Social media is part and parcel of doing business these days. Therefore, incorporating social media into your conference or event is not a choice; social media is an essential part of the communication and networking aspects of conferencing. The question is how to incorporate it.

Devising a social media strategy at the event planning stage:

Deciding on how to incorporate social media into your event starts at the planning stage. You need to pin your social media strategy goals to the overall goals of the event – though the goals may not be the same. If the goal of the event is to launch a product-line, your social media strategy should support that. Your strategy will be a bit different than if the goal of the event is networking.

Some important questions you’d need to consider:

  • What is the desired outcome of the social media aspect?
  • Who are the attendees? Older guests will interact with social media differently to guests in the 20 – 35-year old age bracket.
  • How will it enhance the conference: experience and goals/visions for the conference/business?
  • How do you create a social media strategy for the conference that is distinct from, but part of, a greater social media strategy?

Decide on things like hashtags at the planning stage. Keep it simple – especially for an ‘older crowd’. One hashtag will do!

Some effective ways to use social media for events:
  • ‘Pre-party’ marketing of the event and the goals of the event on Facebook and Twitter. Create a Facebook Page and encourage attendees engagement to share news of the event through their own profiles.
  • You can also set up a ‘Closed Group’. This can then be used to encourage continued communication between attendees after the event.
  • During the event, social media is very effective for Q&A sessions. People can be encouraged to post ‘anonymous’ questions on a session page or twitter feed, with their questions fed to a board in the conference room.

There areas many ways to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as there are different types of events. The most important thing is the hashtag- and making sure everyone uses it!