Leverage the Power of Social Media for Events | Slim Digital

How to Leverage the Power of Social Media for Your Event


August 3, 2017

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Looking to get more people to come to your live events? Or fun ways to generate hype and exposure before, during and after the big event?

We thought we’d share what we learnt from sponsoring the NT GovHack event.  In this article, we’ll walk you through a few of the basics and share our tips and tricks to help you leverage the power of social media for your event.

1. Develop a strategy

The first thing to do is to develop a social media strategy, this typically includes deciding which platforms you’ll use, how often you’ll be posting, key event dates, messages you want to be conveying, media releases etc.

We find that having everything mapped out before you begin helps you figure out what actionable steps you need to take moving forward and gives you an idea on how much time you’ll need to commit. For more information about developing your social media plan check out:

2. Create a Facebook Event

Facebook events are the perfect way to get people’s attention and keep it. With Facebook’s calendar connection, most people have their Facebook events connected to their smartphones which means that you’ll be able to keep them connected and send out notifications closer to the event.

Here are some quick tips to help you setup your own Facebook Event:

Choose an event photo

Your photo appears differently across desktop and mobile so it should be 1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9 ratio) or larger with little or no text. If you want to set up event advertising, having more than 20% text often gets less distribution.

Use a clear and short event name

Long names can get cut off, so avoid duplicating location information in the name and don’t use capital letters or symbols that can be hard to read.

Add a location

Use a location that corresponds to a Facebook Page or a Facebook-suggested location so people nearby can discover and learn about your event through suggestions. Otherwise, use the full address including the city.

Set a specific date & time

Your event should be tied to a specific date and time so people can discover it. For events longer than two weeks, create separate events with their own time and location

Share the event on your Page

Spread the word by regularly sharing your event on your Page. On the event, click Share then Share in News Feed to build buzz, provide updates and keep the conversation going with your audience.

Embed Your Event Calendar on Your Website

Add a Page plugin so people can discover and interact with your events from your website. Any changes to the Facebook Event are automatically updated on your website

 

3. Encourage participants to share their Social Media handles

Ask registered attendees to share their social media handles when they sign up for the event is a great way for you to keep them engaged and build pre-event hype. It’s super simple, just add another field onto the signup page which you can later export onto the relevant social media platforms.

Take a look at the example below from the NTGovhack Event.

3. Build Pre-event hype by launching a Countdown

Launching a countdown before the event can be a great way to boost engagement in the community and keep your event at the front of everybody’s mind.

“Think through each of your major event milestones (i.e. date and location announced, registration now open, keynote speaker confirmed) and sketch out a plan, in advance, that details the release date of the communication, subject, target audience and medium for delivering the content,” says Christine Hawks, Director of Marketing and Client Relations with MRA Services.

Take a look at our work from the NTGovhack Event.

 

Notice that it’s not enough to just publish a post saying “insert no. days to the event.” Instead, use the countdown as an opportunity to thank your event sponsors and engage your audience through providing more information about the event or fun facts about the event location, etc.

4. Broadcast Live

Leverage the power of live events by bringing fans into the action with live broadcasts. Live streams gives viewers from near and far access to an experience that they may have otherwise missed out on, and with Facebook live, it’s easier than ever.

Why Facebook Live? 

Have engaging conversations with your followers

Live is the best way to interact with viewers in real time. Field their burning questions, hear what’s on their mind and check out their Live Reactions to gauge how your broadcast is going.

Reach new audiences in new ways

People love watching video, which is why we’ve built a dedicated place to watch this engaging content on Facebook. While your current fans will be able to keep up here and in News Feed, the experience will help new followers discover you too.

Connect—instantly

Live lets you connect with the people who care most. Your followers can receive notifications when you go live so they know to tune in to your broadcasts at just the right time.

Here’s an example of us broadcasting LIVE from the NTGovhack Event

Not sure you want to commit to a full broadcast?

Use Snapchat, Twitter or Instagram to give viewers a peek at what’s happening.

Unsure of what you should broadcast for your event?

Here are some of our favorite examples so far:

5. Create Shared Experiences with #Hashtags

In addition to face-to-face contact, live events provide a sense of community and shared interest. One way to create that same sense of community online is to create a #hashtag for your event.

Come up with a hashtag that’s short, unique, and easy-to-understand. Once you’ve decided on something – stick with it – because consistency is key for this one. Use your hashtag across all of your social accounts leading up to your event and encourage attendees to share photos on their social media with that same hashtag to become part of the story.

To boost engagement and encourage people to use your #hashtag consider retweeting, sharing and reposting content to your main page. This creates an incentive for people to use it as they get to be featured on your page.

6. Don’t forget to say thank-you

Once your event is done be sure to upload any professional photos that were taken onto social media and encourage your participants to share and tag themselves into them. Be sure to thank all sponsors, volunteers, organisers and everyone who came along. Also encourage people to like your page to keep updated with all upcoming events.

Here’s an example of post we did for NTGovhack, thanking all the amazing volunteers

In Summary

Leading up to the event, regularly post to the event and get people excited. During the event, give updates and rally latecomers. After the event, encourage guests to share photos or videos, thank people for coming and promote upcoming events.

 

By Cindy Um, Intern at SLiM DIGITAL.

 

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