A guide to making the most out of social media at your events

Social media has infiltrated nearly every facet of our lives – and events are no exception. We’ve written about how smart corporate event planners are going digital here, and as events become increasingly reliant on technology, social media at events is becoming a prominent feature too. It’s an efficient and timely way to increase awareness prior to an event and facilitate brand recognition after the fact.

If you’re wondering how to start incorporating platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook into your events, we’ve compiled a guide outlining ways in which you can get the most out of social media at events.

Running a social media campaign prior to an event garners elevated awareness.

Innovative planners are taking to Twitter and Facebook to punt their functions in the days leading up to an event. In addition, sending your email invitations to the social media accounts of influential guests ups the chances of them sharing this information. The kind of event you’re holding will dictate whether or not this is suitable – open events like Expos are perfectly suited to social media platforms. Including the use of a dedicated hashtag is crucial here – this will enable guests to tag their posts or tweets. This provides you with valuable insight into attendance rates and levels of brand acknowledgement.

Using social media at events is pointless if your function isn’t something that guests want to talk about.

The very reason social media exists is to allow people to share their experiences. If an event doesn’t excite your guests, there’s little chance that they’ll talk about it – on social media or elsewhere. If you’re going to incorporate social media at your events, make sure that you’re blowing people away with an engaging, innovative, world-class event.

Make it easy for people to use social media at your events.

It’s all well and good creating an event that delights your guests, but if you aren’t encouraging them to share their experience on social media, the chances that they will are slim. If you are using a dedicated hashtag, make sure that your guests are aware of it. Include it on your save the dates, invitations and thank-you mails, and ensure that it’s prominently displayed at registration tables and other communal areas around your venue. Electronic photo booths that are uploaded onto your guests’ social media feeds are a great way to include social media at events too. Once your event has come to an end, encourage guests to upload pictures to their Instagram accounts using your event hashtag.

Ensure that you’re following the correct social media etiquette at your events.

Bear in mind that people share both their positive and negative experiences – which means that it’s more important than ever to make sure that every single element of your event leaves a favourable impression. Projected hashtag feeds can be a great way to facilitate social sharing, but must be approached with care. Don’t display feeds in real time – the risk of reposting an inappropriate or offensive tweet is too great. Instead, edit your social media feeds during breaks in the program and then project them. In the event that a disgruntled guest takes to social media after a function, ensure you that you have the resources to deal with this as soon as possible. If you don’t, the ramifications can be extremely damaging to both you and your client.

Image Credit: Social Media Examiner

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