9 Takeaways From Chris Brogan’s How Social Media Changes Events

“Social media is like hamburger helper. It helps spread our event content on the web,” says social media rock star Chris Brogan.

Image by Like_the_Grand_Canyon.

Recently, Brogan spoke at PCMA Convening Leaders 2011 annual meeting in Las Vegas. He presented “The Event and the Pulse: How Social Media Changes Events.”

Here are my top nine takeaways from his presentation.

1. Start designing event websites for mobile.

We design our event websites for laptops when most people are viewing them on three-inch screens. It’s difficult to find conference information on a website not designed for mobile reading. Rethink that process.

2. Use video trailers to give people a sense about the event.

People want to know the purpose of a meeting, who will be there and what will happen when they get there. Use short one- to two-minute videos to market your event.

3. Create an event blog.

Use something like WordPress.org (hosted blog) for your event blog or event website. It will get you better SEO (search engine optimization). It is also more user-friendly and can be updated easily by a team. 

4. Don’t promote the same messages in all the social platforms.

People are in the different platforms for different reasons. If you automatically update all your profiles with the same information, people will start unsubscribing from your offerings.

5. Event email marketing strategies should be short, succinct.

Email event marketing should only cover two or three important things you want readers to do. Don’t bury people with a laundry list of to-do items.

6. Don’t start event email marketing with “If you are having trouble viewing this, click here.”

Then link to the web version of the email.  Start with the call to action. If you start with “If you are having trouble viewing this…” the reader may think the content is not worth reading. Also, limit the HTML used in the email. Rich text is better.

7. Make sure you’ve populated Twitter with information about your event and event location.

People age 30-50 use Twitter to search about the event and the event location. Twitter is a wonderful tool that is like a serendipity engine. People are very helpful. Get your event information out there in Twitter so others can find it.

8. Add social sharing buttons to event emails.

You want those emails to be spreadable. Social sharing is a natural part of today’s communication. Give people the opportunity to post your message in the platform of their choice. Remember that 70% of people buy products and services based on reviews of others (friends and strangers).

9. Social media is about engagement and sharing, not one-way broadcast.

When sharing event information in social media don’t make it just about your organization. Share information about others too. Consider sharing posts and articles written by conference speakers or leaders for your event. Be helpful to others.

Which tip resonates with you and why?

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  1. Excellent post! The suggestion to ensure your event site is optimized for mobile is right where it belongs: at the top of the list. Nothing engenders frustration like playing the needle / haystack game on a site that hasn’t been tailored for mobile.

  2. When I saw this Chris Brogan tweet, “A few hours with @JeffHurt have revealed that I need two days with him to even BEGIN to learn all that he knows.” I knew that I wanted to read your blog. I just started my blog this year. Classic Legacy is celebrating our 25th Anniversary this year and I’ve told colleagues that more has changed in the past two years than in any other period. I am enjoying social media and think your points are right on! Our customers include event planners, hotels, resorts, and retail stores. It is encouraging to me that they are looking to me for advice and tips…..and I learn from people like you and Chris Brogan so thank you very much.

  3. Betsy says:

    I really which that I had been able to attend this event. Social media is changing, and changing the way that we conduct almost every aspect of our lives. Thanks for sharing your take away points. Do you have any time sensitive goals for accomplishing things like “adding share buttons” to your site?

  4. chris uschan says:

    Jeff — good information from Chris Brogan.

    Here is my point of view on five of his tips:

    1. Designing for mobile – Absolutely! the smartphone is everywhere

    2. Use video trailers – Yes! Video is engaging, make me feel the experience.

    4. Different msgs on diff social platforms – Yes, but pick just a few channels to start and do them well.

    5. Short email messages – If there is any one tip to follow… this is it!

    6. Start emails with “If you are having trouble…” – Disagree! Email is beyond this. Lead with a question. Include a fact. Connect emotionally.

    And Jeff, I know it’s Hamberger Helper, but it’s not really an attractive image at 8am.

    : )

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and posting. I’m with you. My frustruation level increases dramatically when I’m trying to search a website that has not been optimized for mobile! More association and conference websites need to think about that.

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I was not expecting Chris to send out a tweet like that and it was very humbling. Here’s to much success in your future.

      Time-sensitive goals for accomplishing social media integration with conferences and events? H-m-m, I suspect those will be different for each conference depending upon the goal of that conference.

      I always appreciate your insight! And your number six point is correct. I accidentally typed Brogan’s recommendation incorrectly. He recommended that email messages should NOT start with, “If you are having trouble reading this, click here.” Actually, he recommended that email marketing should be in text, not HTML and that the call to action should be listed in the first one or two sentences. I’m correcting that in the post.

      Thanks for reading Chris.

  5. […] Hurt (@JeffHurt) wrote a great piece titled “9 Takeaways From Chris Brogan’s How Social Media Changes Events“.  Hurt assembled takeaways from Brogan’s speech at the PCMA Convening Leaders 2011 […]

  6. […] Social Media Changes Events,”so I am grateful that Jeff Hurt did not. Hurt posted his top “9 Takeaways” from Brogan’s talk as well as one video from the popular Learning Lounge. (Hurt works for […]

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