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Social Media for Events

On Wednesday 30th May, I went along to Event Huddle which is an educational forum consisting of debates and discussions on hot topics within the events industry. Event Huddle was held at One Wimpole Street, and the topic of discussion was ‘social media for events’; the ways in which different businesses use it, and how best to use when planning and executing your next event.

Industry experts on the day included, Sarah Rainford, senior account manager at social media agency Born Social, Darren Struwig, Digital Coordinator at one of the UK’s largest festival production agencies, Festival Republic, Audrey Solvar, founder of web agency, Moka Agency and lastly, moderator Nick Lawson, acquisition marketing manager for the UK&I for Eventbrite. Below outlines some of the main points discussed… 

Which social media platform is your preferred choice if you had to only pick one?

Sarah starts the discussion off and explains that if Instagram didn’t launch Instagram stories when it did then it definitely wouldn’t be a number one choice for her. The launch of stories has allowed and forced people to be authentic as, nowadays, it’s all about being ‘live’ in the moment and paving a way for audiences to know these brands and see behind the scenes of what action is taking place at the event.

For Darren, he explains that Instagram would be his preferred choice socially, but from a business point of view, Facebook is perfect as it offers many features like the chat messenger and ranges in audience demographics. There is no correct answer for this question, however, you have to take into consideration where your audience sits.

Social media platform, Twitter is best suited for Audrey. She has used it for many of her events, as it’s a great promotional tool for people to hear about her events and offers opportunities to connect with different speakers and see what’s going on pre and post event. discussed… 

Wetherspoons

Wetherspoons recently shut down all of their social accounts – should we follow in their direction? And will this be good for society?

We could all close down our social media accounts for the good of society, but consumers aren’t going to close their accounts. And by doing this, you’d probably be shooting yourself in the foot.

It was suggested that for Wetherspoons, it makes sense to close all social accounts, as, social media as a channel, may not be relevant to their target audience. We are all aware of the types of food and drinks Wetherspoons sell, so why not invest that money and time on marketing materials that will help bring more people through the door?

Others thought that Wetherspoons closing down all of their social media accounts was a risky move, as they still have thousands of people that want to see what they have to offer. People may not want to see images of a ‘fry-up’ on their Instagram post, but people may want to see a promotional deal or any upcoming events they can go along to, but now they will be unbale to drive new customers due the shutdown of all social accounts.

Do you think Wetherspoons closing their accounts was a good or bad thing?

The best way to increase to followers

There is a short-term moment where you need followers to look legit. Brands with just a handful of followers and lack of content doesn’t exactly attract potential visitors.

But equally, a key factor when growing your social media following is that there is no point in getting thousands of people to follow you who don’t actually care about your brand or event.

Authentic people who come in and hit follow is what’s needed…

Things to consider if you want to increase followers:

  • optimising for page likes.
  • reach in advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
  • social integration at live events.
  • liking social posts, using different hashtags.
  • spending time on different pages and engaging with people that would be interested.
  • social media influencers.
  • run a competition or a ‘chance to win’ – be aware there may not be authentic followers as they just want something to win.

When is there a best time to post?

Trialling is key when scheduling social media posts, as the engagement response you receive after will help you to understand your audience better.

An example used was that sending a post at 7am did not receive a great response in contrast to a post that went up at 7pm. An evening post in this case will appeal to the audience more as people are often at home at this time checking their social media accounts, whereas at 7am, people are often getting ready for work and are more likely to miss out.

However, the above may not work for everyone, as we are now exposed to a shift in algorithms with likes and engagement, this can easily be built up on a post that appears in peoples feed. By the time the post was uploaded in the morning, and it gets enough engagement, that’s when it builds up and can appear on people’s feeds, so no matter the time of day this could be something to look out for.

What are the best ways to drive engagement for social media?

‘Sell yourself as a brand’

By Olivia Blackstock - PR & Social Media Executive

"Wetherspoons recently shut down all of their social accounts – should we follow in their direction? And will this be good for society?"

Think outside of the box and create a campaign throughout different seasons of the year, showcase what your company can do and utilise this to your advantage. You want to entice your audience as well as drawing in new followers. Get people involved in your brand, live tweet where you are and what you’re doing, do pre-teasers of videos of a big event you have coming up, take pictures and be live in the moment.

The use of blogs and vlogs are always a great social media tool to use to showcase your personal views, insights and is a great educational medium to learn a particular topic. Having speakers upload a post and write content on your event also creates great engagement.

Figure out what else you can integrate into your event that will bring people through the door and engage with your brand.

Your creativity isn’t emitted to just one platform, as there are many social outlets that allow you to be imaginative and engage with your audience in a number of ways. Incorporating social media into your events is so important as it portrays a timeline of what your company is up to and keeps the conversation going. Attend events on social media, practise what works, and produce engaging content, this will for sure help you in the long run.

Watch the event huddle video here...