1. 1|P ageLeveragingSocial andDigitalMedia toPromote 2012Your EventAn event is by nature a social affair. Individuals go to connect, interact and sharewith their peers. People join social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook andLinkedin to connect and interact and share. Given their similar natures, it makessense to use social media to help in planning, promoting and generating a buzz forany event you’re hosting.Sarah Houlihan @sara_houlihan
2. 2|P ageYou don’t have to wait until the day of your event to create a buzz—it can start at the registrationstage. Use an affordable solution such as Eventbrite or a similar site to help you. Services such asEventbrite let your attendees share the event with their networks as they register, you don’t have to bean IT guru to use it and it also you to manage bookings, print badges and delegate lists all in the oneplace. Not only that; but the extra links from social networking sites will boost your website’s page rank –which is always a plus."Eventbrite is proving that there is a market for online event planning for small and medium sized events such asyoga classes, fundraisers and music performances." Oliver Chiang Forbes If you’re familiar with Twitter, which you should be, (if not we need to talk!), you will understand the power and meaning of the HASHTAG. Utilising the power of Twitter Hashtags in synchronization with an event is a no-brainer. Encouraging dialogue with the # is an excellent way to build buzz around an event. However, many brands leave it too late or don’t promote the hashtag at all. It’s important to assign what theevent hashtag will be and stick to the 1hashtag as early on in the course as possible – take for example#coachella2013- is already trending on Twitter. You don’t want two or three variations getting coinedas it will be much harder to follow conversation threads . You will need the hashtag in advance acrossall channels; website, blog, registration forms , EventBrite, Facebook Page, Email, on Google Plus. Hashtags are not only imperative for social media engagement relating to your event – they also act as search engine indicators that go beyond Twitter. At the event, plan to promote the hashtag repeatedly (this applies to your Twitter handle as well): in signage, in printed programs, from thestage and also in live tweeting by a designated Tweeter from the Events team. Your objective isto get every tweet about your event to contain your hashtag. The hashtag will aggregate all Twitterconversation around the event. Why not even have live visible Tweet stream on screen at the eventwhich will allow attendees to see all those online who are interacting with the event in a virtual way,while enticing them to join in on the online conversation as well. Check out www.visibletweets.com
3. 3|P ageMake sure to follow and connect with not only confirmed stakeholders, sponsors and speakers butalso prospective attendees and influencers on Twitter. For example - If you are holding the event in theBurlington Hotel, connect with them. They have 1001 followers, so a tweet from them mentioning yourevent is very useful. To increase your own followership, it is essential to start following and engaging withcompanies and INFLUENCERS. At the event why not get attendees to write down their Twitterhandles so you can follow them then and there!Another point ALWAYS worth noting is the importance of engaging with your followers inconversation and avoiding posting boring repetitive tweets and spam like links directing followers toFacebook (THIS GOES WITHOUT SAYING!) Not only do passionate Tweeters see this as a nuisance but itmay also cause people to unfollow you. Remember to be social and conversational, it’s called socialmedia for a reason!Ask your followers to share your event or retweet (RT) one of your tweets to their networks in returnfor a small award – whether it be 10% off the Ticket or something similar, pre event contests like thesewill get people talking at a small cost. The Online Marketing Summit 2012 <<offering a chance to win a trip to San Diego by sharing their event The Linkedin Events tool is an application which has recently received a total overhaul. When you add the application to your Linkedin Page and create your event it will be searchable and recommended to people in your industry, network and geographic location. You can also invite specific connections to your event. When attendees click the ‘I’m attending’ button, it will show up as a status on their own Linkedin Profile and activity feed to their respective connections – a great way to gainfree promotion and create a buzz. Another great feature about the tool is that it will showcase the ‘attendees you may want to meet’!
