By Lauryn Rosinski – Marketing and PR account coordinator
If you have ever attended an industry conference, networking event or even an extravagant party, you may have been able to follow the event activities on social media. Thanks to hashtags, Facebook Live, Snapchat geofilters and other marketing tools through social media platforms, managers of social media content and event planners can get attendees involved – and make social media marketing appear effortless and improvised.
However, social media event marketing is not as easy as it looks. It takes planning, organization and a lot of flexibility.
After managing social media for an all-day event last week and creating countless posts for a variety of social platforms, I had the opportunity to think about what goes into event social media marketing. Here are some tips for you to follow if you are ever in charge of social media for an event.
- Create a plan for the day.
Although aspects of events can be unpredictable, well-planned events have some form of agenda or schedule. In order to be best prepared for the social media marketing of an event, make sure to create a concise plan to keep you organized.
Determine the frequency of your posts and what platforms you want to use ahead of time. If you know there is a certain photographable moment, such as the cutting of a ribbon or an important speech, mark off that time to take pictures for social media. And, if you know there might be some downtime before or during an event, determine what relevant content to push.
Events are fast-paced and, at times, strenuous – preparation can help alleviate some of that stress.
- Do your research ahead of time.
In order to be successful in social media marketing, it is important for marketing professionals to conduct research on target audiences and content best practices. Using social media to market an event is no exception.
Before you manage social media for an event, ask yourself these questions: Do you know the tags of key individuals and organizations to be recognized at this event? What social media platforms will work best for promoting and providing updates during an event? Are there any messages you should avoid sharing or retweeting due to conflicts of interest? If you do not know the answers to these questions before an event, you may find yourself delivering hasty, disjointed messages.
Do as much homework as you can before the big day.
- Practice using the tools you have.
Social media platforms are constantly introducing new features for users. While these changes can help you create some dynamic, fun content, they can also cause a lot of problems if you do not know how to work with them.
Prior to an event, practice using the social media features you have on-hand. If your client or organization wants to film a speech using Facebook Live, practice using this tool on your personal social media account. If you want to capture some interesting photos for Instagram, make sure your phone has a high-quality camera. And, if you are not sure if a Snapchat filter will work, purchase it a day ahead of time and take pictures using it.
By training to use social media tools ahead of time, you will be able to create better quality content and prevent mistakes.
- Use different messages on different platforms.
During a fast-moving event, it may be tempting to copy a post you shared on Twitter, paste it on Facebook and move on to the next task. However, many of your audiences following you on one social media platform more than likely follow you on another. Repeating messages on multiple platforms could cause your audience to lose interest quickly.
When creating content for an event, consider the message you are trying to send and your audience. For example, if you want to remind attendees about an upcoming speech, you will probably want to use Twitter. On the other hand, if you have a series of compelling photos for your more visual audiences, you will want to post on Instagram or Facebook.
Different social media platforms resonate with different audiences. Make sure you create the right messages to effectively communicate about your event.
- Roll with the punches.
Throughout this blog post, I have communicated that it is possible to prepare social media content before an event. However, events are not perfect. No matter how much you plan ahead of time, something unplanned will happen and mistakes will be made. (Sara Lundenberger, our director of fundraising consulting, talks all about the unpredictability of events, particularly fundraisers, in this blog post.) The same goes for social media marketing during the event.
Be flexible and work with what you have at an event. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If Plan A isn’t going to work out, go with Plan B. And, if a mistake is made, fix it and move on.
Hosting an event is a lot of work – and so is marketing it through social media. However, if you are well-prepared, organized and responsive to whatever gets thrown your way, it can be fun and engaging.
And, if you need help with the social media for an event, give Dot Org Solutions a call. I just finished doing the social media for a 12-hour celebration – and I am ready for more.
Want to learn more about our social media marketing services? Contact us at [email protected] or 330.247.2180 for more information.