7 Social Media Techniques To Improve Your Events

Live tweeting at the Audience Conference 2010

Events are extremely useful to marketers because they allow face-to-face, direct contact with their potential and current customers. Furthermore, events are useful for developing stronger connections with target markets, getting immediate feedback on products and services as well as addressing customer concerns.

Social media and social networking can be used to help promote events in advance, as well as motivate attendees to engage more deeply with the event during and after it takes place. Here are some helpful techniques you can use to connect your events with your online activities.

Connecting Before an Event

1. Facebook Events

Making your target attendees aware of your event is clearly important and Facebook events application is a great tool for achieving this. Creating Facebook events makes it easy for your connections to know when the event will be, where the event will take place and what kind of activities they should expect.  Make sure you have as much information as necessary to clearly indicate the value of attending. If you don’t give your prospects and customers a good reason to be there and get in on the action, they probably won’t.

As your invitees accept your invitation to attend, it is automatically posted to their walls allowing their network to become aware of your event. This gives added exposure to your event and can help your event go viral. You have the option to display the number of persons who accept your invitation on the events page which can encourage others to accept your invitation. Another great feature is the comment section where you or anyone can post great things about the upcoming event. Long Island Entrepreneurs uses this to increase attendance to their monthly business networking event.

 2. Twitter Updates

Twitter is an amazing way for you to let your followers know about upcoming events taking place offline and to give them little reminders leading up to the event without being too intrusive. Use Twitter to share links to your sign-up page if attendees need to register for your event. Twitter can also serve as a great platform for people to quickly ask questions about the event and give people a reason to attend. It’s a great way to build momentum and anticipation for the event as the time comes closer. For example, today I am tweeting every 2 hrs about a free business networking event that I am hosting at Retro Lounge & Grill in Freeport. Included in my tweets is an offer of a free drink to anyone who re-tweets it 4 times.

 Connecting During an Event

3. Live Tweeting

Your prospects or customers who may not be able to attend your event does not have to miss out since live tweets can be used. Live tweeting during events allows companies to engage their audience and make them feel like they are a part of the live event. In addition, it offers an added level of engagement for those who are in attendance. Even if they are at the event, taking part in an online discussion where possible will allow you to interact with your target audience on multiple levels. It also shows them you care that they took the time to attend your even. Create a unique hashtag for each event you host and publicize it to both attendees and people following online so everyone can easily follow and take part in the action.

4. Live-Streaming

While of course it would be great if all your followers and customers were able to attend the event you have put so much time and effort into planning and hosting, as we know, that’s not always the reality. Just because your customers or prospects can’t make the trip across the country, doesn’t mean they should miss out on the experience. Consider live-streaming the various speaker presentations throughout your event. This is also a great tactic when you are expecting a lot of people or if there are a limited number of tickets available. It encourages people to still participate and can help to reach a larger audience of people who were unable to attend but may still be interested in the content.

Connecting After the Event

5. Photo Streams

Whether it’s through Facebook, or Flickr posting pictures from your event to photo sharing sites allows your attendees to relive the event and enables those who missed your event to get an inside look at all the amazing stuff that happened during the event. The goal is to make people feel like they missed out on an amazing event that, maybe next time around, they will attend. Encourage attendees to upload their own photos, too. Photos give people a chance to share their personal experiences with the event, creating an amazing connection between attendees, your event, and your brand. See photos taken at events I host as well attend at SM Business Solution Facebook page.

6. Blog Retrospectives

Writing blog post about your event not only gives you a chance to thank all of the people who took the time to attend your event, but it also gives you a chance to highlight what you accomplished by hosting the event. How successful was it? How many attendees did you attract? Describing what you learned by meeting prospects and customers face-to-face will convey how much these interactions actually mean to your company and how important they are you. Here is a post, “The Social media social“, by Robert Saunders that he posted to this site after we co-hosted a business networking and social media seminar. You will see from the comments that were made that we were able to successfully engage our audience even after the event.

