Let’s face it: everyone is busy. We all have jobs, obligations, families–and it’s tough to balance everything. As marketers, when we invite consumers to attend an event promoting a product or service, we are gaining valuable face-time–so don’t waste it! 95% of consumer respondents said that participating in a recent event made them more inclined to purchase the products promoted, and 70% of consumers leave events and experiences with a more positive opinion of the brand, company, or product being showcased. Those are some astounding numbers!
Here are three ways to engage consumers using social media at your next event.
- Incentivize fan growth.
The great thing about offline events is that you get the chance to interact with your loyal fans and then engage with them afterward. If one of your objectives is to obtain more likes on your company’s Facebook page, this is a great opportunity for you to do so. Give your event attendees something valuable in exchange. Maybe it’s entering them to win a free trip or a free gift from your product line. Of course, there is no guarantee that they won’t “unlike” your page the next day, but if your producing great content (here’s how) chances are they will stay engaged and interested in your brand.
- Use a hashtag.
Inevitably, people who attend your events are going to post pictures on social media, across all platforms. Why not track their posts with a personal event hashtag? Not only are you tracking them, but this is a great way for consumers to interact with each other and share their thoughts about the event and your brand.
Some tips: Remember to search your hashtag first just in case it’s been used before and already circulated across the web; you don’t want your photos and posts to get lost in the mix. Case in point, just a few days ago VH1 made a hashtag faux pas with its #AskThicke Q+A on Twitter. Also, make sure that the hashtag is short and easy to remember so that people are more likely to use it. Incorporate it on all signage and promotional items at your event.
The best part about the event hashtag? Now you have a ton of fantastic user generated content for your brands’s social sites! (#winning) Check out how Heineken took an event hashtag to the next level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqXOiQ1c42c
- Incorporate a social photo sharing booth.
Another great way to connect with your audience at events is to incorporate a photo booth or mobile photo capability. You want to leave a lasting impression on your attendees; this is a great way to ensure that they walk away with something personal. Since the consumer photo is sent directly to their email with an instant social sharing capability, it’s a terrific method for increasing online conversation surrounding your event. You should incorporate a branded overlay and some custom copy as well. Now that you have the attendees’ email addresses, you’ll be able to stay in contact with them and leverage their information for better target Facebook ads. Help attendees ditch the “selfie” and encourage them to get a branded photo!
How has social media enhanced your brand events? Comment below!