In my last post, I talked about how presenters can get more Tweets during their presentations. A lot of conference organizers, meeting planners and event organizers have asked me about how they can leverage social media to get more Tweets or social mentions for their conference.
Getting social mentions on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can drive more awareness for your event and generate more attendees. Even mentions during the event can drive interest for upcoming years. Social media can be a slow build that pays off over time.
Here are some tips for meeting organizers to get more out of social media for their event:
1) Create a Twitter Account for the Event
Create a Twitter account so that attendees can refer to you and ask you questions. Leading up to the event it is good to Tweet about news and announce speakers. This can generate positive press for the event. Also, if you directly tweet at your speakers they will probably RT (or re-Tweet) it to their friends and followers, giving your event additional exposure.
2) Use a # Hashmark for the Event
A hashtag, pound or the # sign is typically used at an event to denote tweets or social mentions of an event. This allows people at the event to see what others are saying and it also helps conference organizers to track an event to see if there may be issues. For example, people complaining about temperatures in the rooms. Set up a hashtag and promote it everywhere before and during the event.
3) Get Twitter IDs of Speakers (and Post them Online)
Prior to the event, get the Twitter IDs of your speakers and post them on the event website. This ensures that attendees can find the speakers online in advance. This helps make your event more social overall.
4) Post Twitter IDs and Hashtags on the NameTags
I recently spoke at a conference in Atlanta #SMIATL and on the name tag they included the Twitter ID of anyone who provided it when they registered. This was helpful because it helped attendees refer to each other on Twitter, and it made the event more social overall. This is a great way to encourage more social media interactions at your event.
5) Put Speaker Twitter IDs on their Placards
One of the best ways to get people talking about your event is when they Tweet about the speakers. Knowing the name and Twitter ID of the speaker is key for this. Put the speaker Twitter ID on the Placard of the speaker if you use them for panels. Also, consider including their Twitter IDs in the program to make it as easy as possible.
6) Give Special Bloggers or Tweeters Special Recognition
Many conferences are now finding ways to specifically include bloggers and Tweeters, much like what they typically do for traditional press. Look for opportunities to include key influencers in these activities. The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce has a Twitter Lounge for key Twitter influencers. They attend the event for free and are encouraged to Tweet during the event. They get special recognition during the event, and their Tweets show up on a big screen at the front.
7) Put up a Screen Showing Tweets and Social Mentions
Let’s face it. People LOVE to see their name on a big screen. Many conferences will use a screen or projector to show tweets that use the hashtag of the event. People love to see their name on the screen, so they Tweet about the event. This increases the overall awareness of the event, and creates a better experience for attendees.
These are a few simple tips to get you started. As you become more comfortable with social media and Twitter there are many more advanced tips that will engage audiences and build awareness for your event.