With many annual exhibitions in our local area fast approaching, we thought we’d share with you our guidance on using social media effectively at events. This guide is not intended for those organising events but instead for attendees who wish to make the most of an event and create a positive impression before it even begins.
When you sign up for an event or purchase tickets online, you will sometimes be presented with the option to share the event and your attendance on social media. Examples of websites with this feature include Eventbrite or the events feature on Facebook. So, don’t just leave the preparation to the organisers! Support the event before it has even begun by promoting it amongst your own network on social media – you never know, it might be just the type of event that they have been looking for!
You can start networking on social media before attending the event by following any relevant accounts including the organisers or venue. If the accounts are posting content that is relevant to the event, it may also be worth enabling notifications so that you are alerted to any news or information and don’t miss a thing on the day.
Prior to attending the event, it may also be a good idea to post on social media and let your network know about the event that you will be attending. Try to tag any social media accounts for the event itself in your post, or even the organisers or venue if they have accounts on social media. Be sure to also include any relevant hashtags as, if the event is expected to be particularly well-attended, it is possible that the related hashtag could trend on social media platforms such as Twitter – a trending hashtag could dramatically increase the exposure that an event receives on social media. It is also important to include a location in your social media posts where possible. Platforms such as Facebook enable users to select locations that are near to them geographically when creating posts.
During the event itself, spend your time interacting with other people, taking photographs where possible and enjoying yourself! If you are attending an exhibition, it may be possible that some exhibitors will encourage you to engage and interact with them directly on social media, often to enter a competition or win prizes. If you share images on social media from an event, ensure that you use the relevant hashtags and mention any people or businesses shown in the photograph as well as the location; these will all help to ensure that your post gets noticed in all of the excitement.
After an event has finished, post again on social media to let your followers know how it went, what your learnt and who you connected with. Use images or videos from the event where possible, include any hashtags, and mention relevant users. If you attended a business event and met representatives from other companies, then take the time to follow their business accounts on social media through your own company accounts. After meeting with you at the event and being reminded about your organisation again on social media, you will have successfully completed the first two steps in a seven stage marketing process that is guaranteed to generate customers for your business.
If you attend a networking event regularly, you may also wish to keep track of the people or companies you meet each time. An easy way to do this is to create a list on Twitter for the event and then simply follow your new contacts and add them to your list on Twitter – you should eventually build a strong database from the event that can be used for future marketing.
LinkedIn is another key tool to consider using when attending a business event. Use LinkedIn to search for individuals that you have met and continue the conversation online by following up on any leads or prospects. This tool can prove invaluable in ensuring that the events you attend have a quantifiable Return on Investment for your business.
In conclusion, social media can be a very powerful tool when used to support or enhance your attendance at an event. Used correctly, it can be the difference between being forgotten and making a long-lasting impression on the people you have just met. If you would like further guidance on using social media effectively, please get in touch with us. We can have a chat about your requirements and talk you through our range of cost-effective marketing packages. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at a local networking event soon…
This article was written by V8Media but first published in the blog section on the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce website. Visit the Chamber website to read the full article here.