Working in the communications business, we tend to forget that. Thanks, Hootsuite, for reminding us that social media is only around for quite a short time period!
Just came across this infograpics about the recent growth in social network usage, updated by the Search Engine Journal.
Interestingly, Twitter is currently the fastest growing network. While I am a big fan of this network service, particularly when it comes to
- real-time coverage of events and
- getting a quick overview of a certain topic,
it kind of surprises me, too. Of all the networks, Twitter is definitely the one which is most complicated to infrequent users. However, they changed the interface and the look-and-feel quite a bit in recent months, with the aim to make it more user-friendly. It seems this has worked out.
How can you afford not to be active on social media these days?
However, lots of conference and exhibition organizers seem to lack a clear strategic view on what they want to achieve.
Social media and in particular Twitter can bring you exhibitors, conference delegates and event sponsors. It can turn cold contacts into (at least) lukewarm leads.
How that? By tweeting “Come exhibit at the great show X” or “Attend the super conference Y”, and then the sponsors, delegates and exhibitors will come flocking to your show?
Here’s some tips on how to get going. Feel free to add your experiences!
Step 1: Define your target audience. Ok. We’ve heard that a hundred times. But do you really know who to look for when browsing those 554,750,000 registered Twitter users? What are the keywords and hashtags your target audience would be using? Make a list.
Step 2: Analyse your followers. That is assuming you have some already. But after some Twitter activity and follower marketing, you might have a decent number of followers. Now comes the time to take a closer look at them and identify the leads. Let me guess: Only 10-15% of your followers are really interesting leads, right? Anyway… You may want to create a (private or public) list of those that are relevant and that you want to get as customers.
Step 3: Show some Twitter love. Don’t spam them by sending direct messages. I wonder who uses Twitter for direct messaging, anyway. Do you? RT your leads’ tweets. List them in helpful listings. Thank them for following back. #ff them. Make them aware of content that they may find interesting. Establish a warm Twitter base.
Step 4: Once a Twitter contact is established, you can take the next step. Whether that is a call or an email or any other suitable means of communication is up to you. But that is the time when you can take the contact beyond the Twitterversum. Maybe the person tweeting for the company is not the right one, but they can direct you to the relevant decision makers. Ultimately, conversion is the goal!
Sounds like quite some work? Yes it is. But how efficient is your emailing list? What’s the churn rate of unsubscribes every time you do a mail blast? How much does it cost you to send out snail mailings?
Essentially, XING and LinkedIn can be used in a similary way, but the threshold of getting in touch with potential customers is a lot lower with Twitter, in my opinion. It is easier to gather 4-digit numbers of followers on Twitter than it is on the business networks.
How do you use Twitter for lead generation? Or not at all?
This study can provide good food for thought on how to allocate budgets for tradeshow marketing. While the social media “stars” Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn appear to be not overly useful and not overly freqented in B2B Marketing, the study reveals significant differences in age groups.
I can’t believe it!
Thanks to more than 3000 Twitter followers for the trust and support. I hope to remain relevant to you guys when it comes to sharing content about innovative event marketing and social media.
Social Media are getting increasingly important to market conferences and trade shows. Obviously, email and print are not dead and belong in each marketing plan, but social media are here to stay!
The world of social media is constantly changing. A lot of companies have created jobs like „Social Media Manager“, „Community Manager“ or „Social Media Marketing Manager“, with the aim to professionalize their activities. You find those job ads more and more, often times they are combined with online marketing.
It is one of the most important interfaces of your company to the outside world. Social media are for dialogue, they are not a classic marketing tool.
The management of an organizer or an association is in charge to discuss and determine the social media strategy. Activities in social networks are relevant to all departments, not just communications and marketing.
These are 4 strategic questions to raise:
- Define your target groups: Who do you want to reach? Which management level? What is your regional focus?
- Determine your goals: What do you want to achieve? Image transfer? Sales? New target groups?
- Intensity: Do you want to use social networks just passively (monitoring)? Do you prefer just to react to discussions mentioning your projects and company? Or do you want to proactively shape your own presences on social media and market them?
- Choose the basic technologies, e.g. for social media monitoring, blogging or facilitate teamwork.
This strategy is the basis for any meaningful activity of a Social Media Manager.
General tasks: Your Social Media Manager…
- screens the social networks: Who and how are your company, your projects or products mentioned? Who are influential bloggers/twitterers? Where do you find relevant content or groups?
- chooses the right platforms to reach your audiences
- designs the presence of your company on those networks (e.g. Facebook page, LinkedIn group, Twitter account)
- wins followers, motivates users to „like“ your page, invites users to groups etc.
