A long time ago now I was the co-founder of Bettakultcha, an event launched in Leeds where speakers talked with passion about any subject they liked, using 20 slides, each of which changed automatically every 20 seconds.
We ran over 150 Bettakultcha events over 7 years and had thousands of people attending, the largest event was held at Leeds Town Hall with over 400 people in attendance, not bad for an event promoted mainly via twitter, with zero budget.
The whole event, from selling tickets to getting speakers, was managed by building up a twitter following on social media for the events and then using it’s power to amplify then before during and after. There was never any budget spent on advertising, social media marketing, drove the whole thing.
I no longer have any involvement with Bettakultcha, but I’m glad to say the event is still thriving.
How can Social Media work for your events?
We tell all our clients to look at events using this formula.
- Tell people what you are going to do and when
- Tell them while you’re doing it
- Tell them what you did after the event
For an event we would recommend a campaign lead approach for your social media, beginning at least one month prior to the event, rising as the event takes place and concluding post event to highlight the key points and building on any connections made. This can work especially well if you’re lucky enough to have a keynote speaker from your organisation at the event.
This promotion should utilise all the key social networks, including YouTube, as well as blogs and email.
Here’s the process we recommend for making the most of social media at your events.
- Make a detailed plan of the event and why your audience should attend.
- Create links to speaker biogs if available.
- Details any hashtags that will be used
- Make sure it’s easy to find ticketing options and where your stand if you have one.
- Email to relevant contacts regarding event, with a link to ticketing along with details of the hashtags, when your keynote is happening etc
- Weekly posting on all channels using relevant hashtags and accounts one month prior
- LinkedIn articles from speakers and relevant staff to promote event, consider posting to Medium too https://medium.com/
- Daily posting on all channels using the relevant hashtags and accounts two weeks prior to the event.
During the event
- Post at the opening
- Post at lunch
- Post as the event is closing
- Post as your speaker begins, tagging in the keynote speakers account
- Post to social throughout their talk
- Thank people for coming to watch and ask if any questions for speaker
- Do post talk interview with your speaker
- Interview audience members and get their feedback on your keynote speaker
- Post links to the speakers Slides
- Retweet, content from your business related accounts at the event
- Retweet, posts from relevant attendees and partners
- Share videos and photos from day on stand and in and around the event
- Thank everyone for coming
- Share these posts on social
- Post video of your speaker at the event
- Ask for feedback and questions from the event on the subjects covered
- Using details on leads made at event, follow these accounts on social as the business
- Connect with relevant people via LinkedIn
- Evaluate any collected contacts and send out post event emails
- Write review of event, including any relevant social posts, photos and videos for a blog use this as content for post-event outreach.
- LinkedIn articles rounding up events, can be same as blog post. Consider posting to Medium too https://medium.com/
With good planning, lots of this content can be pre-written and scheduled, including posts about when the speakers are on stage. Additional live content can be added to add relevancy and interest.
An effective use of social media can help your event reach many more people than can physically attend the event, social media helps your message grow and reach many more people.
Events are a great way to generate social media content
What’s outlined here are just a small number of the ways you can utilise social media for your event planning. If you can manage this effectively for your business, events could help you generate a large about of not just social media content but really strong content for your whole marketing mix.