Social Media Before, During and After Events
Social media and event marketing have two things in common: they are effective, intimate and high-impact ways to reach consumers, with the potential to create long-lasting and meaningful relationships. The best news is that social media can be effectively integrated into every aspect of the event activation, with opportunities before, during and after your event. With social media you can maximize event ROI and extend the experience beyond execution to expand your online reach.
Before: Create an event that is sharable
Start by creating an event your consumers will want to share. By posing questions or facilitating contests, brands can include followers in crafting their next successful brand experience.
Also use this time to determine your audience’s social media preferences. Where your audience lives online should influence the ways in which you ask them to share the event experience or interact with your brand on event day and beyond.
Before: Involve influencers to drive pre-event awareness
Identifying and incorporating your biggest fans with the biggest online presence into your pre-event awareness efforts will pay huge dividends.One of the best marketing campaigns to incorporate social media influencers was the Ford Fiesta Campaign. Prior to the car entering the market, Ford provided 100 social media participates with a free Ford Fiesta, sent them on “missions” and asked them to document their experiences through their own social media platforms. A year later, the Harvard Business Review reported the staggering results. “Fiesta got 6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for information about the car — virtually none from people who already had a Ford in the garage. Ford sold 10,000 units in the first six days of sales. The results came at a relatively small cost. The Fiesta campaign is reputed to have cost a small fraction of the typical national TV campaign.” The Fiesta Movement illustrated how social media participates can make an on-line impact that can translate into real off-line benefits to drive sales or promote an event experience.
During: Provide incentives for consumers to like, follow and share
When you want your consumers to take a desired action, encourage them with rewards. An AT&T promotion encouraged participation utilizing social media across multiple touch points at each event. Check out the techgating campaign for more details of incentives.
During: Tie lead generation to social media
Digital event forms should always include an option for the participant to share the form via social media after submission. For those events that activate at the location of the advertised product or service, contests tied into Facebook check-ins can drive awareness across each attendee’s social network.
After: Keep your on-line interactions consistent, fun and sharable
Incorporating social media into your event means it’s even more important to provide an exceptional online experience to keep new, and existing, followers engaged. Run regular discounts and loyalty programs through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Engage followers with contests that incorporate giveaways and provide fun ways to give feedback. Finally, always encourage consumers to share your content. To continue to the conversation, your brand should become a regular part of their lives.