If you’re putting on any kind of business event or conference then the effective use of social media and, in particular Twitter, is crucial if you want to generate maximum ‘buzz’. With the right planning and a bit of careful thought, the effective implantation of Twitter at your event can look and work effortlessly.
If you want to get the most out of Twitter at your next business event or conference, then simply follow this three-step guide.
Obvious at it sounds, planning comes first. You need to integrate your social and Twitter strategy into the overall marketing communications message for the event. Assign yourselves a ‘social media champion’; someone who will take control and responsibility for updating the channels before, during, and after the event. Aside from tweeting, they’ll be responsible for taking plenty of photos and videos (we’ll explain why later). Next, agree upon the hashtag you want to promote during the event, so attendees can connect with each other. Something as simple as the name of the event works well.
Make sure all your marketing materials promote the fact it’s a social event. Encourage people to get involved on your programmes, flyers and posters. Your attendees need to know what to tag their tweets with. There’s often a flywheel effect here; once enough people start using the tag, it’ll take on a life of its own and not need to be too heavily promoted.
A great idea to get the ball rolling is to ask your compere and speakers to promote the event whilst they’re on stage, especially during the early stages of the event.
One thing a lot of event planner now does is make use of social streams on screen around the venue. The Twitter stream with the event’s hash tag will appear on screen, so people get a real feel for what people are saying on the social channels.
Using social media doesn’t stop at the close of your event; in fact, it’s just getting started.
Reading the stream of social noise is, first and foremost, a great way of getting feedback on the event. What was the sentiment of attendees? Which speakers went down well? What areas could you improve upon should you host another event? www.topsy.com is a great tool for discovering how attendees have reacted to your event.
The days of praying for media publishers to cover your event are over. You are now your own publisher. Your business and/or event will no doubt have a blog and it’s your responsibility to create a review of what happened. This might mean interviewing speakers, taking plenty of photos, creating video content and wrapping up the day. A nice effect is embedding tweets from the day into your blog posts. You can do this by clicking the ‘embed’ button on the tweet and copying the code into the HTML of your post.