How do you meet new people and make connections with them in the real world? You meet them at parties, or through shared interests, right?
So, how can you replicate that for your company online? How do you find new contacts and get them to engage with you? Simple - attend an event and talk about it. Start a conversation on a topic they’ll be interested in at just the time they want to be discussing it.
Social media event support is something that, in my experience, is often overlooked, but is a really useful tool when building your online presence and authority.
It’s also great for two very important aspects of content marketing: establishing yourself as a thought leader and embedding a Fear Of Missing Out in your customer base. By livetweeting well, you can not only add your own commentary to industry topics and showcase your company’s strengths and expertise, but also report back for ‘the audience at home’ who couldn’t attend the event you’re at, transforming you into a useful resource for them to pay attention to.
Bringing the “social” back to social media
Events are a great way to focus on that ‘social’ aspect of social media; to join in conversations and engage with your audience, as well as reach new contacts at the time they’re most likely to pay attention to you. If you want to convince your target audience that you’re not some faceless corporation, but a company full of passionate and knowledgeable staff, people who are good at their jobs and enjoy what they do, then there aren’t many ways to better showcase that than via good livetweeting. It’s often more effective than targeted social ads, because you’re organically joining in a conversation online, instead of popping up in someone’s newsfeed unannounced and asking them to pay attention to you when they may not want to.
Who should be livetweeting?
The most important asset when running social media event support is the right person. You need someone who can take great snapshots, search for hashtags on the fly and scramble down quotes as quickly as the keynotes can say them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re tweeting from a phone or a tablet, as long as you’re portable and able to work at speed. Whoever is running your social channels that day is responsible for tweeting and replying in real time, so make sure that they are well versed in your brand voice, in your company’s position on any of the conversation topics being discussed and that they have an excellent grasp of language and grammar. Even one spelling error can undermine your authority on social media, and that’s something you want to avoid when you’re actively trying to build a trustworthy voice.
How to get it right:
If you or your company is planning to attend a conference, look at the seminars available and tweet out highlights where possible.
In any invites you send out to advertise your presence and let people know where to find you, encourage attendees to chat to you on social media as well as popping over to the stand.
Your company’s social channels and product hashtags should be included in any promotional material you produce for the event.
Encourage people to connect with you and continue any seminar or workshop discussions online.
Follow up any face-to-face leads you make by also connecting with them on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Make sure all your tweets can be understood outside the context of the event itself wherever possible.
Tweet out accompanying photos wherever possible.
How to stand out from the crowd
Think about running a competition on Facebook for prizes that will be given away at the event, or sending an exclusive VIP dinner invitation to your LinkedIn group contacts for a networking meal after the conference. Are there any conversation topics you can start discussing on Twitter to garner interest for the event itself, if it’s going to be addressing particular subjects?
Build any relevant content from your archives into your social sharing calendar. For example, if you’re hosting a keynote speaker that you’ve hosted before, you might have a video that you can share to build interest in this second attendance.
Running sponsored posts as part of your strategy will help to increase the number of eyes on your tweets when you actually start to post from the event itself. Support these ads by only scheduling tweets relevant to the event topics in the lead up to the day itself.