Events are a great way to get your company exposure in the real world. With the way technology has changed over recent years, event presence can be amplified through social media networks for an extra boost in attendance and engagement. Running a handful of social networks on the floor of an event, while dealing with customers and event logistics can be a very hectic task though - as I recently learned this past weekend while running a large car show in the Pacific Northwest. Here are 5 tips to help streamline your social media presence at an event.
1. The more help, the better.
While it sounds easy running the social media for an event, it's really not a one-man job - especially if you've got other things to do throughout the day (managing staff, merchandising, helping customers, etc.). If your event has attracted a few thousand people, you'll want some help to be able to get coverage on the floor from different areas of the venue. Giving access to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to a few volunteers or staff goes a long way, since they'll be able to post photos and key happenings from where you might not be able to.
2. If this, then that.
The last thing you'll want to do at an event is jump on your Facebook, post a photo from the current keynote, and then post it on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social networks one at a time - and by the time you've done that, you may have missed another important message or photo opportunity from the keynote. IFTT (If This, Then That) is an extremely helpful tool for relieving a lot of this stress, by automating social media posts across other social networks. It works by creating "Recipes", where you can connect different social networks via API's and tell them do certain things via triggers (one basic example is "If I post a photo to Tumblr, post it to Twitter with the hashtags"). Yes, there are several other plugins and API's that provide post automation, but IFTT supports dozens of social networks at once, with features like being able to copy over hashtags.
Every event you promote via social media should be associated with a hashtag, but make sure it's unique enough to not conflict with an already existing one. Incorporating an event hashtag allows an easier way for you and fans to engage with others, and best of all boosts visibility of the event. Including the hashtag as an overlay in photos or posts prior to your event, can help raise awareness so that it gets used often.
4. The 3 essential networks.
The amount of social networks these days can be overwhelming. Based on what's currently trending in 2013, it's important to focus on at least 3 of the most popular social networks when specifically promoting an event: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The reason for this is that each of these social networks allow hashtags, tagging, and photos - which are key elements to making an event go viral by way of engagement and word of mouth.
5. Say cheese!
Posting key quotes from an event keynote is important, but can also be boring and redundant. Make your social media posts fun by including a quick photo with the quote. Photos should take up the majority of your Facebook timeline and Twitter feed during an event - they provide more engagement, and may entice some of your Facebook or Twitter fans to attend if they're sitting at home with nothing to do.