Last night we had the pleasure of hosting Clive Andrews at The FuseBox, who spent an hour advising BDF event organisers on how to make the most of their social media platforms. It was so good that we had to share it with you guys (albeit a condensed version).
1. Know your objectives. Know your Audience.
Don’t use any social media platform just for the sake of it. Take a minute to ask yourself “what am I really trying to do?”
- Sell more tickets?
- Appeal to a particular audience?
- Generate discussion?
2. Choose your platforms wisely.
Beyond the usual suspects, a whole world of social media platforms are available for you to use, and usually for free. It’s worth doing some research before selecting your weapon(s).
- Who are you trying to talk to?
- Which platforms will help you do this?
- How much time and effort can you commit?
- Don’t feel you have to use any particular platform.
Notable mentions: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Swarm, Lanyrd, Slideshare.
3. What’s in a name?
Be aware that you preferred account name might be:
- Taken by someone else? Differentiate yourself by using a date or location, or rethink your name altogether.
- Too long? Experiment with acronyms and shortening words.
Find a name that:
- Is clear.
- Is durable. Make sure it can be used long-term, if necessary.
- Fits into conversation. Will it fit comfortably within a 140 character limit?
TIP: NameChk is a simple and fantastic tool for checking name availability across many platforms and domains.
4. Set up each space thoroughly.
Don’t rely on clickthroughs to your own website – make each social media space work as a mini website. Most social media platforms will have the capacity to include:
- Venue information and location.
And if they don’t – get creative with the space they do provide. Make it work.
5. Let your objectives guide your content.
Remember what you’re trying to achieve (refer to point 1.)…
- Links to preview info.
- Links to relevant stories, images and videos to grow interest in the topic.
- Speaker bios.
- Content from previous years and events.
- Overt sales messages. (do not overdo)
6. Get to know each platform’s tools.
Spend some time getting to know the tools and techniques within each platform.
*Choosing a #hashtag:
- Not too long.
- As clear as possible – use CamelCase if helpful.
- Unique (check first!)
- **Pages, profiles and groups.
**Facebook can cause confusion sometimes because Profiles, Groups and Pages look almost identical. Here’s how to differentiate, and what to use them for:
- Profiles – individual people.
- Groups – Small communities of people (usually private).
- Pages – Brands, organisations and companies.
And then there are Facebook Events:
- Can be set up by a person or page.
- Shows date, time and venue (with map).
- Allows invites.
- Allows ‘Join/Maybe/Decline’ options.
- Reminds people as your event approaches.
- Lives on as archive and record.
7. Before, during, after…
Everything so far has explained what to do before your event. So what happens during and after?
- Updates on speakers and ideas live from the event.
- Share quotes from the speakers.
- Share pictures.
- RT and share comments from others.
- Provide wifi and power.
- More pictures.
- More sharing of comments.
- Response to reviews and comments.
- Further reading.
- Signups for other events?
8. Join the offline to the online.
Marketing collateral can be your key to joining the online world with the IRL world. Hashtags can go on T-Shirts, posters can include URLs, and Twitter and Facebook icons can inform people that they can follow you on those platforms (although remember to let people know where to look!).
- Visual cues to check in.
9. Don’t forget to listen.
Social media is two way!
…and then act on them!
10. Be human.
Remember that there is a real live human being at the end of every Twitter handle. Words on the internet are still words, and a 140 character limit can sometimes be misconstrued as rudeness. But please: play nice.
Clive Andrews is an experienced trainer and consultant on social media and social business. He has worked with travel companies, government departments, the BBC and others – helping to find clarity and structure in their social media activity.