4. 4|P ageEncourage attendees to promote the event. Stating something like ‘please help us spread the word’can go a long way in social media marketing effortsUpload a PDF version of the event brochure into your Box.net files (Box.net is another application youshould add to your Linkedin page) and direct your attendees to it.Another idea for Linkedin would be to develop a Linkedin Ad. Most companies neglect social mediaadvertisement but seeing that your targeting professionals there is simply no better way to winmindshare and micro-target professionals. Every single post you put out there to promote the event should have life, be engaging, ask questions, highlight fans and be enthusiastic. Continuous, new, fresh content is required on Facebook to grow the community and create a buzz. One of the main pitfalls people make on Facebook business pages is focusing too much on direct sales and promotions. Use the 80/20 rule – only 20% of posts for self-promotion purposes.One way to engage Facebook Fans more is to try and involve them in the planning process byasking them for suggestions on speakers, catering, themes and acts for the event. Conduct SimplePolls before your event, I tend to use Poll Daddy and for Twitter, Twtpoll. Not only does this createengagement and generate ideas (crowdsourcing) but also adds to the hype.Multimedia is always compelling. I’ve always found managing Facebook Pages that ‘fans’ alwaysrespond best to video footage and photos, so creating a montage of the previous year’sevent/testimonials from previous attendees /behind the scenes photos and sharing it across all yoursocial media channels is bound to drum up some hype. www.animoto.com software is a great videocreation platform and takes only minutes to prepare a video which you can instantly share across allyour social media platforms. If you have speakers at the event, upload footage of them and links totheir blogs. Small little touches like this will go a long way.On the actual night of the event take as many photos as you can, and instantly publish them on Twitterand Facebook (perhaps through a photosharing app like Instagram/Twitpic/Flicker/EyeEm/PicPlz) If youhave a photographer, give him/her a stack of Business cards that includes your social media URLs/QR contest oncode and instructions to like the page and tag yourself. Why not even create a photoFacebook after the event – whoever uploads the best photo of the event on Facebook wins a prize.You can quickly build a great unofficial photo record of the event, which you can use again in futurepromotions and keeping the conversation alive after the eventWith all of the new technology going around, it’s no real surprise that you can now live stream yourevents on the internet and to mobile devices through Facebook . Adding a social media plug-in likelivestream.com on your Facebook Page means attendees who couldn’t make it or prospectivecompanies can view the event as its unfolds or on demand.
5. 5|P age Google+ Events are brand new, freshly announced at the end of June 2012. It’s unique as an events-planning solution in that it encourages activity before, during, and after an event. You can easily set up an event in the left sidebar of your Google+ homepage. The extremely intuitive interface helps you choose the look of the event, and the level of information (ticket seller URL, YouTube URL, etc.) you want to provide guests. Google+ Events can also be online events only, either as a Hangouts, or as an “on-air” (public) event. Event attendees can upload photos and videosduring the event if they have the Google+ mobile app and can also upload photos after the eventand attach them to the event. For attendees who accept invitations or decide to go, the event isautomatically added to their Google Calendar.You can find out more about Google+ Events here. Foursquare, a location-based social network that enables users with to “check in” at venues can be used to increase engagement for both public and private events. Using Foursquare is perfect for increasing engagement and a novel way to generate hype. Foursquare users can even connect their accounts to Facebook and Twitter so that their check-ins or updates post on their other social media profiles.It is imperative to make your attendees aware that your event is on Foursquare and encourage them tocheck into your event on Foursquare when they arrive. You can include this in their registrationconfirmation, follow-up emails and even on social networks that your attendees use including Linkedin,Twitter and Facebook. A great way to encourage them is to offer them an incentive or prize on thenight!See more here: http://www.antleragency.com/how-to-use-foursquare-for-events/
6. 6|P age E-invites through Papaerless Post.comI cannot rate this website enough. I recommend that any company/individual hosting a public orpersonal event look at an e-invitations site like this. The great thing about Paperless Post is their sharablecards option. There’s that ‘share’ word I harp on about so much!A shareable card is a non-personalized version of the card you created on the site that you can postwherever you would like, including email and via Twitter, Facebook, or you can copy the link to yourcard and post it anywhere you’d like, including in your own Facebook Timeline.The shareable version of your card is free (unlike the personalised invites via email you can also avail of)because you lose some of the features of sending through email, including the personalized card andour email template. Viewing the card doesnt require a registration; anyone who sees the link can clickto view the card. The only downfall is if a viewer wants to attend your event, they need to register andcreate an account with Paperless Post. This is the only way the viewer can be stored your on Trackingpage as an attendee so that you know who is coming.Anyone that replies that they are attending the event will be displayed as "Registered" in green on yourTracking page. If you send personalized versions through email AND use the shareable version, you candistinguish "Attending" vs "Registered." This way, you can see which guests replied using theirpersonalized card and which guests replied using the shared version. Have a whole lot of media post event but don’t know what to do with it?? Try using Storify.com -a social media storytelling platform- to collect Tweets, videos and photosand embed them in your website or share them through social media.If your event contains any sort of slides shows or presentations them why not post on Slideshare and askspeakers to share their presentations. Making these sorts of materials available post event is not onlyhelpful for attendees who may need a recap, but also give those who couldn’t attend the chance tosee your event’s value and make them eager to register for the next opportunity.