How to engage an audience on social media before, during and after an event

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Heather McGreevy

Heather McGreevy
Digital Marketing Executive

Date:
26 September 2014

Office:
Glasgow

Whether you’re holding a music festival, business conference or educational event, the power of social media before, during and after an event can really help to drive ticket sales, engage an audience and encourage feedback.

We were lucky enough to join a masterclass at Social Media Week 2014, hosted by successful online ticketing service Eventbrite, who shared their unique insights and tips on how to truly engage an audience before, during and after an event.

Before

According to Eventbrite, 50% of people engage with hosts and fellow attendees before an an event takes place. This is a clear opportunity for you to drive interactions and generate leads prior to the event.

  • Build anticipation and excitement leading up to an event by gradually revealing key information about the event days, weeks or months prior to the event.
  • Use various digital channels to support social media efforts including online media, social advertising and email marketing.
  • Relive previous or similar events to grab attention of those who have yet to experience it and really promote what makes your event unmissable. Be inspiring.
  • Work in harmony with event sponsors, special guests or speakers to further spread the word of the event with the potential to acquire members of their audience who may not have known about the event before.

Eventbrite shared their experience of pre-event promotion on social media and stated that a social share can generate up to £6.13 of additional ticket sale revenue with £3.00 of that revenue being generated via Twitter. A key indication that investment in social media can really make a difference to the overall success of the event.

During

Almost 75% of an audience at an event can be fearful of speaking in public! It’s therefore essential that you are able to provide your audience with the means of communicating with you without any added pressure. for example, via social networks.

Nowadays, we have access to platforms such as Sli.do and Tint which will provide you with the tools to let your audience engage and participate with you through social media. Social media walls allow for content coming through various different social channels to be displayed at your event and give speakers or hosts the opportunity to read and answer questions.

  • Encourage your audience to engage with your event by setting a carefully considered hashtag that will allow users to tag their posts, making event-specific conversations easy to follow. The mentions, comments and data shared with event organisers can be carefully monitored by the event organiser themselves and can later be reused to emphasise the success of an event.
  • Developing an app is also a great way to engage an audience during an event and can also help improve the overall experience. Digital tickets or passes can be made available within the app as well as an event schedule, event location details and links to social channels can be integrated into one easy to use platform.

From our own experience at Dog, we’re well aware of how successful implementing platforms such as a live social media wall can be. Dog’s own digital festival which took place in Glasgow in June, achieved excellent levels of engagement. We used social aggregation service Tint to create a live social media feed that was projected onto walls at the event. The social wall aggregated content from Twitter and Instagram that used a dedicated event hashtag (#DFest2014) and was used to display our guests’ experiences, questions, photos and feedback throughout the night. The high engagement levels caused the event hashtag trended locally during the evening.

After

While the nature of a live event is something to be cherished, the power of social media allows our audience to relive the best moments and gives those who missed out the opportunity to experience some of what they never got to see.

  • Firstly ensure that during the event, audiences both at the event and following the event online are clearly directed or informed on how they can reflect on the event after - many missed opportunities for social interaction are due to a lack of direction to the content which will be available after the event takes place.
  • Short video content that highlights the key points of the event will be well received and easy to consume in a digital space.
  • There’s further opportunity to connect with missed consumers. Those who chose not to buy tickets could reconsider for your next event with strategic and well-thought out social content which highlights why the event was so worthwhile and what attendees got from it. Positive attendee feedback is beneficial for this.

There are many opportunities and ways in which you can drive the success of an event before, during and after but the important thing to remember is that it needs to be relevant to your audience, the content is there to inspire and encourage your audience and that it is reflective of your brand.

For more information on making your event socially integrated, get in touch with our social media team today!