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.