October 6, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
Your conference’s social media presence is worthless unless you do something with it.
It isn’t enough to have a conference blog, an event Facebook page, a conference YouTube channel, an event Twitter profile, a LinkedIn event or a multiplicity of other outposts in social media.
Ok, perhaps it’s better than not having a presence at all. But I am not sure if a dead social media presence is better than the absence of one.
So what is the value of having social media outposts? Having a social media program without having some sort of goal just creates more busy work.
When one of your social media activities support your conference’s business objectives, then it adds value to your organization. Value comes with purpose.
So what should you do with social media? And how is it related to your conference? Before you can answer those questions, you have to clearly understand your conference strategy, business case, goals and objectives.
Think of social media as a business tool like the phone or email. It serves as a delivery instrument of your conference’s critical business functions including attendee acquisition, attendee engagement, customer service, lead generation, marketing, market research, public relations and sales. Social media can easily support these functions. Even better, each of these functions should already have their own goals and objectives.
Here are seven typical conference functions that social media can leverage for your next event.
New attendee acquisition through social media usually starts with awareness, leading to regular social network participation with the conference hosts and ultimately converts them into a paid registrant.
From keyword searches to analysis of share of voice, sentiment and volume of mentions, to your customers’ pain points, the amount of information your organization can capture on the social web is astounding.
With social media, instead of sifting through tons of speaker proposals and videos, you can turn to your trusted online networks of colleagues and friends for recommendations. You can better identify and pre-qualify talent for your event. You can also see which speakers and entertainers are actively involved online and will respond via social networks instead of having to go through bureaus and agents.
Social media can not only scale a conference marketing campaign’s reach, it can also make the message stickier. The reader may engage with the message through online comments, discussions, likeability and sharing.
Social media can help you spot trouble, help potential customers in need (including attendees onsite) and answer questions in seconds without having the customer jump through organizational hoops to get your attention.
Social media can have an immediate impact on the way your conference is perceived and interacted with by the public. You can respond to negative comments, clarify positions, correct false reports and separate myth from fact.
Social media can allow your conference participants to connect and discuss before, during and after the event. During the event, those onsite can share meaningful messages with their followers extending the conference’s reach.
What are some of the other conference functions that social media can support? What are some of the successful social media strategies you’ve seen used for events?
Filed Under: Social Media
Great article! Liked your seven points and I am currently learning about social media.
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Great summary, Jeff! I do all of these things with my meetings. As an association planner, I find that it is especially effective to communicate with and reach my members/attendees via social media since they tend to tune out email and regular mail.
It’s also a great way for our members to connect with one another–both before and after meetings and throughout the year. Building relationships with one another is extremely important to our members.
Lastly, it definitely saves with the marketing dollars! We have cut back substantially on the number of printed pieces we produce for our meetings.
Of course, all of this is helped by the fact that the majority of our members are very active in social media.
Thanks for reading and commenting. Also thanks for the follow-up post on your blog. Here’s Cara’s additional thoughts on social media for conferences for our readers: http://fullycommitted.posterous.com/lets-get-social
[…] Top Seven Conference Functions Easily Leveraged By Social Media Social media can serve as a delivery instrument of your conference's functions including attendee acquisition, customer service, lead gen and more. Source: velvetchainsaw.com […]
[…] at your current conference business objectives and strategies. Where can social media easily integrate as part of your tactics to achieve those objectives? Instead of creating a separate social media […]
Excellent post about conferences with social media optimization
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