The era of broadcast tweeting is over. With smart and engaging use of social media, you can create great audience interaction and increase uptake of your live events. Here’s how.
1. Set up event-specific digital and social channels
Make branded, specific event pages on the web and most audience-relevant social platforms. For example, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
2. Don’t make a hash of your #hashtag
Choose a #hashtag that sums up your event concisely. But before you start publicising it, search for it in both Google and Twitter to make sure it hasn’t already been used for an event or will pull up a Twitter username. Consider adding the year to personalise something common.
3. Make booking easy and social
There are plenty of great tools that let you share and track online registrations. Try Facebook events, Eventbrite or EventElephant. Encourage and reward social sharing by thanking and commenting upon social reposting of your materials.
4. Enable and empower your promoters
Give your partners, sponsors and speakers packages of rich, digital content so they can easily shout about the event on their own social channels and networks. This type of content could include:
–web links to their profile with social sharing button
Send as one package, then drip feed them more content during the build-up.DM them time-pertinent messages to retweet.
Make it easy for them to share.
5. Build a Twitter speaker list and share it
If you’ve got speakers at your event, compile them into a list on Twitter. Let everyone on the list know it’s there and share it socially. You can follow the list using a Twitter client such as Hootsuite to see how it’s performing too.
6. Set up your engagement tools
Set up Twitter listening tools, for #hashtag mentions, Twitter account event name mentions, event name mentions, subject matter mentions, partner promotions, sponsor mentions, speaker mentions. Track them so you can thank, engage and amplify. Some good free or low cost tools include Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and SocialBro.
7. Consider building a buzz aggregator
With a little fiddling in WordPress and other blogging platforms, you can bring all the social media platform widgets into one elegant page showing all the social chatter, blogs and tweets before the event to stimulate interest and build excitement. Here’s one for last year’s UK Government’s unconference for example, UKGovCamp2012
8. Use and customise tracking URLs
You’ll want to track which channel, as well as which key influencers are most successful, for your marketing, right? Sign up for an account with a url shortening service like bit.ly, tiny url, or Google’s own. By doing this, you can customise your URLs and send different ones to partners, sponsors and speakers.
Use a separate tracked url for your press releases, Facebook and Twitter, too. You’ll be able to see which sources gave you the most traffic and be able to tailor your marketing better in the future. Remember: you can set different tracked urls that all come back to the same page, so be creative.
What are your killer event PR tools? Share your recommendations below…
Tiffany St James is a social media strategist, trainer and speaker who advises government and industry through her agency, Stimulation