Five Ways to Enhance Your Event Using Social Media

There aren’t many things these days that social media hasn’t impacted, and one that has been duly transformed is the live event.

From seminars and conferences to live music shows and sporting occasions, social media is providing a back channel that allows attendees to share experiences and provide a commentary from their own viewpoint.

This provides a valuable counterpoint to an event that brands – big and small – can capitalize on and embrace to augment the power and effect of events.

Five Ways to Enhance Your Event Using Social Media

FE7A02251. Provide added value. Live tweeting an event is pretty much essential these days and your audience will often do the hard work for you. But rather than throwing out verbatims (which might not be that useful for those in the room but is often more for those following proceedings remotely) try to add additional value. If a speaker references an article, provide the link. If your (offline) event is being held at a specific venue, provide interesting information about it or give other useful insights such as the weather forecast or nearby sights your attendees might want to try out later in the day or in their free time.

2. Bring your event to life visually. There are so many ways to provide additional color to your event through visual mediums. Whether it is through pictures on Twitter (which now show up as previews in the newsfeed), Instagram, Vine or even YouTube videos, there are plenty of ways to amplify the experience. And, again, you don’t just need to provide a commentary. Add something else, whether it’s behind the scenes footage or interviews with speakers.

3. Summarize. Storify and Twitter’s own new custom timelines allow you to pull together all the goings on that your event has featured in one place that is easy for attendees to access and review.

4. Be helpful. It goes without saying that you need to be constantly keeping an eye on your event’s hashtag to get real time feedback on how the event is going. Take this one step further and be ready to help your attendees by answering any queries they might have. Whether that is the wifi password or details about forthcoming sessions. Make social media their ‘go to’ place for information. Increasingly they will expect you to be there and to be listening.

5. Create dialogue. Social media is an ideal back channel for events and brands should look to heighten and increase the conversation wherever possible. So ask questions, run polls, retweet opinions that might provoke debate. There is an art to facilitating and fueling conversation. If you get it right, then the impact of your event could spread far and wide.

With a wealth of experience working in digital marketing and PR, Danny Whatmough is an Associate Director working in the digital team at Ketchum and is a thought leader in the wider PR industry. He is chairman of the PRCA’s Digital Group and is currently heading a PRCA working group looking at the ‘future of the PR agency.’ He is also an influential industry commentator through his own blog (dannywhatmough.com) and as a guest blogger on Econsultancy, The Wall, Huffington Post and Social Media Today. Danny is often quoted in the industry press as well as being a regular speaker at industry conferences and events. He is on Twitter at @dannywhatmough