Of all the things a great event can offer, experience carries the most weight. Events give brands the opportunity to touch a community face-to-face and this creates room for a personal relationships to blossom.
We believe that content, community and collaboration makes for a truly great event. Engaging content compels communities to attend and at the event, attendees collaborate with one another. Events are, at the core, a gathering where people form shared experiences, and create shared memories. The advent of new tech and social media has definitely taken event marketing up a notch. It’s infinitely easier to create buzz amongst a community, build interaction and even strengthen brand networks.
Here’s how to utilize social media for your event marketing:
Pre-event: Creating an event within the event
When it comes to events, it’s important to not look at social media as a separate channel. Instead, integrate social media into your event marketing strategy. Use social media as a way to create buzz around the event. An event Facebook page, and a single hashtag that the community can use to converse can work towards a brand’s advantage.
Information about why exactly people should choose to spend time with a brand personally is critical at this point. Malaysians are big on social media but it’s a different story altogether when it boils down to the action of going or being somewhere. Leverage on the conversations built around the event and compel people to act. Build the ‘social’ event before the event. This would be a great opportunity to sell the benefits of the event.
Keeping up during the event
Tweet about happenings throughout the event, and make it go ‘live’ online. And because social media works in real time, make sure that someone is monitoring these channels.
A way to keep a heads-up on social media during an event is to create a command centre for live bloggers, Twitterers, Facebookers and etc. Designate social media specific roles for team members, especially if your event is huge. And through it all, clearly define a brand voice for the event and make it personal online, as it is on-the-ground. Go through a script with team members to keep everyone on the same wavelength.
Expect the unexpected. Be ready for questions that might pop-up whether around the event itself, brand, product, or service. These questions are especially amplified when an event rolls out. By anticipating, you will have a clearer picture on how to respond.
Post-event: What to do when things have cooled
The event buzz has cooled down. So, how do we take offline moments into the online space and vice versa to basically keep the conversation going?
It may make sense to use moments captured during the event as content. Create infographics, photo albums, videos or even animations and publish these things across social media platforms. Make it fun for in-event attendees to relive experiences while at the same time letting others experience the good things that they might have missed out.
At this point, a brand can even focus on collaboration. Retweet posts, and pick stuff up from the pool of content created by in-event attendees (of course, remember to credit!) then make it work together with your own content. Build a community around your brand, which is enriching for both brand and audience.
You brand does not just fizzle out after an event ends. If anything, your event is probably part of a broader strategy so always keep this in mind. Old relationships are rekindled and new ones formed. But most of all, your brand has created a memorable experience.