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Using social media for your event

It’s surprising how often you hear the phrase, “we’ll just throw-up a quick tweet” when we get into a discussion about how to let an audience know an event is going cashless. Letting your audience know your event is going cashless is really important. Social media provides you with several avenues to do just that, but it’s important to realise that “one and done” won’t get your message across. Here’s why…

Facebook

Now a monolith of the social media scene. Facebook is facing up to a few problems. They’ve had a rough twelve months and this has led to a plateau in platform usage. According to Sprout Social Facebook usage has levelled out over the past two years, with Instagram taking up the slack (we’ll come back to that).

The average user spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook, and coupled with the fact that an organic post now only gets 3.91% engagement rate, you can quickly see your window for reaching your audience is very small.

So, that’s bad, but how can you combat it? There are only two real ways to address this. The first is to publish more often. You might think that it’ll make your page feed look bad, but most users don’t look at your page, they look at their feed. You need to be in that feed. Draw up a content calendar and make sure you’re recycling content at regular intervals. Use a scheduler like Hootsuite and queue all your content at the start of the week.

The second method is “pay to play”. This is what Facebook wants you to do. You’ll see your reach numbers jump up and you’ll start getting into more feeds. It can be expensive, so make sure you use it tactically.

Instagram

Onto “Insta” or “the Gram” depending on what side of the pond you live. If your fans fall into the lucrative younger demographic of 16-24-year-olds, you need to be on Instagram.

Instagram can be a bit more challenging as it’s a very image-focused medium, but you can combine it with Facebook and kill two birds with one stone. Just make sure your content is platform-friendly.

As event organisers, you’ll have access to some great behind-the-scenes photos, as well as exclusive footage. Use this to your advantage. People want the experience, so let them know just how great yours will be. 78% of the millennial demographic would rather spend their money on an event or experience over buying “stuff”.

Twitter

The world’s biggest conversation, make sure you’re part of it. This is very true and remains true of the little blue bird brand. However, it’s vital you think about whether your tweet is actually going to be seen. You can have hundreds of people following you, you can have a little blue tick, but that doesn’t change the fact that the shelf life of a tweet is just 18 minutes.

That means 20 minutes after you’ve tweeted, it’s not going to get any more views. The simple fact is that you can afford to tweet more often.

LinkedIn

This isn’t for all events, but for those that it does apply, LinkedIn is a great place to generate engagement.

Users of LinkedIn are a more specific audience and they spend more time on the platform. If you know your audience is there, this is where you’ll get the most value for your posts and time.

Aside from channel-specific posting, there are universal uses for social channels and regardless of which one you choose, these should form the basis of your activity. They are…

Customer support

All social media channels are a great way to stay in touch with your fans and vice versa. They will reach out to you, especially if they have questions. Make sure that if you have a presence on that channel you’re responsive and transparent with your communication. If you can’t respond, ask yourself if you should have the channel at all. If things get sticky always try and move the conversation to email.

If the worst does happen, make sure you have a crisis communications plan ready – don’t write it on the fly. You’ll want to know exactly what to say, who is saying it, and more importantly what not to say. Sometimes it’s better to sit on your hands and let things resolve themselves rather than creating a conversation that escalates into an argument.

Two key things, react the right way and don’t just delete!

The right content

Make sure you’re providing the right mix of content for your audience. For channels such as Twitter, you’ll want to keep things light. It needs to be quick to read or scan. On the opposite side of the spectrum is LinkedIn, where your audience is more likely to want to spend time with your content. Give them something longer to explore or research. In the middle, you have Facebook, where you’ll want to blend content providing light content and deeper content at the times that resonate with your audience.

 


 

Don’t overlook the power of social it’s incredibly important. If you leave with two pieces of advice, it’s to post more often on all platforms and stay open and transparent with your audience. The rule of thumb we follow is that if it starts to feel like you’re posting too much, you’re about right!

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