An Investigation into the Use of Social Media Marketing and Measuring its Effectiveness in the Events Industry

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An Investigation into the Use of Social Media Marketing and Measuring its Effectiveness in the Events Industry

An Investigation into the Use of Social Media Marketing and Measuring its Effectiveness in the Events Industry

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  • Due to the criticisms of IAB’s framework for its generalized approach (Dzamic, 2012) and the emphasis around engagement, the primary research applies the Engagement Pyramid (Li, 2010) and Community Engagement Framework (Powell et al., 2011)
  • Company A is an international firm that uses events as training strategy to deliver business information to the technology industry; aside from events, company A provides media solutions and marketing services. Company B delivers event series, which focuses on search engines marketing and social media marketing. The events are held across a number of global locations, such as Singapore, New York and San Francisco. Company B events are addressed to individuals from the technology industry, such as technology officers, IT manager and eMarketing executives. Company C organizes a series of events about technologies and tourism across the world addressed to the tourism industry (IT managers, marketing managers etc.). Company C main mission is to facilitate the “IT and tourism” community to come together to co-create and understand the impacts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the travel and tourism industry.
  • Therefore it is possible to conclude that: (i) companies and brands in the technology events industry should use social media because it is an accepted and expected communication tool, which can increase their customer reach, connection ability and events awareness; (ii) organizations in this field should move from a traditional way of measure the effectiveness of social media (i.e. likes or retweets) to use both the concept and the models related to engagement and/or influence as a way to measure social media impact; furthermore, (iii) looking at financial returns, events organizations, should measure conversation rates of social media (for example enabling Google Analytics tracking). Lastly, (iv) it is relevant to note the importance of the senior management endorsement within the activities related with social media: case studies demonstrated that the more top management is committed with social media, the more possibilities of fully exploiting their potential and measuring their influence.

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  • 1. An Investigation into the Use of Social Media Marketing and Measuring its Effectiveness in the Events Industry Alessandro Inversini Emma Sykes School of Tourism Bournemouth University, United Kingdom ainversini@bournemouth.ac.uk emma.sykes@hotmail.com ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 1
  • 2. Introduction In the last few years it has been shown an increase up to 90% of event producers using one or more social platforms (Hughes, 2012). ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 2
  • 3. Social Media • Social media is a popular marketing tool • Difficulties persists particularly related to: – ROI & effectiveness (Hoffman and Fodor 2010, Dzamic, 2012). • Several authors/organizations proposed – frameworks – measurement metrics ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 3
  • 4. Measurement is a vital part in the success of social media (Murdough 2009; Solis 2011). ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 4
  • 5. Social Media Measurement (i) The literature reveals a number of social media measurement words, – – – – – loyalty (e.g. Evans, 2008; Castronovo and Huang, 2012) influence (e.g. Blowers, 2012) awareness (e.g. Fisher, 2009; Hoffman and Fodor, 2010) engagement (e.g. Li, 2010; Sterne, 2010; Blowers, 2012) reputation (e.g. Dzamic, 2011; Marchiori and Cantoni, 2012) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 5
  • 6. Social Media Measurement (ii) Examples of measurement frameworks – Social Media Council Framework (IAB SMC, 2010) – Social Media Strategy Funnel (Schottmuller, 2012) – Social Media Measurement Framework (Owyang and Lovett, 2010) – Community Engagement Framework (Powell et al.,2011) – The Engagement Pyramid (Li, 2010) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 6
  • 7. Why Event Industry? • From 30% to 90% of event producers using one or more social media platforms. (Hughes, 2012) – Twitter to increase engagement both before an event (Hambrick, 2012) and during (Ross et al., 2011), remaining constantly in contact with attendees (Lee et al., 2012). – Facebook enhances brand awareness and potentially result in the purchase of a ticket. (Ellison et al., 2007), aids interaction prior to an event (Lee et al., 2012). ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 7
  • 8. Research Objectives • To explore the effects of social media on marketing communications in the technology events industry. • To understand whether event companies and brands are employing consumer centric social media marketing strategies. • To evaluate how event companies and brands are measuring social media in their marketing campaigns. • To discover how extensively social media is used in the technology events industry and what channels are utilized during and after an event. ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 8
  • 9. Interviews Company Participant (P) A P1 Digital Media Marketing Manager P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 Marketing Coordinator Senior Conference Manager Social Media Assistant Marketing Director President B C Function Exploratory, multi-case study, qualitative approach. ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 9
  • 10. Effects of Social Media “We saw an increase of almost thirty percent of new followers through Twitter...from our campaign compared to twenty-eleven” (P1A). “On Twitter we used to have like eight thousand followers and we just actually this week hit the twenty thousand mark” (P3). “Level of communication, engagement, response they were like...huge increase and really obvious” (P5). ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 10
  • 11. Measuring Social Media “One thing I do is..I always measure is..the website traffic..that each..social channel generates to our website.” (P1) “We use Google analytics so we track a lot of the like..the..we put links on like Twitter or Facebook, we put in tracking URL’s and then on the back end look at Google analytics”. (P2) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 11
  • 12. Measuring Social Media “If someone has ‘liked’ something so many times you assume immediately that you understand that this is something that they do..if they retweet”. (P6) “I think the hardest thing is quantifying engagement it’s very difficult”. (P3) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 12
  • 13. Audiences “so we don’t really differentiate the audience right now” whilst further stating, “we’re just limited on resources..but that’s one of the things we definitely want to focus on more”. (P1) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 13
  • 14. Social Media Usage “Right now it is just kinda a drop in the bucket..but you know..we..I’m trying to let the senior level people know that it’s..very important” (P1) “We are lucky over here because our MD is really social and he’s a marketing guy deep down..and he’s, you know massively into social media so we don’t have to..convince him of the sort of..need to use it”. (P3) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 14
  • 15. Social Media Usage “no person on the management team is going to care here if we go on about the fact that we got twenty thousand followers, it’s a nice number to say..but all they are going to be like is yes but how many did you convert”. (P3) “she’s just going to care about the money”. (P3) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 15
  • 16. Conclusions • Increase in interactivity with customers in event industry (Obj.1) • Strategies are not explicitly consumer centric (Obj.2) • Tangible measures are important for management. Frameworks are recognized as important but not used (Obj.3) • The extent to which social media is used depends on management’s commitment (Obj.4) ENTER 2014 Research Track Slide Number 16