If a business event is happening in real time, it's clearly advantageous to be fully present. With digital marketing at the forefront of most businesses' lead generation, social media now plays a critical role in generating leads. Engaging with potential customers — in B2B and B2C — before, during, and after a live event can result in increased conversions and other business opportunities like partnerships or investments.
"...social media now plays a critical role in generating leads."
Use the following actionable strategies to capitalise on social media and get the best return on your live events.
As soon as the event is announced, you should start social media promotion efforts. This is true whether you are hosting the event or attending it. This will help you maximise attendance and increase awareness — even if viewers of your content don't plan to attend. The more buzz you get going about the event, the better. Consider:
● Creating teasers highlighting key aspects of the event like speakers, exclusive products, or activities
● Deciding on an event # you and attendees can use to share and track photos/videos from the event
● Collaborating with influencers in the space to offer exclusive content, interviews, or giveaways
● Offering early-bird discounts or other incentives to purchase tickets in advance
● Engaging in conversations with potential attendees who may leave questions/comments about the event
● Using paid advertising on social media to boost your promotional posts to relevant audiences.
"As soon as the event is announced, you should start social media promotion efforts..."
The time before the event is precious and should be used to build hype and let people know what to expect when the day finally comes.
Although you'll likely be busy on the day of the event, it’s crucial to carve out time to focus on social media. This is where you can engage with attendees, bring in valuable insights, and encourage others to join. Monitor social media platforms closely throughout the event and respond promptly to comments, messages, and mentions.
"Monitor social media platforms closely throughout the event and respond promptly..."
Actively participate in conversations, answer questions, and acknowledge attendees' contributions. By being present and engaging in real-time, you build trust and credibility with your audience, increasing the likelihood of converting interactions into business opportunities. This can be much easier during a virtual event — or if some parts of your event are virtual.
Hosting a hybrid event can be a game-changer in expanding your reach and maximising attendee engagement. By combining in-person and virtual elements, you cater to both local and remote audiences, allowing more people to participate. A hybrid event provides flexibility and convenience, making it easier for individuals who cannot attend physically to still be part of the experience.
"A hybrid event provides flexibility and convenience..."
Many social media platforms offer the option to livestream. You can leverage this to reach a broader audience and create a sense of exclusivity. Utilise platform features like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Instagram Live to broadcast select sessions, keynotes, or behind-the-scenes moments. Then, you can interact with viewers in real-time by responding to comments and incorporating their input into the discussion.
Creating opportunities for audience interaction during your event is essential for keeping attendees engaged and facilitating networking. Incorporate interactive elements such as Q&A sessions, live polls, or chat features that allow participants to ask questions, share insights, and connect with each other.
"Incorporate interactive elements such as Q&A sessions, live polls, or chat features..."
By fostering audience interaction, you create a more immersive and valuable experience, increasing the chances of attendees becoming active participants, driving meaningful conversations, and potentially interacting with your business more going forward.
Social media during an event is also helpful in gathering valuable data. This data will be crucial for measuring the success of your event and refining strategies for your next one. Social media platforms offer various tools and techniques to collect this data, including registration forms, surveys, and engagement analytics.
"Social media platforms offer various tools and techniques to collect this data..."
You can also capture attendee information during event registration to gauge the impact of the event in your field. Also consider implementing surveys or feedback forms to gather insights on attendee satisfaction, preferences, and areas for improvement. Analyse social media metrics, such as engagement rates, reach, and sentiment analysis, to build a database for future communications and lead generation.
During the event, make sure to stay present but also think of ways to capture valuable content by keeping social media trends, such as short-form video or livestreaming, in mind. This way, you can extend the value of your event. For example, you can create ephemeral content that is only available for a short time after the event as a recap. You could then use audio or visual content you captured the day of the event for future marketing efforts. Assign a dedicated team or hire professional photographers and videographers to document key moments, speaker presentations, and attendee interactions.
"...also think of ways to capture valuable content by keeping social media trends, such as short-form video or livestreaming, in mind."
Use this content for post-event promotion on social media. This gives you the opportunity to showcase the energy and value of your event through memorable quotes, key takeaways, or video snippets. This creates evergreen assets that can continue to drive engagement and interest long after the event has concluded.
Social media marketing after a business event is just as important as the pre-event and during-event phases. It provides an opportunity to extend the reach of your event, reinforce the key messages, and convert event attendees into long-term customers or partners.
"...provides an opportunity to extend the reach of your event, reinforce the key messages, and convert event attendees..."
Recap the event and keep the conversation going. By engaging with attendees, you can now create personalised follow-up messages to nurture these relationships and drive conversions. Send personalised thank-you emails or direct messages to attendees, referencing specific discussions or interactions from the event. Tailor the messaging to their interests and needs, offering additional resources or exclusive offers.
By leveraging content creation and personalised follow-up messaging, you can maximise the impact of your event and continue to engage with attendees way beyond the event itself.
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