25 Ways to Use Social Media for Your Next Event
Powerful social media tools are available to add marketing power to your next event. Jeff Hurt gives us his Top 25 ways to use social media for your next event.Posted May 26, 2010 News | social media
By Jeff Hurt, Velvet Chainsaw Consulting
- Identify a hashtag for your conference.
A hashtag is a key word or abbreviation preceded by the hash or number symbol such as #EC10. Hashtags are adopted by event organizers so conference participants can include them in their tweets. Hashtags were created as a way to search and aggregate information on Twitter.
- Use one of the following tools to see if anyone else is using your desired hashtag.
Tagalus—a user-defined dictionary of hashtags. Twubs—uses a wiki system to disseminate information on a hashtag. It creates a conference hub for all things related to your event: content tags, members and contributors, photos, related websites, RSS feeds, Tweetups and event schedules, and videos. Currently in Beta testing, it is free of charge.
Use “What the Hashtag,” a user-editable encyclopedia for hashtags found on Twitter. Sign up for an account and register a hashtag. WTHashtag provides great analytics to track the past seven days’ use of the hashtag, top contributors, number of RTs, percentage of tweets from top contributors, and more. Users can also print a transcript of tweets mentioning a hashtag for a specific time period. (Great for note-taking.)
If your desired hashtag is not taken, be sure to list it on these same tools to help protect it from being used by others.
- Use the same abbreviation and hash symbol for Flickr photos and YouTube videos.
Ask attendees to tag their personal photos and videos and upload them to your Flickr and YouTube conference pages.
- Promote the Twitter hashtag, and Flickr and YouTube tags, early and often.
Include it on all marketing material and event communications.
- Create a YouTube Conference page for videos created by staff and attendees.
Market early and often.
- Hold pre-conference social media contests and provide free registration, lodging and travel to winners.
Ask potential attendees to write a blog post, tweet a special code and/or create a YouTube video on why they want to attend the event.
- Create a Facebook Conference Page.
- Create special short videos about conference speakers and locations and upload to your conference YouTube page.
Embed these videos on your Facebook Conference Page and your conference website and distribute via your e-mail and social media marketing pages. Use Animoto to create slick videos using pictures and text.
- Create short, simple, YouTube videos explaining how to use Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and your conference eCommunity for your conference and event.
- Create a Twitter list of all your conference speakers so attendees can follow them.
- Provide a website widget of the Twitter hashtag that users can post on blogs, personal pages and websites.
Make a widget using Twitterfall, TwitterFountain, TweetGrid or Widgetbox.
- Create a conference speaker hub that aggregates RSS feeds of each speaker’s blog posts.
Many conference eCommunities’ solutions have this feature built into their program for your conference Twitter feed, Facebook page and blog posts. If you are not using a conference eCommunity, consider iGoogle, Netvibes, Nomee, Pagecasts (a public version of Pageflakes), Twubs, Wakooz or other aggregator.
- Create a conference hub that aggregates all online information about your conference.
This information should include a Twitter hashtag, Facebook page, conference and speaker blog posts, Flickr tagged photos, YouTube conference video page and more.
- Create a LinkedIn event and invite people to link it to their LinkedIn profile.
- Create a Facebook event and invite your organization’s followers to participate.
- Create several conference badges that are hyperlinked to the conference website.
Badges can be placed on personal Facebook profiles and blogs. Badges can say things like ”I’m attending Event x,” or, “I’m speaking at Event x.”
- Use a conference eCommunity.
Online conference eCommunities have become a supplemental form of communication between people who are attending the same conference. The registrants of the face-to-face event use special online social software to connect with each other.
From free to low-cost eCommunities like MeetUp and Ning, to customized features of Social Collective and Zerista, there are ample opportunities for you to provide conference attendee engagement experiences through an online conference eCommunity.
- Set Google and Twitter alerts for the conference hashtag and name.
Monitor and listen to what others are saying about your conference. Respond as needed.
- Secure part of the general session room for a bloggers’ and Twitter hub.
- Invite specific industry influential bloggers to attend and provide free registration to them.
Contract with them to provide live blogging and tweeting in exchange for free conference registration.
- Create a daily electronic conference paper using Twitter hashtags at http://paper.li/.
Promote the paper daily via email, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
- Create a Conference Slideshare page and post speaker presentations there.
- When booking speakers, include a pre-conference Webinar, blog post, eNews article, Blogtalk Radio interview along with the face-to-face presentation in their contract.
This will extend the conference learning experience as well as market content and speakers to potential attendees.
- Make the conference a hybrid event.
Live stream general sessions to those who could not attend the face-to-face experience.
- Use social media press releases.
To learn more, go to www.jeffhurtblog.com.