This is a post from Justin Ramers, Director of Digital and Social Media at ACTIVE Network
If you’re like most race directors, you spend a lot of time thinking about the logistics of event day itself. But in today’s social media driven world, the actual event is only half of the equation when it comes to the experience. For anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, a huge part of the experience is sharing it online with friends and family.
Across the industry, most events severely underinvest in the online and social components of the event. But the good news is a little bit goes a long way in these areas. As long as you put some effort into the digital components of your event, you will find the benefits can be exponential.
Here are 5 simple tips to start you on the right path to creating a social media powered event.
1) Content is king
Content is the foundation of social media and creating quality content is vital for success. But “content” can be much more (and simpler) than writing articles or even blog entries. Pictures, inspiring quotes, interviews, participant spotlights, course info and pretty much everything else can and should be distributed via social media. Equally important is to create a content calendar and schedule everything. It will help you post regularly and be more strategic about what you’re posting.
2) Wait a Minute Mr. Postman
Unlike direct mail or even email, social media is built for posting and posting often. So don’t be afraid to post as much content as you’ve got. Recent stats show that social posts only reach (on average) 10-15% of fans and followers. So it’s important to cast a wide net when it comes to posting. This is another reason a content calendar is vital to your social marketing efforts.
3) Be a Good Listener (just like your mom taught you)
Your participants are talking about your event on social media whether you have a social media strategy or not. You should have someone on your staff frequently monitoring comments about your event, hashtags and keywords and responding to issues promptly. This one is twice as important as it relates to both participant engagement and customer service.
4) Learn the Tools of the Trade
If you are thinking about your social strategy and you’ve never tweeted a hashtag or taken a picture with Instagram, guess what? You probably aren’t going to fully understand how to make these things work for your event. Download all of the tools and play around with them a bit. And if you aren’t very tech savvy, find someone in your organization that is and work with them on how best to leverage the tools.
5) Tell Them About It
If you want to create buzz around your event, it’s up to you to jump-start the engagement. You should be using every touch point available to promote and encourage photos, tweets, hashtags, videos, etc. Promote your social channels anywhere and everywhere–your website, emails, flyers, signage, etc–to get attendees to join the social media conversation.
This article was originally posted on PCMA.org.