Successful social media at events
Keeping your social media accounts spinning can be tricky at the best of times; managing your social output during a live event can be a potential minefield!
Avoid panicking at your next tradeshow or conference and plan ahead, with our handy tips to guide you through managing a successful social strategy when out and about.
The Calm Before the Storm
Follow the official event accounts and determine the right hashtags to use across all platforms, including Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Vine. Often these hashtags will include the event year appended in a specific way (eg. #CES2014, not #CES14) so make sure that you are using the right permutation!
Browse LinkedIn for any official Discussion Groups or the Company Page of the organising body. If you find the former, join, interact and network.
When posting updates, find alternative ways of saying “we'll be there”. Share or retweet updates from the official profiles you have followed, and mention talks and presentations that team members will be attending. You can even ask fellow attendees what they’re looking forward to seeing or hearing about at the show.
Create cover images for your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts which include the basic details needed to find your booth.
If it’s a particularly key event in your company’s calendar, why not extend the budget to create a short announcement video? Showcase your products, feature interviews with event spokespersons, and highlight other relevant information. Keep it light and short – a couple of minutes is fine. Then share across your social profiles, as well as hosting on your website.
The Big Day
It’s the opening day! During the actual event, it is likely Twitter will be the most popular platform, although Vine, Foursquare and Instagram could also get a look in.
Decide beforehand who will be in running the company account and in charge of the updates from the show.
Determine roughly how many times and how often you will tweeting during the event. It needn’t be a rigid schedule but it will help focus the updates.
Think of the larger picture. It is unlikely that more than a small minority of your followers will be at the same event. Think about the majority not in attendance – the remote attendees – and what they will want to know.
Be original and put your company’s personal slant on the event.
Attending a talk? Instead of tweeting throughout, you could make a note of one or two key quotes to share immediately afterwards. Alternatively give your opinion of the talk and the key takeaways. You could photograph the final slide of a presentation - far more beneficial to your audience than an image of the speaker talking!
Regularly scan the hashtag to see what others are saying about the event. Respond, engage in discussion and retweet.
Most importantly of all, remember the LIVE part of live tweeting. If you have decided to tweet from the event, do so. Obviously you can delay a thought by an hour or so but if you've forgotten to share during the day, don't subsequently bombard your followers with a stream of updates – one or two ‘final thoughts’ will do. You could also collate your favourite tweets from others in a TweetDeck Custom Timeline, or if you wish to include updates from platforms other than Twitter, as well as web pages, use Storify.
Remember Your Manners
Afterwards, it’s often worth mentioning the event in an update congratulating the hosts on their work as well as thanking individuals that particularly helped you out.
Follow any leads collected on Twitter and if appropriate, connect on LinkedIn.
If you took some photos, create an image folder on Facebook or Google+ and then promote it out across your other profiles.
We hope that these tips will help you put you make a social splash at your next event. If you have any suggestions to add, do let us know in the comments section below.
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