V3 | Grow Your Value, Voice and Volume in the Digital Age: How to improve event ROI with social media
Photo: Anita O'Malley Photo Credit: Perspectiv3
Anita O'Malley | Perspectiv3

It’s fall, and we all know that means: event season.

Let’s say you are having a luncheon to discuss your latest technology offerings. Perhaps you have a guest expert who will be speaking, or maybe instead, you are pulling from your own staff to speak. Either way, you’re spending valuable resources on this event to get a potential sale.

To get more bang for your buck, wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to get more reach from your event before, during and after it takes place?

There is.

Now, you could take the usual route by simply saying, “Here’s our event. You’re invited.” Easy enough—one and done.  Or you could take a long term relationship-building approach by building buzz about what you’re doing well in advance of the launch—starting a good 45 days out.

Here’s how it’s done: First, build a community on the social sites that your company is devoting resources to building and maintaining. How? Follow your target prospects, customers and partners and invite them to follow you back. Once you have a community of followers, you can begin socializing teaser highlights about your upcoming event.

On your event invitations, remember to include a space for attendees’ Twitter and Instagram handles alongside their email addresses. With that, you have yet another way of communicating with them.

Create buzz for your event with:

  • A unique #hashtag that is used for all event communications (i.e.#youreventname)
  • Posts about key topic points and event highlights
  • Create a contest around those who tweet or post the most about the event using the #hashtag

On event day, encourage your attendees to tweet or post by including one line suggested posts in your presentation materials. (i.e. #youreventname Big Data initiatives on 75% of CIO’s 2015 budgets.)

The social community of event invitees that you have created doesn’t end when the event ends. One way to continue engagement would be to host a Google Hangout or Twitter chat for all attendees to engage them as an event follow-up. Send a link to educational materials and follow-up information via your social platforms.

Your fans and followers have been through the event journey with you and already know about your expertise. Keep the conversation going. The event can provide returns long after it is over.

Anita O’Malley is co-founder of digital marketing company Perspectiv3 (Skillman, NJ). She can be found here on LinkedIn.

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