- posts content on social media and coordinates contributions from other employees as well as guest posts (e.g. on your corporate blog)
- animates your presences, e.g. by re-tweeting interesting content, thanking the followers, asking questions, responding to comments
- monitors the success of your social networking activities – this is what they need clear goals for!
- reports to management about new trends, the success of your activities and the feedback of your community
Specifically for the event business, your Social Media Manager can…
- help to identify interesting speakers for your conferences
- find suitable Twitter hashtags for your events and spread them
- coordinate the live coverage of your event (e.g. slidesharing, podcasting, vodcasting, interviews)
- create „events“ on the social networks and enter your conferences in social directories like Lanyrd
- post event content in relevant groups, e.g. on LinkedIn and XING
- animate and moderate the discussion on Twitter and/or Facebook during the event and give feedback from the virtual attendees to speakers and moderator
It is quite obvious that the job of a Social Media Manager can be very demanding. Therefore, management needs to constantly qualify the community managers – social networks keep changing, new platforms and technologies come and go.
Investing in social media trainings, seminars and attending relevant conferences are money well spent.
By the way, a lot of the Community or Social Media Managers are female – you‘ll find this and other facts about the general job profile in the 2012 Community Manager Report by socialfresh.
Die Bedeutung von Social Media für das Marketing von Konferenzen und Messen wächst unbestritten. Klar: Auch Email und Print gehören in den Marketingmix, aber das „Social Media Rad“ drehen wir nicht mehr zurück!
Die Welt der sozialen Netzwerke verändert sich rasant. In Deutschland kann man das daran ablesen, wie sich das Gewicht deutlich von XING hin zu LinkedIn und von den VZ Netzwerken und wer-kennt-wen hin zu Facebook verlagert.
Weil das so ist, schaffen viele Unternehmen die Stelle eines „Social Media Managers“, “Community Managers” oder „Social Media Marketing Managers“, um ihre Aktivitäten zu professionalisieren. Immer öfter sieht man solche Stellenausschreibungen, häufig kombiniert mit Online Marketing Aufgaben.
Aber wie sieht der Job eines Social Media Managers eigentlich aus?
Diese Stelle ist eine wichtige kommunikative Schnittstelle des Unternehmens zur Aussenwelt. Social Media sind Dialoginstrumente, keine klassischen Marketingtools.
Die Social Media Strategie eines Veranstalters oder eines Verbands sollte in jedem Fall vom Management Team diskutiert und festgelegt werden, denn Aktivitäten in sozialen Netzwerken betreffen alle Unternehmensteile – nicht nur die Kommunikations- und Marketingabteilung.
Vier Strategische Fragestellungen sind:
- Definition der Zielgruppen: Wen wollen wir erreichen? Welches Management-Level? Welche regionalen Schwerpunkte?
- Festlegung der Ziele: Was wollen wir erreichen? Imageziele? Absatzziele? Neue Zielgruppen?
- Intensität: Wollen wir soziale Netzwerke nur passiv nutzen (lediglich Monitoring), reaktiv (an Diskussionen teilnehmen, die unser Unternehmen betreffen) oder pro-aktiv (eigene Plattformen anbieten und aktiv bewerben)?
- Auswahl der Basis-Technologien (z.B. Tools zum Monitoring, Blog-Software, Teamwork-Tools)
Diese Strategie ist die Voraussetzung dafür, dass ein Social Media Manager vernünftig arbeiten kann!
Generelle Aufgaben: Der/die Social Media Manager…
- überwacht die sozialen Netze: Nennungen des Unternehmens, der Projekte oder Produkte, Identifikation einflussreicher Blogger/Twitterer und Auffinden relevanten Contents
- wählt die Plattformen aus, auf denen die Zielgruppen am besten erreicht werden können
- gestaltet die Unternehmenspräsenz auf diesen Netzwerken (z.B. Facebook Seite, XING Gruppe, Twitter Konto)
- gewinnt Follower, motiviert User zu „Likes“, lädt User zu Gruppen ein.
- postet selbst Inhalte auf den sozialen Netzen und koordiniert die Beiträge anderer Mitarbeiter sowie Gastbeiträge (z.B. auf dem Unternehmens-Blog)
- animiert die Präsenzen des Unternehmens (z.B. re-tweetet interessante Inhalte anderer auf Twitter, bedankt sich bei Followern, stellt Fragen an die Community, reagiert auf Kommentare)
- überwacht den Erfolg der Social Media Aktivitäten des Unternehmens (dafür sind klare Ziele notwendig!)
