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.