Fail! When social media at events falls flat

Social-media-at-events-1 More and more, corporates are recognising the need to engage in online conversations around their brands. This is why using social media at events, to involve guests before, during and after your function, is a definite ‘must’. Unfortunately, as with most positives, there is always a chance for something to go awry, which is why we have put together a list of things to avoid when using social media at your events to prevent the whole thing from backfiring on you.

Here are our top six ‘fails’ to avoid when using social media at events 

1. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

A definite ‘fail’ for your social media marketing strategy would be not to plan for it. Most events come with an itinerary, and a core focus or theme, around which you can plan the basics of your social media output. Pre-planning tweets and posts for the event will free you up to respond as spontaneous conversations happen online. You want to be sure to be leading or steering a fair amount of the conversation, though, instead of merely being r reactionary to guests’ tweets and posts. 

2. Don’t forget to develop a social media policy for your event and corporate brand

Everyone on your marketing team needs to know the corporate brand values that you want to be communicate via your event’s social media channels. It’s advisable that you develop a clear social media policy to guide the style and content of the social copy that your team is allowed to post on the company’s behalf. Importantly, policy and protocol for dealing with any negative conversation or feedback around your event need to also be in place. 

3. A live feed without the necessary content curation could potentially be a huge fail

Social media at events can sometimes be live-streamed to encourage attendees to take part in the online conversation. If you do this, be sure to allocate the role of content curator to one or more individuals on your marketing team, who can then keep an eye on the content being streamed to delete potentially inappropriate or damaging posts. They can also proof the rest of the social media managers’ social copy to keep an eye out for potentially embarrassing typos.

4. A big fail would be to use the inappropriate event hashtag

You can be sure that most hashtag combinations have been used before. Be careful to avoid developing and advertising a catchy hashtag for your event that is already associated with another event. You don’t necessarily want to add to the online conversation around a popular soccer event, for example, when your event is promoting optimal healthcare. The best way to find out if a hashtag has been used before is to do a search for it on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

5. Don’t be lazy – get your names straight  

Have you ever been to an event where someone mispronounces an important guest’s name, despite this person’s name having been mentioned quite a few times already? The same can happen with social media at events – misspelt surnames or names can crop up in social posts, which will just make you look bad. If you are in charge of a team of social media managers, be sure that they have a copy of the event’s itinerary, as well as any associated marketing material containing important names, dates and times for your events, so that they have less chance of getting this wrong.  

Download our Guide to Turning your Events into Marketing Gold to find out what to avoid when marketing your event, how to use your event as a marketing touch point, and how our RSVP software for events can help you to do this.