Social media marketing, often referred to as digital marketing is not a new concept in 2017. However, the methods in which companies and agencies are marketing through social media forums has developed, adapted and changed as a result of what has been found to most engage the users online. The trick to social media; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn etc is to engage and encourage repeat engagement from the audiences online. The success of creating this engagement vastly depends on how well the company is able to integrate each channel together to ensure the continuity through-out the marketing campaign. This will allow these users to easily navigate from page to page further enabling them to interact with the company and other users. Those brands who are able to begin conversations, tell stories and connect as human beings to their customers will win at the social media marketing game.
A key feature that, again is not a new commodity, has begun gaining traction amongst organisers and companies is the use of live videos to stream to their audiences. Youtube was the original site that was used for this method of marketing, however, Facebook Live has integrated the “live” feature more seamlessly into the main app, resulting in users preferring Facebook over Youtube.
In 2016 81% of mobile users watched more live feeds than in 2015. Of this 81%, 80% said they had preferred this to reading a blog and 67% were more inclined to purchase a ticket to the event or a similar one.
However, with such an “open book” method of communicating with the companies audiences, there are some does and don’ts that accompany this method of marketing (McCarthy, 2016).
- Do NOT fake the content
- Do NOT over complicate the story behind the video
- DO create a story-board, to ensure full coverage of the important moments of the event
- DO interview the key speakers and get their view on the event
- DO create testimonials that can be utilised in the pre-marketing campaign for the following years events
Along with Live videos should be an action plan for the content that is posted on each site. This should be set prior to the event to ensure a variety of information, both relevant to the event and content of high interest on the social media platforms, this will help create conversations between the company, their followers and additional users. This should be a mixture of images, videos and short snappy information bites.
Here is a checklist that event organisers should include and answer in their social media campaigns for each event;
- Create a conversation calendar;
- Write out each individual status for Facebook, Twitter etc
- Write a date and time for this status to be launched and a reminder so as to remember to post this
- Tailor each post to either be a conversation about the event, a topic relating to the event or a news worthy story that has hit the tabloids.
- Attendees are craving data, post statistics about the event such as exhibitor types, sustainability programmes in place and the percentage of each business types.
- Encourage those speakers with large followings to write statuses about their attendance and to speak to their audiences
- Ensure diverse and strong visual elements for each post
- Create a story with each post
- Share the companies/events milestones
- Write about the employees and their stories
- Ensure each post has a human interest that “tugs at the heartstrings”, captures their attention and draws them in to discover the ending
- Is there an offer that could be posted online?
- Do NOT base this upon likes or shares as this deters those from contributing to the competition
- Do ask previous attendees to share their best experiences
- For those repeat attendees, offer a VIP experience for the coming event
- Send a personal invite through email
- Create a chance for previous alumni to gather together in a separate networking event from other attendees
- Create the illusion of FOMO
- Build the anticipation
- Ensure the attendees cannot gain the same experience at another event
Social media is a tricky tool to utilise, but each event should take full advantage of this method as it opens avenues and creates opportunities for customer engagement. Ensure the event has clear aims and objectives and create a content plan which mirrors these, this will ensure that valuable and relevant information is published in relation to the event. Just remember, customer engagement and excitement is the aim for social media campaigns!