Before: First and foremost, let’s talk about social platforms. Social shares result in ticket sales, making Twitter the most powerful platform by far. Taking from Eventbrite’s research, every social share on Twitter generated £6.13 to an event on average, followed by Facebook which generated £3 and LinkedIn with 34p. Titillate the masses with photos from last year’s event, lead them on with teasers of what’s to come, and most importantly have meaningful dialog.

During: The noise has been made and the tickets have been sold. The event has arrived and the need to be ‘on it’ socially is critical. Overall it’s important to remember that your audience has an audience; the making of shareable creative content is key. Giving the chance to your fans to transform the event into an experience is what’s going to make them eager to reach for their phones. Presenting a photo opportunity or an interactive experience is a good example of this and will allow the measuring of ROI off the back of it. The choosing of one hashtag and promoting it will avoid confusion. Big event? ‘Silo’ the content themes and create dedicated hashtags for each theme. Be sure to mention where all the content can be found so fans can go back to it after the event and interact with it.

Social monitoring should take priority during the event. Listening and reacting in real time shows the human side of it all. The beauty of social is having the fans participate and collaboratively build the brand up rather than them sitting on the sidelines, watching it pass by.

After: Though the event has finished, it doesn’t mean the fun is over. There’s a small window of opportunity to go out with content that resonates with people who didn’t go. Present the content in a way where they think “Oh fiddle sticks, I wish I had gone to that event.” Recreate the event through content for those who had gone. It’s important to tailor content to keep the momentum going. As you’ve got enough content to get you through ‘the winter’, drip feeding it rather than bombarding the audience keeps them coming back for more. Behind the scenes, analyze data to see what worked and what didn’t work. Measure the effects of used technology and react accordingly for the next event.

In a nutshell, know your audience before the event and cater to them. Measure, learn and repeat.