- berichtet dem Management über neue Trends, den Erfolg der Aktivitäten und das Feedback der Community
Speziell im Event-Geschäft kann ein Social Media Manager
- helfen, interessante Sprecher für die eigenen Konferenzen zu finden
- passende Twitter Hashtags für die eigenen Events finden und kommunizieren
- die Live-Berichterstattung vom Event koordinieren (z.B. Slidesharing, podcasts, vodcasts, Interviews)
- die Events auf den sozialen Netzwerken anlegen und in Directories wie z.B. Lanyrd eintragen
- Inhalte des Events in relevanten Gruppen (z.B. LinkedIn und XING) posten
- die Diskussion auf Twitter während der Veranstaltung animieren, moderieren und Feedback an Sprecher und Moderator geben.
Es wird schnell deutlich, dass der Job eines Social Media Managers sehr anspruchsvoll ist. Daher ist es auch eine Verantwortung des Managements, die nötige Weiterbildung sicherzustellen – denn die sozialen Netzwerke verändern sich ständig, Plattformen und neue Technologien kommen und gehen.
Investitionen in Social Media Training, Seminare und den Besuch einschlägiger Konferenzen lohnen sich!
Übrigens sind viele Community oder Social Media Manager weiblich – diese und einige weitere Infos über das Jobprofil findet Ihr im aktuellen 2012 Community Manager Report von socialfresh.
It’s amazing to realize that there are so many great videos out there that display relevant information for event managers in an entertaining and compelling way.
Here are some of my favourites of 2011 that are great to use in presentations – or that are just fun to watch for everyone involved in event management and social media!
The 2011 update of the classic “Social Media Revolution” by Eric Qualman:
This is great food for thought for everyone considering to offer an event app for their conference: Think no more, go for it!
5 Years of Twitter – I love the quote from the astronaut…!
A tribute to Event Camp Twin Cities 2011, by the band Spokenfour (shown by Samuel J. Smith at the EIBTM 2011 in Barcelona) – fun to see all those #eventprofs featured in the video!
The pretty cool videos that the guys from Web in Travel WIT Singapore use to promote their event:
Also, I like the Google tool to create your own Search stories - Type in some of your keywords, conference title, company name, the rest is done automatically!
This one’s really great, it shows a promotion that a sausage manufacturer has done via social media, primarily Facebook. It’s in German, though, but it’s really fun and they have really understood how social media works:
So what are your favourites?
- Before the event, it is a great tool to spread the word about the contents of your event (speakers, topics etc.), to engage and to connect with potential attendees.
- During the event, it is perfect to add a virtual component to your conference or meeting, by linking the real life audience with the tweeps out there.
- It is also great to collect feedback, questions, do polls during the event.
- After the event, it allows you to refer back to useful content like slides, videos, blog summaries etc. You can also track and analyze who took part in the discussions, what the sentiment was, what you can improve and what was particularly appreciated.
- It is a perfect foundation to create a post-conference review, using Storify. Check out this example from the Emerge Conference 2011 in Oxford.
In order to motivate the delegates to join in the Twitter discussion and to demonstrate what happens in parallel on Twitter, it is a good idea to show the live feed on site. There are a number of tools out there that facilitate this, and most of them are free!
This tool can be customized regarding backgrounds, colors, pictures, speed of display. We used it at the recent World Newspaper Congress in Vienna. It is a good tool, and you just have to go to the website, make our adjustments like twitter keyword, hashtag, animation type, background colors, you click on full screen and you’re done. You can also embed the Twitterfountain on your own website.
A bit more artistic, from my point of view, with less options but a very nice visualization. Takes maybe 5 seconds to set up, click on “View full screen”, done!
This is a more static implementation, but it allows you to enter some text at the side and display your own twitter handle. Easy to set up, too, good readability. Nothing fancy, the tweets are in the focus rather than a creative display.
Triqle “What’s on?”
This is actually a mobile platform for your event that offers a lot of features, like a web app to display real time program information, mobile voting or narrowcasting on screens around the show. You can also use it to display tweets during the event, which the guys from ICCA did at their Congress in Leipzig. It comes at a price, but it is quite affordable.
Another free, simple, easy-to-use tool that displays tweets at your wall.
Nice service, displaying the tweeps’ pics in the background automatically.
This solution goes a step further and allows you to create a custom dashboard with event branding, sponsor branding, and automatic display of twitpics. The cost is between 1 and 2 USD per day and attendee, depending on the features.
Most of those services allow tweet display based on hashtags, keywords, Twitter names, or even a combination of those.
Don’t forget to determine a good event hashtag well in advance, start using it yourself as an organizer and notify your audience about it.
Your hashtag should be
- unique (check if any other conference or topic use it)
- as short as possible (not taking up too much of the 140 characters)