Before, During & After: {Your Event + Social Media}

The GRM team is neck deep into social media and events this week — one of our busiest event weeks of the year. We are managing social media accounts, hosting events of our own, and even coaching an event manager. We are fronting events and behind the scenes. We are starting early and ending late and we are not mad about it!

Through all of this, we are regularly reminded of this fact — social media is a strategic multipurpose tool in your events tool belt. While it is not the ONLY one, it is a helpful one to know how to use it well before, during, and after your event.

(Does anyone else think of The Wedding Planner when you think of an event planning tool belt? No? That’s okay. I will reminisce while eating my brown M&M’s over here.)

Last week Chelsea alluded to the fact that social media management for an event requires a plan throughout the duration of your event. In fact she specifically said, “you need a plan, you need a plan, you need a plan!

To help in your event { + social media } planning, we have questions to hold you accountable, a list of tips, and a checklist.

First repeatedly ask and answer these questions:

  1. How do people know you’re there?

  2. Why should your attendees give you their time over someone else?

  3. Why should your attendees be in the room?

Here is a list of tips to guide you through answering those questions.

Before

Social media is a great tool to promote your event but there are a couple extra things to keep in mind prior to your event.

  • Create and Update your Facebook “Event” - Most people remember to create an “event”, but regularly posting updates continues to remind potential attendees when, where and of your event. It’s also a useful tool to promote any last minute changes.

  • Marketing Across Multiple Channels - Every one of your attendees may have a preferred digital platform. Be sure to cross channel market your event, directing people to more information at one central place, like your website or FB event.

  • Choose A Hashtag - be sure it is relevant, easy to use, and memorable. It is also smart to test it out prior to the event and individually contact a few key attendees to remind them to use your hashtag.

  • Inform Your Audience - It’s helpful to inform people how you’re using social media, and how to engage with you during the event. Set it in your content plan to remind people to use your selected hashtag, download any relevant apps, and tell them where YOU will be documenting the event

  • Create a Loose Plan - Know what social media platforms you are using, consider your own capacity during the event, how often you want to post, and what type of content you will be using. You may include these event posts in your run sheet. This will prevent uncertainty paralysis or “over-sharing”.

During

There are plenty of ways to use social media during an event, but our rule? Keep it simple and plan ahead. Here are some ways your social media tool can help during your event:

The premise of experiential marketing is to create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience
— David Moth
  • Inform - Regularly mind attendees of your social media handles (i.e. @grassroots_media) and #eventhashtag on all handouts, tables, MC reminders, emails, websites, and projector screens. Ask people to tag you in any social media posts so you can join in their digital conversation. USE.YOUR.HASHTAG.

  • Engage With Attendees in Real Time - In other words? Experiential marketing. Run a competition on site, drive people to it through some geolocated advertising and an awareness campaign. Reply to comments and shares. Use a smart tool like sli.do to create two-way conversation during the event

  • Create Community and Conversation - You can use many of the same tips above to create your community, but if appropriate, you can also set up private Facebook groups or message for attendees,

After

We know how draining an event can be. We also know the temptation to collapse on the couch, have a wine, and put it out of your mind until the next one. Stop! Here are some ways you can use social media as a smart tool immediately after your event:

  • Follow Up - use social media to gather feedback, make connections, create a sense of FOMO for future events, remind people of your key messages, opportunities to sign up for future events, and memorable calls to action.

  • Continue Conversation - There are many ways to do this but we suggest trying at least two of the following suggestions. Create inspirational content around your event, ask thoughtful, open-ended questions based on speakers topics or conversations you had with booth attendees. Announce winners from your contests, share photos, and a video or two. You could set up a private group for event attendees, use humour (carefully).

We know social media may not be on your highest list of priorities when the rest of the event details bog you down, but we hope we have done most of the hard thinking for you. To take the thinking one step further, you can find a handy events downloadable under our resources tab to get your planning started. Still have questions? Shoot them our way!

Last tip for you checklist? Have fun — can’t wait to hear all about your event. If you ever have anything you would like us to promote — be sure to message us as Anna regularly shares about cool people doing cool things in our community.

 

 
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Trista Burn is an American-born-Kiwi-by-marriage communications specialist. A dairy farmer’s daughter, and a legacy deeply rooted in ag, Trista firmly believes in the value of agvocating and sharing stories. In other words - the heartbeat of GRM.

Home made Apple Pie, Mexican food, soft chocolate chip cookies and coffee are the way to Trista's heart. She is finding her groove as a working mum and loves spending all her extra time outside with her son, husband, and one overly affectionate GSP pup named Harry.