Social Media for Event Marketing


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Learn 6 tactical tips to boost awareness & attendee participation with Lorien Henson, HootSuite’s Events Marketing Manager. Sign up free for HootSuite University's upcoming Lecture Series:

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  •  Take advantage of a multitude of social networking platforms like, Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram to amplify the event experience. The use of social media prior to, during and after event. Social platforms help facilitate and encourage attendee participation. Social media creates social attendee lists, starts conversations, encourages meet ups, and allows event producers to react to issues immediate.
  • Lorien Henson is an integrated marketing specialist, sustainable event producer, idea diva and the Events Marketing Manager at HootSuite. At HootSuite she’s responsible for managing, promoting and executing Hootsuite’s corporate events and sponsorships. Before joining HootSuite, Lorien was co-founder and creative director of LimeLight Event Marketing working with the Vancouver Olympic Committee, Government of Canada and City of Vancouver. Lorien is also the founder and producer of Power Plant, a green event for sustainability leaders, which successfully sells out prior to each event using only social media to promote.
  • This session will cover social media tips and tools for event marketing, BEYOND the usual suspectsTwitter and Facebook. Topics Will Include: PinterestFoursquare:Online HubTwitter WallScheduled Tweets
  • I totally see what the attraction is and why it’s driving more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. People love pictures, and Pinterest capitalizes on that.Events are slowly beginning to pick up on this popularity and leveraging it as part of their social media marketing efforts. They have a unique opportunity to further engage attendees and convey information through a more visual medium. A picture paints a thousand words, and events can tell an engaging story on Pinterest.
  • On Pinterest, visual rules the day. Make your pins visually compelling This is what makes Pinterest so popular – images that compel users to learn more. Take an inventory of photos you have that will be of visual appeal, such as speaker photos, venue photos, infographics, merchandiseand even videos (yep, you can pin those too!).
  • Create well-organized & relevant boards. Because Pinterest gives users the option to follow a person (and all of their boards) or just individual boards created by a person, it’s important to plan your boards to appeal to different interests your attendees will have. For example, if you offer several tracks of conference sessions, consider creating a board for each track that includes photos of speakers. Have photos from last year’s show? Create a special board to share them.
  • Create well-organized & relevant boards. Because Pinterest gives users the option to follow a person (and all of their boards) or just individual boards created by a person, it’s important to plan your boards to appeal to different interests your attendees will have. For example, if you offer several tracks of conference sessions, consider creating a board for each track that includes photos of speakers. Have photos from last year’s show? Create a special board to share them.Include descriptions with keywords. As I started using Pinterest more, I quickly realized that simply pinning a photo with a description like “Love this!” or “Yum!” wouldn’t give it proper context or exposure. The description not only tells others what they’re looking at and why you pinned it, but helps your pins to get found. If someone searches for a specific keyword on Pinterest, pins containing that keyword come up in results – so you don’t want to miss that opportunity! Think of it like SEO for Pinterest.Mix it up, don’t just broadcast. The same rules of social media engagement apply here as they do on any other social network. Don’t just broadcast your own content on Pinterest, but mix it up with relevant content from other sources. Look for what others are pinning related to your event or event topics. One idea is to create a Speakers board and pin articles or posts from your speakers about what they’ll be talking about at your event (that include an image)
  •  Create a new and unique Foursquare account for your event and then add the venue of the event under the same name. It’s a virtual check-in desk.
  • Not only will foursquare users be able to check in and follow the tips surrounding your event, but they now have a community to connect with other users. Furthermore, encourage your event participants to add their own tips
  • After you’ve claimed your eventvenue on Foursquare you get access to some pretty nifty insights and analytics. Pop open the analytics dashboard prior to the event starting and keep tabs on who’s checking in and when.Keep track.You can monitor who checks in, if you attracted new volunteers from Foursquare via an event, and what event goers say about the event. GiveFoursquare a few months to spread in your community!.If one of your event attendees checks in and has linked their Twitter account to their Foursquare account (most people have) you’ll be able to see that person’s Twitter handle. From there, you can quickly shoot off a ‘welcome’ tweet and point them to specific areas they should check out. Spread the word about your org.Volunteers can check in when they are on the job.Visitors or event attendees can check in, tooThis helps spread the word about your organization from individuals to their personal networks
  • Spread the word about your event.Volunteers can check in when they are on the job. Visitors or event attendees can check in, tooThis helps spread the word about your eventfrom individuals to their personal networks
  • Finally, one of Foursquare’s most basic features allows users to provide tips and/or to-dos for different event. As part of your event, consider setting up a reward for those attendees who offer up tips or to-dos during their time at your event.While the attendees get a chance at a prize or discount for doing so, you benefit down the road as others check-in at your eventand discover the tips from those who have come before them.You can also think about customizing the event badges to allow Foursquare check-in. During the event you and other participants (like exhibitors) can send attendees Tips (go to 'Add tip'  in Foursquare). You can create special places (also created with 'add venues') in the venue where users can convene and check in. Mayors can be given a special treatment (VIP dinner etc.). 
