Event Social Media 101: Content, Community, Measurement


Here's the skinny on Event Social Media 101: Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope and others are built on social interaction, content sharing, and collaboration. Social media marketing is an effective use of these channels to promote or benefit an individual or company.

Effective social media marketing works in conjunction with other marketing channels and builds a relationship—raising awareness, improving consideration and promoting brand advocacy. The success of a social campaign is dictated by much more than what occurs exclusively on social platforms. In order to be successful on any social media channel, the focus needs to be placed on three main ideas. Here's some Event Social Media 101 tips to put into practice:

1. Content.
The term “content” covers a broad range of assets—it may be informative, drive an emotional response or entertain. Compelling content is relevant to the brand and effectively engages the target audience, becoming “viral” when the asset is shared with speed, quickly circulating from person to person.

Below are four social media content strategies that drive and support a number of communication objectives:

    • Brand affinity - content developed to drive positive feelings and a strong connection between the audience and a brand.

    • Brand reinforcement - content intended to reinforce traits consistent with the brand’s persona.
    • Opportunity creation - content designed to influence product interest or entice a conversion, usually a promotion.
    • Utility - content that helps audiences solve problems relevant to the brand.

There’s always potential for content overlap, so a piece of content might serve to drive brand affinity as well as reinforce a brand.

2. Community.
An online community is a group united by common interests that shares relevant information and has meaningful exchanges, such as fans of a brand’s Facebook page and followers of its Twitter account.

The health of an online community is best protected by a designated community manager who moderates and facilitates dialog within that forum.

The Community Manager:

    • Regulates exchanges based on the community’s guidelines.

    • Maintains the quality of discussion by facilitating and directing dialog.
    • Is credible by demonstrating experience or knowledge in the given field.
    • Natural and doesn’t project the feeling that dialog is being filtered through PR or legal departments.
    • Is responsive, attentive and regularly moderates the community, ideally with an “always listening” style by actively managing during the company’s normal operating hours and before, during and after events.
    • Is proactive in initiating and contributing to the conversation and keeping the discussion active and lively.
    • Is the consistent, reliable voice of the brand. Using multiple community managers should go unnoticed by the audience unless expressing multiple POVs is the strategy.

To sum it up, the success of a community is largely dependant on the quality of the discussion.

3. Metrics.
Social media success should be evaluated against business objectives tied to pipeline/sales impact, brand affinity, customer loyalty and advocacy. The most effective way to measure the impact of social media is to show the correlation between social campaigns and marketing objectives.

How event social media works

There are three phases of event social media. Each has specific goals:

    • Pre-event - build anticipation; drive registration

    • During event - amplify event activity and encourage attendee interactivity

    • Post-event - extend event reach and utilize content long term

The goal of event interactions between brands and attendees is build a relationship. Social media nurtures relationships formed at an event and continues to advance attendees brand affinity even after the live event. Engaging content, such as video recaps and infographics, help drive post-event conversations as well as spur interest in upcoming events.

Social media success around events often hinges on what happens during the live experience. These experiences should evoke an emotion that makes them good enough to share, otherwise, social media campaigns may underperform. Social media content enhances live events by encouraging interactions by attendees and for some annual events it may even be necessary to utilize year round social media strategies. In these cases, community managers should maintain a social presence throughout the year, ramping up activity before, during and after the event.

Next Steps

Companies are continuously looking to get more from their event budgets. Using social media as part of an event strategy helps impact a larger audience and maintain value driven relationships.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of social media, how it relates to events, and why event social media strategies are important, download our 101 Cheat Sheet and take a data-focused look.

Posted by Chloe Raison | Request as a Speaker

Believer in the power of social media. Awed by digital. Maker of humans. Baker of cakes. Lover of travel.