There is a tremendous amount of hard work that goes into creating an event – booking the venue, organizing the vendors, booking talent to bring in more excitement, ensuring media will attend and cover, etc. To truly optimize all the hard work, brand managers need to create noise and buzz leading up to and surrounding the actual event, with the use of social media at events being the driving tool. Here are 10 ways brand managers can use social media to make an event a success:
Before the Event
- Create a unique hashtag.
By creating an event-specific hashtag well before the event takes place, it will provide the ability to track the buzz leading up to the event. This will allow the brand to more easily spread the word, create exposure and awareness, and push ticket sales and/or attendance. After the RSVP is returned, it also makes it easier for attendees to share with peers that they are coming to the event. Ensure that the hashtag itself is not too long or complicated.
The hashtag should be shared for usage by the event management and PR team, as well as the media, attending celebrities and even the event guests.
- Create a contest.
At the event a “Tweet to Win” or similar contest should be created where attendees will be enticed and encouraged to post using the event hashtag in order to win some sort of easily tangible prize. The prize can be tiered so that there is a higher chance of winning. It’s amazing how excited and willing to participate in social media people get when there are prizes to win. The contest provides incentive to join the conversation, leading up to and during the event.
- Research appropriate handles.
Ensure the correct and official handles for all participating brands and celebrities are known and on a cheat sheet easily supplied to media and others working the event. This might require a bit of research, as there are plenty of fake accounts.
- Print and promote.
Ensure all proper branding is included in any printed collateral or signage. Including the brand’s social media handles or even just the event hashtag will increase the chances of activity on social media.
- Equip participating celebrities with all the details.
If celebrities are booked for the event and they will be tweeting live or prior to the event, provide them with all relevant branding info for content options. This allows them to call out the brand or mention the event they are attending, making it easy on them and ensuring they have the correct handle and hashtags to tag.
— Carmen Electra (@carmenelectra) July 11, 2014
During the Event
- Tweet live.
Keep the conversation going during the event by playing commentator – talk about the atmosphere, the scenery, who has arrived, etc.
Retweet and reply to others’ posts in order to acknowledge participation and drive more conversation.
- Post photos and other appealing content.
Post interesting content that will grab eyes in the newsfeed. This includes photos, video, etc.
After the Event
Don’t let all the social interaction and conversation go to waste. Utilize positive quotes as testimonials either to repost later, or to include on the brand’s website.
10. Post event photos and tag properly.
For all professional photos of the event, post them online soon afterwards and tag the people in the photos properly. By tagging others, there is a higher chance that they will re-share to their followers. Often times after an event, people want the photos that were taken, but have no idea where to get them. This is a great opportunity to supply those photos. Even better, is if the photos have a logo of the brand on each one, in order to have it be present every time that photo is re-shared.
11. Continue the interaction.
Thank new followers and those who engaged throughout. Shout out the winner, thank attendees, and tell them to stay tuned for future events.
With these simple steps in place, brand managers will attract more attention, create buzz, and curate a conversation surrounding the event, and ultimately, the brand.
Brand managers typically have enough on their plate dealing with other aspects of the event that agency partner assistance is extremely helpful in implementing a social media plan successfully. The easiest way to lay the foundation for a comprehensive social media program supporting the event is to engage a seasoned entertainment marketing expert with social media and PR experience to provide guidance and actual activation.
To view more example of events by our agency, click here.