7. Recorded Video Content

Use video recording to extend interest after the event

Create videos from the live stream for people to view or download from sites like YouTube. This enables you to reach those weren’t able to attend the live event or watch the live-stream. Hopefully, if you’ve generated enough buzz about the event and kept that buzz going afterward through creating a successful event and generating positive testimonials from attendees, people who felt like they missed out on an awesome event will want to access the content they missed.

Do share with us how you are able to use your online activities to generate interest and increase attendance to your events.

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Top 5 Social Media ROI Metrics For The Business Owner

Assess time, money and other resources you put into Social Media

Every astute business owner wants to determine the return on investment made in all aspects of their business, including Social Media and Social Networking.  Here are five ways to determine ROI  for these important marketing media.

1. Reach – This is the number of  Twitter followers, Facebook fans, LinkedIn group members you have  and is directly related to your social media success. The more people will see your content, the more people will spread your messages.  Track how your reach is increasing over time. If you’re not attracting new followers as time goes on, focus more of your social media efforts on generating new fans and followers. You  must build your reach to increase the value you get from social media marketing.

2. Traffic to website/blog – In social media marketing, one major goal you should have is to drive traffic from social networks to your website and/or blog. Look at your website/blog’s referral sources to determine how many visitors came from social media sites. For example, when you post a blog update use bitly.com to shorten the link to your blog since bitly.com will  track number the of persons who click on the link and therefore traffic driven to your website.

3. Lead Generation– This is arguably one of  the most important metrics to use when measuring social media marketing ROI. Take another look at the traffic you’re generating from social media sites. Of that traffic, how many of those website and blog visitors are converting into leads? Of course having a lead conversion form on your website to capture visitor contact information is extremely important in this process.

4. New Customers – Now take the lead data one step further. Are your social media leads actually turning into customers? And just how many of them are? Being able to attribute actual customers gained is perhaps the most powerful indicator that the time you spend on social media marketing is actually worth it.

5. Conversion Rate – What’s the visit-to-lead conversion rate of your social media traffic? In other words, of the social media traffic you’re generating, what percentage of those visitors become leads? While this may seem like a useless metric in itself, the conversion rate can be very useful when comparing one channel with another. For example, you can compare your Facebook conversion rate to your blogging conversion rate to analyze the ROI of those channels relative to each other.

     

Use ROI to determine your success on Social Media

Do share with us your how you determine the success of  investing your resources in Social Media and Social Networking?

 

 

 

 

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12 Ways To Improve The Use Of Social Media For Your Business

Social media can be an effective communication tool, that makes you accessible to those interested in your product/services and makes you visible to those that don’t know your product/services. It can be used to create a personality behind your brand and relationships that you otherwise may never gain. This will lead to not only repeat-buyers, but customer loyalty. The fact is social media is so diversified that it can be used in whatever way best suits the interest and the needs of your business. Here are 12 ways that social media can be used to improve your business.

Making it easy to share content online

1. Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and blog posts to improve sharing. The Facebook ‘like button’ is especially effective because each time someone clicks on it, their Facebook status is updated to show that they like that blog post or web page.

2. Use Twitter to show your company’s personality by sharing insights, company news, new product launches and special offers.

3.  Start a blog and post articles that will demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. The comments and feedback from your readers will tell you if you are achieving that objective.

4. Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see track response from your target market.

5. Start a group or join one on Facebook or LinkedIn. This members of the group should be your clients or prospective clients.

6. Search Summize.com for as much data as you can find in Twitter on your product/service, your competitors and your space.

7. Practice delivering quality and valuable content on your blogs, such that customers feel educated / equipped / informed.

8. Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse which offers 14 days free service.

9. Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.

10. Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.

Social Media Icons

11. Investigate whether your product sells better by recommendation versus education, and use widgets to help recommend, or videos and podcasts for education.

12. Track your inbound links and when they come from blogs. Be sure to comment on a few of the bloggers’ posts and build a relationship with these persons. The fact that they linked to your blog, indicates their interest in what you do and reaching out to them can only improve the relationship.

Do share with us some of the ways you have been able to use Social Media to improve your business or some things that did not work for you.

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