Using Social Media to Enhance Your Upcoming Event

22 11 2010

In today’s technology-driven world, it may seem to be a no-brainer to use social media to enhance your next event; but it takes more than creating an event on Facebook and inviting guests. To truly use social media to make your event shine, you’ve got to have a way for your attendees to interact with each other – before, during and after the event, enhance their overall participation throughout the event and to have fun. There are many ways to use social media to spark an interest and add spice to your event – let’s take a look at a few of the most popular here.

Facebook

This is the most obvious, most popular and perhaps the easiest and most understandable tool for many to use. If you’ve been using our advice from previous posts on Facebook, then you have already created a Facebook profile and a fan page and/or group for your nonprofit. Now it’s time to create an “Event” page to begin inviting attendees. The Event page is a centralized location to schedule your event, invite attendees, track those who have confirmed attendance, those who have yet to respond to your invitation and those who have declined the invitation. The page also allows your attendees to communicate with each other to discuss event logistics like speakers and their topics or if overnight travel is necessary, perhaps to share expenses with hotels and cabs to and from the airport. Those who are attending your event can also share your Event page with others to help increase awareness and possibly attendance.

Success Tip for Facebook: When creating your Event page on Facebook, be sure to include ALL necessary information: date and time of event, venue location, address and phone number, who to contact for further information on your event and any other information that attendees will need: conference speakers, topics, etc.

Twitter

Twitter is another effective tool for upcoming events, though it will be used in a different manner than other social media tools.

A few weeks before your event, you’ll want to create what’s called a “hashtag” for your event. A hashtag is a key word specific to your organization or event preceded by the “number sign” or a “hash mark” – for example, our basic Twitter hashtag is #animalrescuesuperhighway. Event coordinators should adopt a hashtag well before the event so that there is uniformity when seeing it splashed across Twitter. Make sure you post the hashtag everywhere so that your attendees who Tweet can begin using it before and during the event. If you want to see how the hashtag is performing, you can use a free service like Tweetdeck to monitor any mentions of the hashtag.

Success Tip for Twitter: If you have the capability, scroll tweets using your event’s hashtag in the hallway or centralized place for your attendees to see what others are tweeting. You can also use Twitter (and your hashtag, of course) to schedule “Tweetups” – meetings with event attendees at a dinner or for drinks to help put faces with names.

YouTube

Yes, even YouTube can help create a buzz for your event. This particular tool will take a little more effort on your part, but worth it in order to spark an interest and increase attendance.

If you are holding a conference that will feature speakers about a particular topic, you can create short videos about the speakers and upload them onto your own YouTube page. Once you’ve done this, be sure to embed your video into your Facebook page, tweet about it (don’t forget to use your hashtag!) and email to your mailing list of attendees. By giving them a teaser of what’s to come, you’ll surely create a buzz.

Success Tip for YouTube: Is the event your planning a yearly thing? Did you have a similar event last year? Use pictures and videos of the last event and post them on to your YouTube channel to create excitement for your current event.

Blogs

Before, during and after your event – blog, blog, blog! By blogging about the information that will be conveyed at your event, you will help encourage those who are on the fence about attending to register and those who are already confirmed will share their excitement with others. Blogging during the event will help to create a buzz for those who couldn’t attend (and encourage them to attend the next event) but also those who are there and will also provide a recap of the day’s events.

Success Tip for Blogging: Be sure to include all of the other social media outlets you are using to promote your event here. Include links to your Facebook Event page link, the Twitter hashtag and the link to your YouTube page. All work hand-in-hand with your blog and other social media tools to help promote your event and make it a huge success.

Are you using social media to promote your event? Tell us about it! Please leave your comments below and help us help others find out what works and what doesn’t.

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2 responses

22 11 2010
maps4pets

Another brilliant question – well done guys. Have you had any luck on the Social Media networks so far with this? For some reason “insitutions” like charities and councils tend to act above their status, so to to speak. We tweeted this earlier – http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/nov/22/data-analysis-tim-berners-lee?CMP=twt_gu

22 11 2010
animalrescuesuperhighway

Thank you! We use social media every day and are constantly looking for new ways, tips, trends, etc., to pass onto our viewers. I know what you mean about others and not “practicing what they preach.” I’m a firm believer in if I haven’t done it myself, I surely can’t explain it to others – nor should I be. Thank you again for your comment – so glad to have you! 🙂

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