Social media and upcoming corporate events go hand in hand these days, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get it right, right? Wrong. We’re all guilty of making mistakes – out of frustration, naivety or just plain laziness – but here, we’re going to identify the most common mistakes and how to avoid them or fix them.
Common Mistake #1: The Extended Accessibility
When it comes to managing social media for an event, you can’t spread people on your team across all social media platforms. You need the one person who “gets it”, the person who can avoid cross-platform blunders, which can flow on to upset attendees, sponsors and stakeholders. You need a person who is across all communication (past, present and future), who can respond quickly to crisis and gauge the effects and impact of social media. This person may not actually be someone on your current team, instead you may choose to outsource them. However, it’s also worth looking internally for someone who loves social media, knows the ins and outs of the event and wants to develop their skills and grow their career differently.
Common Mistake #2: The Lack of Social Media Monitoring Software
Initially, you may underestimate the sheer amount of data that can be gathered and analysed from social media activity in the build-up to and aftermath of your event. You can’t gather this with a simple dashboard – or worse, by having multiple tabs open – you need to have social media monitoring software that amalgamates all platforms and identifies opportunities, keeps abreast of upcoming trending topics and gathers feedback about performance. In order to achieve this, you may need to allocate some of your budget specifically to this software. Hootsuite is acceptable but it’s often seen more as a publishing platform than media monitoring software.
Common Mistake #3: The Beggar
It’s all too easy to simply ask of your audience (which includes attendees, customers, sponsors and other stakeholders) to please do this, please click that, without giving any reward or end value to the end user. It’s so easy that it should be avoided – asking to please retweet or share something is not as effective as it has been stipulated to be over the years. Here’s the hard truth: It doesn’t work, it annoys people and it cheapens your brand. How can you avoid it or fix it? If you’re going to ask for a favour, you need to give something back or at least manage it smartly enough so that it cannot be perceived as begging.
On a side note: The below video is great for those at the bigger end of the events scale i.e. massive national or international firms and government sector. Social Media can make your event exist on a global stage and help you establish a relationship with local and global news teams. Industry thought leaders are highly encouraged to engage online prior to events in order to help frame the conversation; it’s important to remember, that with today’s technology your event starts as soon as it’s announced. You need to keep the momentum moving right through to game day and then after, too.
Common Mistake #4: The Mass Invitation
You’ve got a lot of friends on Facebook and a bevy of veritable connections on Google+ – why not invite them en masse to your event? That takes a lot of work out of your work, but unfortunately it doesn’t come across as very professional, plus for the G+ers amongst us, it’s quite frustrating to receive the mass invite on a regular basis as opting out is not really an option. While you may want to beef up the invite list to look more appealing, it’s not going to help rake in the RSVPs and, if you do it on a regular basis, you’re going to end up being ignored before your contacts even finish reading your name on their notifications page. Marketing your event effectively is a much more appropriate method and will get genuine RSVPs to your event.
Common Mistake #5: The Non-Opt-Out Option
Direct mail marketing is now amongst the duties for the social media manager in an event campaign – opting-in to receive emails is one of the results usually measured for campaigns, especially in b2b environments. But the pleasure of receiving an opt-in is that it should be just as easy to opt-out if need be – sure, it’s definitely not the ideal, but interests and priorities change, and sometimes people would rather hear less about your brand for no particular reason. It happens, let them go. If opting-out becomes a task that involves more than a click or two, you’ll frustrate people and leave a sour taste in their mouth when they think about your brand. Choose reliable email software that makes opting out easy. Test it yourself. In the opt-out, tell your audience that you are sad to see them leave the list and that you are happy to welcome them back at any time.
The infographic below is a nice and simple depiction about the roles of certain stakeholders in the often over-daunting social media landscape.