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Your 2017 social media checklist for event planners

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Desk with Social Media and Connection Concept

Guest post by social media marketing specialist, Frederic Gonzalo

Conversations often begin on social platforms prior to a meeting or conference, will peak during the event itself and often continue long after attendees have flown back home and returned to work. It’s a great opportunity to engage with and inform your attendees, and to collect valuable data and feedback.

There are many social media options out there, so it’s important to limit your focus and not try to be everywhere, seeking to please everyone. Here are key platforms event professionals should consider including in their communication mix.

Facebook logoFACEBOOK

  • 1.89 billion monthly active users
  • 1.2 billion daily active users
  • More than 90% of active users access the platform from a mobile device

What works? Think visual, with quotes or action images, videos (with subtitles, if possible) and interactive content. Consider investing a small budget to promote posts or create Facebook ads. Facebook’s algorithm makes it hard to be seen without a paid push. Keep text in your ads to a minimum or Facebook may not run your ads.

TIP: Use Facebook Live (live streaming) to highlight snippets of your event or, better yet, to build anticipation about a destination or topic covered during the event.

Twitter logoTWITTER

  • More than 350 million monthly active users
  • Tool to foster real-time conversations around most events
  • 140-character limit, but photos and videos are now essential as well

What works? Include an image, GIF or video clip instead of just text and use a URL shortener like Bit.ly or Google for clean, easy-to-read tweets. Include your event’s official hashtag, of course.

TIP: Invest in Twitter ads which to promote content with a given hashtag for little investment, or perhaps promote a tweet regarding a call for papers, registration deadline or keynote speaker announcement.

LinkedIn logoLINKEDIN

  • More than 440 million monthly active users
  • Social platform by and for professionals, a great place to grow your business network.
  • Useful to find like-minded peers and tag partners met during an event

What works? Informative, newsy posts with images. Did a keynote speaker publish a new article? Is there an issue in the news that your event will be covering? These are the sorts of post that will work well on LinkedIn.

TIP: Search for potential partners or suppliers prior to an event, in order to setup a meeting. Or follow up on LinkedIn after an event to keep contact with a potential partner.

Instagram logo

INSTAGRAM

  • More than 600 million monthly active users
  • Easy-to-use and beautiful filters make everyone or everything look great

What works? Instagram is about eye candy so keep it visual and avoid putting text (Register now!) on images. Try out ephemeral content (Snapchat style) with Instagram Stories. Instagram is about discovery just as much as it is about lighthearted storytelling.

TIP: Unlike Twitter, Instagram culture is comfortable with posting multiple hashtags on posts. Your easy-to-remember event hashtag should always be there but don’t be shy to include others (location, theme, field of interest).

Pinterest logoPINTEREST

  • Over 150 million monthly active users
  • Great tool to create visual boards around specific themes
  • 80 percent of its users are women, and the average age is 40 years old

What works? Beautiful, inspiring images, quotes, mood boards.

TIP: Create collaborative boards where different users can share photos and videos about an event, a destination or attractions (things to see and do) in a host city.

YouTube logoYOUTUBE

  • Second-largest search engine after Google
  • For 18-34 years old, YouTube is number one when it comes to travel search
  • Video is poised to represent close to 80% of all internet traffic by 2018 (according to Cision)
  • There are over 1 billion monthly active users!

What works? Beauty shots, how-to videos, humour. Sure, you can create videos with your phone but make sure that audio quality or lighting are good so folks don’t skip over your content.

TIP: If you plan to do video, create a YouTube channel, and make sure your videos have proper titles, descriptions and tags. This contributes to your organization’s search engine optimization (SEO). And make sure to share your videos across all the other networks!

snapchat logoSNAPCHAT

  • 310 million monthly active users
  • 150 million daily active users
  • More than 60% of active users are under 25

What works? Funny, silly or behind-the-scenes short video or photos.

TIP: Depending on your clientele, this may not be the year to dive into Snapchat. Despite its reputation for being a platform for high school kids, the number of young Millennials (25-35) using Snapchat is growing by leaps and bounds. If your target audience is young, or if you are involved in the entertainment or marketing industry, you should consider a Snapchat strategy. A low-risk entry into the Snapchat arena: Submit a geofilter for your event.

A FEW WORDS ABOUT LIVE STREAMING
Live-streaming features on social media platforms like Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope present new challenges in terms of copyright issues and may impact the monetisation of your video content during and after your event. Get permission from speakers, be aware that some entertainment performances may be subject to copyright and communicate clearly your livestreaming policies to attendees.

SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
There are countless tools out there helping brands and event managers to monitor conversations across different platforms. The following are among the most popular ones, allowing the management of multiple social accounts across different social networks:

Agorapulse
Buffer
Hootsuite
SproutSocial
TweetDeck 

MOBILE MESSAGING
As the world goes mobile, so should event professionals. Attendees expect less paper, lanyards or brochures, all being replaced by mobile apps or wearable beacon technology enabling easy swap contact information and more. Plus, event organizers can collect data to map how people are interacting, and make real-time adjustments to optimize social opportunities.

More and more users interact with brands on Messenger, WhatsApp or WeChat (for Chinese users), so events can follow suit and use these channels to enhance customer experience.

GonzaloAbout Frederic Gonzalo

Frederic Gonzalo is passionate about marketing and communications, with over 20 years of experience in the travel and tourism sphere. Early 2012, he launched Gonzo Marketing and works as a strategic marketing consultant, professional speaker and trainer in the use of new technologies (web, social media, mobile). He writes a regular column about online tourism for TourismExpress and Pax News, and collaborates to influential sites such as Social Media Today, Business2Community, Skift, Tnooz and ehotelier. He was ranked among most influential bloggers for marketing & social media in Canada in both 2013 and 2014. In 2015, he published his first book: Social Media Best Practices in Travel Marketing.

Download Tourisme Montréal’s 2017 social media checklist for event planners!

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