  • Events is an application on Linkedin to find events happening all around the world. You can create and RSVP to events and tell your linkedin network. You must first download the LinkedIn Event Application, which can be found in the Applications Directory under the “More” tab at the top of the window.   Then you can opt to have the application appear on your profile page, so whenever you log-in, the event information is now a module on your page.One of the features of the LinkedIn Events Tool is the ability for people to easily search for relevant events. LinkedIn will automatically showcase a handful of events related to your network connections, industry and geographic location.You must be creative and target your promotional efforts to your core audience, and the LinkedIn Events Tool can help you do just that!
  • Once you add an event, the system will automatically promote it to your network (the people you are connected to in the first level on LinkedIn).  Each time someone says they are attending, their network will get a network update.  So, listing your event first alerts your entire network, then each subsequent RSVP spreads the word further adding to the viral effect.
  • Once you’ve added your event LinkedIn will automatically promote it to your network and will open a new window with several options to promote your event.  If you don’t already have a large network you may want to consider using one of LinkedIn’s other promotion opportunities to get your event in front of a larger audience.When promoting your event, you must also encourage attendees and potential attendees to click the I’m Attending button on your LinkedIn Events Page in order for it to show up as a status update in their respective LinkedIn connections. Tell them what you want them to do.Encourage attendees and non-attendees alike to also promote the event for you. Simply stating something like, “Please help us spread the word” can go a long way in social media promotion efforts.Promote your event on your LinkedIn Company Page.Promote in relevant LinkedIn groups. These are the places where clusters of professionals hang out together and discuss mutual topics of interest. It is the perfect place to promote events that may be of interest to those member
  • On a single page list preferred event hashtag, relevant Twitter handles, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, and Google+ profiles,Instagram, Flickr, email newsletter sign up, blog.HootSuite is fantastic for manaaing many social media profiles in one place!
  • The most successful social media campaigns merge what’s happening ONline with what’s happening OFFline. Setting up Twitter walls throughout the event space is an effective way to entice attendees to get involved in the online discussions stemming from the event.There are a number of vendors that provide Twitter wall functionality, including my faveHootSuite’s new HootFeed. HootFeed is a free tool that offers levels of customizability and analytics. You and Attendees Tweet the keywords and/or and they auto-magically appear on the big screen. Instantly interactive!
  • HootSuite is an excellent tool and my fave for years before working at HootSuite.Scheduled tweets prior to the event and throughout the day can provide a standard promotion of the event through the Twitter channel.This only takes a few minutes to set up and provides added promotion to all of the event’s headliners. Do not expect your event team to tweet out these main frame announcements during the event as they will most likely will be distracted. This activity can be pre-programmed to publish at a specific time using HootSuite.Examples of these scheduled tweets include:event details announced by the week, -day, -hoursponsor informationspeaker introductionannounce networking party detailsprovide a next step, call to action (landing page examples include a registration page for the next event, a web site sign-up form, an event evaluation form, a facebook page to join, a book to pre-order, etc.)Each tweet should include twitter handles, a link to the event landing page and an event hashtag when applicableEach week as the event draws closer, write a list of 3-5 pre-written tweets (Twitter posts) to provide your marketing team, sponsors, & speakers. This will make it super simple for them to help you spread the word to their own Twitter followers and gives you the opportunity to somewhat shape the messaging around your event. You would be amazed how more tweets people will share when given a list to start with. All tweets should include your event hashtag and a link to information about the event.
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