Harnessing the Power of Social Media

31 Mar, 2022
Cook + Associates | Insightful Blogs

Social media has transformed the way we communicate, becoming one of the most powerful marketing tools of the 21st century. Its ability to put businesses in the spotlight and secure global recognition practically overnight has revolutionised how we promote brands, products, and services.

Since the rise of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in the last decade, it has become almost as important as mainstream media and print. A single post on a social media platform can reach thousands of people within just a few seconds, influencing decision making, networking with target audiences, communicating your brand and promoting awareness to the people that matter the most.

With social media playing a key part in a marketing toolkit, it can amplify a brand event or experience to reach delegates across the globe to enhance perceptions, ignite interest, awareness and make networking a more sociable occasion.

As an active form of promotion, utilising social media allows you to target and connect with your audiences at a more personal level, which in turn can skyrocket your event capability. And of course, the beauty of social media… it’s completely free. Whether your event is virtual, physical, B2C or B2B, we have put together our tricks of the trade to get you noticed and engage attendees.

  1. The Plan

It all starts with an objective and some targets, something for your event plan and in turn your social media plan to work towards – whether it’s increasing footfall, attendee engagement or simply widening brand awareness, every element of the plan needs to fall in line. Figuring out your event’s target market and determining your demographics allow you to gather insights into what social content sticks with your clients to gather interest and awareness through innovative posts, incentives, viral content.

A good social media plan relies on timely posts with appropriate content.  You need a dedicated social media rep, who is right in the middle of the action ready to post. It’s a delicate balance, and you need to avoid over-promoting invites to visit the stand when the show is live. Seems odd right? Just remember that when the event hall is crowded, often with bad connectivity, not everyone is scrolling whilst walking around.

During the live event, social media should be used to keep followers updated, cashing in on the at-home audiences’ FOMO (fear of missing out) and engaging with digital event audiences (for Hybrid and Virtual Events). Don’t worry – your in-person attendees will see it too when they get a chance!

2. Content

As we all know in the marketing world, content is king. When done correctly, social media content can send a brand global with just a few clicks. If you want people to attend and participate in your event, you need a content-rich social media plan, posting little and often with polls, meeting booking links and Q&As about the event are great ways to raise engagement.

Create your own event hashtag – Keep it simple and relevant to the upcoming show and use it in every lead-up post. Even using video and photo teasers that showcase the success of previous events and give a glimpse of the excitement coming up at your next event – perhaps there’s some new technology, a product reveal, or a giveaway.

During the show, sharing those top moments from your events via a post or livestream allows you to bring your remote audiences right into the action. Just make sure you don’t share too much – you want them to want to come and see for themselves! Create a photo-friendly atmosphere too, we live in the Instagram age everyone likes to share photos about what they’re up to, make sure your space caters for this and you encourage them to use your event #hashtags – it’s free advertising!

3. Try something new

Classic social media techniques are one thing, but in the last 2 years, thanks to the turn to virtual, we have seen the introduction of technological campaigns. Brands are beginning to integrate an engaging tool into their social media by using an AR game or customised event filters to create a new kind of excitement for the main event.

The 21st century has seen a huge growth in the market of social media influencers, so utilise their following to promote your event. You can read more about influencer marketing here: https://www.cookandassociates.com/article/influencer-marketing-how-could-this-find-its-way-to-the-show-floor

4. The Legacy

After the show is over, it’s important not to let that brand momentum fade. From sharing round-up videos and testimonials to re-sharing PR and news articles, as well as attendee photos, post-show follow-ups are important to maximise your event investment long after the event is over to maintain an unforgettable brand experience.

Being able to interact with followers enables you to manage customer service with real-life feedback, even though It’s hard to satisfy everyone it will give you a good idea as to what went well and what didn’t. You could even conduct surveys or polls to get a more well-rounded picture of how your attendees think and feel.

The best thing about social media in events though… easy analytics. It’s key to reflect on the stats – Have a look through the analytics from the duration of your event plan and turn it into useable information, a great way to measure what worked and what suffered. You can read more on how to track your event ROI here: https://www.cookandassociates.com/article/techniques-to-track-your-event-roi

The use of social media is growing day by day, and it’s not looking to stop anytime soon. It’s a proven tool to drive engagement, sales, revenue, and the ROI of events. Event attendees and followers want to feel more included and social media gives us a platform to do just that!

Looking for support on your next event’s social media plan? Get in touch to find out how we can help here: https://www.cookandassociates.com/contact-us/