4 Ways Event Professionals Should Genuinely Use Social Media

May 18th, 2014 |


Fabien Lamberty is an events professional from Sydney, Australia. He writes regularly on the Pillingers Hiring Service blog about event organising, marketing and styling.

socialmediaEvents and their customer base have a very unique relationship. When people plan to attend an event, fork out the money to do so and then sit eagerly in anticipation waiting for said event, they’re expectations regarding what they are entitled to and how positive the experience should be is fairly high. At the same time, events that rely on lots and lots of different people to all pool together to pull off something spectacular are prone to “difficulties”. This is why event professionals should never forgo integrating a social media strategy into their event campaign. If you’re the kind of event professional who likes to make their attendees happy, their guests and guest speakers proud to be there and make their partners and sponsors feel like they’re getting some bang for the buck, then you need to start thinking social. Here are 10 ways you can effectively and meaningfully initiate your social campaign. Remember, genuine interaction is what give social its weight and presence. If you wouldn’t cheapen the experience for your guests at the event, don’t cheapen it for them online.

1. We Belong Together

Every social media platform has been designed for a purpose. Commonly we see hapless marketing folks or naive event professionals crossing their social media wires. Whilst you’ll find connections between platforms i.e. Facebook and Instagram tie neatly together, you need to always consider the platform you are immediately publishing on. You may have one message to communicate, but you need to be able to specify that message to each of your platforms and audiences. Don’t spam one generic junk message across Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest and expect people to respond with any enthusiasm.

2. Respond/React

If someone called your inquiry line would you hang up on them? If they rocked up to your boxoffice would you close the shutter? No. So you shouldn’t ignore your audience when they speak out to you on social media. If you have a small team of people whose job it is to monitor every event mention you’re getting on SM and then responding to these with kindness, eagerness to help and appreciation for the contact, your hard work will be rewarded with some very positive sentiments. Ignoring a negative comment on social media is a total faux pas but brands and events need to realise that if someone has gone out of the way to express happiness about what you’re doing by hashtagging your event or writing on your wall, you could probably extend the courtesy and say “thanks!”

3. Hopelessly Devoted to You

Okay, if you’re the kind of event organisers who don’t really care if the punters have a good time or if the guests feel brilliant, then you can skip this section. But if you’re investing time in your catering, entertainment, light show and seating you’re probably not that kind of event organiser. In this instance, I’d highly recommend you get someone whose sole job is to manage social media. They need to be set up on a social media dashboard (you can even get ones that are created specifically for the events industry), they need to be monitoring brand mentions, they need to be tracking where engagement is coming from, they need to be analysing what kind of posts are getting engagement and how that’s converting. They need to be responding and coming back to you with information about who your audience are. They should be fully involved with the design, PR and marketing departments so that your event voice is effortlessly connected across all departments.

4. We’re All in This Together

Depending on the kind of event you’re running it’s likely you’ll have a combination of speakers, VIPs and performers. These headliners are a big part (if not the sole reason) people are heading to your event, so give your audience the opportunity to connect with them directly. Authors, musicians, business people, journalists…almost everyone is on some social media platform at the moment. Make sure these people are regularly kept up-to-date with what’s going on in the lead up and wind down to your events. Take a look at what they’re doing on social media and see how likely it is they could become a social media ambassador for your event. There’s noise about event organisers handing out contracts to guests and speakers saying they have to tweet about a certain event at least four times. This is a massively missed opportunity and doesn’t make people feel very good about endorsing you. If you’re a professional speaker with a super active Twitter account you’re going to be perplexed by being forced to sign a contract with such a measly number of obliged tweets. Look and listen to what people are doing online then have a discussion with them. The result is you’ll get great interaction from social media influencers and you can give those new to social media an opportunity to get involved.


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Fabien Lamberty