Social media has moved from being a platform where you connect with friends and family to becoming an unparalleled power with the capacity to make and break businesses and events. Harnessing the power of social media is about knowing how to use connections, reaching out to as many people as possible, and doing it at the right time. In event management too, the wide reach of social media can be used to your advantage. Here are some pointers that you must keep in mind before, during, and after your event to get the most out of social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, or LinkedIn, they all serve the same purpose as long as you know how to work them.
Before the D-day
Promoting your event on social media encourages pre-event anticipation build-up. People can register for your event, see previews and even go through the itinerary to get an idea of what is on offer. Post teasers create hashtags, record sneak peeks, and arrange to distribute giveaways in exchange for post sharing. Other ways of using social media to drum up excitement include starting countdown stories on Instagram or making event pages on Facebook to stay on timelines before your event kicks off. You could get more creative and design augmented reality filters matching your event theme and let participants spread the message as they have fun with the filter.
During the event
At this stage, shift the focus of your social media presence from promotion to interaction. Use the power of ‘live’ as a reminder, to show people what they are missing out on and even to draw people to your event. Stream live interviews of participants and guests, have a team posting live tweets from the venue, use live videos to highlight vendors and sponsors, or post live photos with attractive captions to turn the focus on a particular part of the itinerary. You could also hold a live poll, not just to increase involvement but also to help you make decisions during the course of the event. Advertise the incentives and giveaways that you are distributing, and encourage recipients to do the same.
After the event
Just because the event is over does not mean that you’re done. This is the time to gauge whether your event had the desired effect on participants. An effective way to do this is to measure the social media impact of your event. You will also need to follow up with participants, send emails and reminders for leads that have been collected at the event, ask for feedback and highlight the important parts of your event. Use your social media profile to repost attendee pictures and videos and tag them for increased involvement. Social media can also be used for people who missed the event – include them by sending a summary of the event so that they are inspired to attend next time. Wrap up the event with online thank you notes or emails addressed to attendees, participants, and vendors.