tips we can give to marketers who would like to integrate social media into their traditional events in order to make them something different and positioning for their brand.
11 tips to boost your events with social media.
Recipe 1: Having fun
Perhaps this is the first recipe to remember: enjoying this form of live reporting is essential to the quality of the event’s rendering, and that’s what I get out of the experience along with our friend Glenn Le Santo.
The second recipe is to start well in advance of the event, six months may seem like a long time, but it is probably a necessary and sufficient time. It allows you to get in tune, online and on site, with the objectives of the event and the place to give to social media.
Social media should serve the event and its organisers, not the other way around. Indeed, the temptation would be great to launch a bunch of hootenangs in this kind of gathering without order and without a long-term view, but it would be useless. While having fun is an important ingredient, it is not enough. The greatest satisfaction at the end of this event was that :
Recipe 4: the hashtag is the hub of an online event
In any event where social media is involved there is one thing in common: hashtag. This tag that will be stuck in all messages on twitter (and elsewhere). Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to register to a service to create your hashtag. This is spontaneous tagging. It’s an advantage because no authorization is required, but at the same time it’s a risk because you have to be careful :
- the uniqueness of the tag to avoid confusion with other events
- its brevity and practicality: #orangebusinesslive2010amsterdam is out of the question (Twitter only accepts messages of 140 characters) and moreover, this tag is too complex.
- finally, it’s a specificity of social media applied to brands, you have to respect the rules of the company. For us, it is out of question to abbreviate the brand: “OBS” is a forbidden abbreviation, and rightly so, in order to preserve the visibility of the brand Orange. Our choice was thus made on #orangelive10
This is also one of the main reasons why the event should be prepared well in advance: a buzz gradually builds up. There is no spontaneous generation – except in special or extreme cases – of visits without proper promotion of content. This presupposes several things:
- announce the event in bits and pieces, including the speakers by announcing their bibliography
- prevent participating bloggers from posting articles as they come in so that they can relay them
Build a mash-up (example: http://organicorangelive.com) that will link all the RSS feeds of the event by aggregating them. This mash up will show in a single point all the activity carried out for the event by the participating bloggers and all the other sites relaying the information.
Recipe 7: making the social media team visible
Each member of the event’s social media team must be clearly identified by a badge and a t-shirt, which will allow the team’s work to become more efficient and visible to the event’s participants.
Even for network experts, putting connectivity on an event is always a challenge. Prepare this step well in advance and dedicate a network to bloggers. If the social media team puts a lot of videos online, plan for a router and a wired network, which is more powerful and more tolerant than a Wifi network.
If you bring in a team of social media experts to lock them into a corporate speech, you’re going to get frustrated or risk attracting social media experts, not to mention criticism of the articles that would have been published and could be stigmatized as propaganda. So you have to play the game, it’s essential.
Recipe 10: Make the feeds and results visible
Anything you do online may not be seen by the physical participants of the event. That’s why having a screen to show the results in real time is so important. Over the course of our various more or less successful attempts we ended up understanding everything that was useful to do to make the event a success. I’m sure we still have a lot to learn. Many of the mistakes we have made and are still making are at the root of this checklist. After all, you learn from your mistakes too.
This is, in fact, Rule 11, which I recommend to you, and which should be retained here:
Remembering past mistakes and knowing that you never know anything . This is the basis of learning to succeed in social media because it is the learning of life that we must always keep in mind.
- the transparent advice of Kristen Sukalac, who draws the balance, positive and negative, of the Orange Business live 2010 event from the social media side ;
5 recommendations from Benjamin Ellis on the need to add a dose of social media to such events ;
“what’s in a blogger’s bag” which, beyond the anecdote and its amusing side, allows to make a checklist of everything a blogger/reporter should take with him on this kind of events.