As event insurance experts,we understand how powerful social media can be when looking to gain exposure for an event. Using social media at events is one of the most effective ways of gaining free publicity and encouraging attendees to come back next time around.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…even LinkedIn, are designed to help you let lots of people know about an event in next to no time. People are more likely to trust reviews they see their friends give, rather than sales messages from companies.
In this blog, we’ll look at 5 ways to harness the power of social media at your event.
1. An Event Hashtag
This may seem pretty simple, but a hashtag will help connect all the tweets and status updates from your audience. If a social media user sees a hashtag and clicks or presses it, they will see all other posts with that tag. This is a great way of causing a viral buzz and showing non-attendees how popular your event is.
Hashtags don’t have to be complicated – in fact, try to keep them as short and snappy as possible so people can fit them in their character count.
And remember, hashtags are much more popular on Twitter and Instagram than they are on Facebook.
2. Display tweets and messages on a big screen
Not everyone thinks about posting all the time. Sometimes they need a little encouragement.
A good way of doing this, especially if you’re running a conference or networking event, is to use a device that displays posts on a big screen. This gives others an idea of what to tweet about. It’s also a great way of getting people to ask questions if they’re too nervous to grab the mic (again, more useful if you’re running a conference).
There are plenty of tools that do this like Taggbox, Twitterfall and Hotfeed. Just make sure you pick one that automatically dismisses rude or unwanted words.
3. Create an app (or use a pre-built one) that’s for attendees only
Apps that are only available to event attendees are an ideal way of starting conversations. And those conversations are carried on long after the event finishes. They’re brilliant for networking and introducing people who have your event in common.
Social Media Week London use one of these apps, and found brilliant success in creating a positive networking environment.
Building one from scratch can be very expensive, so perhaps try a web tool such as appyourevent.
4. Use photo booths
You may be more familiar with them at weddings, and it may seem odd to have them if you’re running a more formal event, but photo booths work. We don’t know what it is about them but they have a habit of bringing even the most introverted people out of their shell.
Photo booths help create positive memories- one’s that the attendees will always associate with your event.
5. Take group pictures and ask people to tag themselves
You don’t have to be a multimillion pound company for this to be an effective tactic, but we’ll use Sunderland football club as an example because they’re especially good at it.
On selected home games throughout the season, Sunderland take a panoramic picture of the crowd at the Stadium of Light and ask people to tag themselves in it on Facebook. The last one we checked (before they were relegated from the premiership) achieved over 20,000 tags with a reach of over two million.
Even if you can’t hit those kind of numbers, the basic idea remains the same. People like telling people they’re out and about. They love it even more when they feel like they belong. This social media tactic takes care of both those desires.
So there are your five for starters, but there will be lots more. We’d love to hear from you about how you make the most of social media at your events.
In the meantime, if you’re in the planning stage of event management, why not give us a call to find out how we can offer the best event insurance cover.