Here are five tips to get social media working for you before, during and after an industry event:
Many events create a unique hashtag to get the discussion going and facilitate event-related search and the collection of event-related comments. Using the event hashtag can enhance your social buzz by allowing your followers to track the conversation around the event and increase participation. Promote it not just on your social networks but also on your company’s website and in event press materials.
Time is of the essence
The earlier you promote your participation at the event, the more momentum you build and the greater your audience reach. It’s best to begin promoting participation in an event as soon as participation has been confirmed.
Social media is an ideal channel for initiating conversations. If you’re participating in an event, reach out to attendees, speakers and prospective conference-goers to help get them excited about the conference. Whether it’s a RT (retweet), a direct message or a post on LinkedIn, this will make you central to conversations and help stimulate social buzz.
If you’re speaking at the event, engage with other speakers via social media to promote your participation and theirs. When you tweet, make sure to mention other speakers (with the hope of a retweet). This can also work for event sponsorship/exhibiting.
Keep your followers updated
It’s essential that you maintain the momentum during the event by posting in real time. Activities, photos, sponsors, special guests, speakers, agenda info and anything else that is relevant for the conference can provide great content for your Twitter feed.
Most importantly: engage with — and follow up with — everyone you meet at the event. From the hashtag, you’ll be able to see what attendees liked best and least and what they hope to see next year. With a little luck and diligence on the social channels, it might just be you.
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Kourtney Evans is an assistant account associate at Bospar in San Francisco.