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By Guest Blogger Stephanie Hilger, Blue Magnet Interactive

Learn 10 expert tips on how to get the most out of social media at professional events.

Social Media is an important component in today's event industry. From event conceptualization to culmination, social media plays a huge role in event marketing and can help ensure the success of your event as well as enhance your own experiences as an event attendee.

In this post you will learn 10 social media best practices both event professionals and event attendees find helpful.


#1 -- Optimize Your Profiles Ahead of Time

Never go into an event with incomplete or inactive profiles. In most cases, you will be using Twitter to live tweet and LinkedIn to connect with other attendees, speakers, and hosts. Therefore, at the very least, make sure your Twitter and LinkedIn profiles are up to date and fully optimized before utilizing these channels day-of.

If your profiles are new or have remained inactive for the months leading up to the event, it is a good idea to get in the habit of regularly posting beforehand.  Leading up to the event, make sure to post useful, relevant, and targeted content on your networks for the attendees that you will be connecting with.

#2 -- Do Your Research 

Do not go into the event without doing your research!  You will lose focus if you show up to an event with no knowledge of the official hashtag or session hashtags (if applicable). It is a good idea make a note of these hashtags and applicable handles beforehand versus scrambling during the event to find the information and, in turn, losing track of what you wanted to post.

Take some time to connect with and follow other attendees, organizers, and speakers ahead of time and create saved searches. Introduce yourself and let them know you are looking forward to connecting at the event . Finally, be sure to tag the appropriate people in any pre-posts,  live posts, or post-posts.

#3 -- Add to the Experience 

Ask yourself if the information that you are sharing is adding to the event experience. Ideas for optimal live-tweeting include:

  • Share photos and videos from the event; do not rely solely on textual updates. 
  • Do not always feel obligated to jump into a conversation if you have nothing of value to add. Remember, when it comes to posting, quality over quantity. 
  • Do not forget about your other followers. Consider those who are not in attendance in your posts as well and share exclusive content that they will find useful and pass on. 
  • Increase your live-tweeting efficiency by setting up customized tweet templates with speakers’ information, twitter handles, and appropriate hashtags ahead of time so you can plug in relevant quotes throughout the event. This will make it much easier to pay attention while posting; plus, they’re great for re-tweeting!
  • Keep tweets and posts short and sweet. According to Salesforce's statistics, tweets that consist of less than 100 characters see up to a  17% increase in engagement. 

#4 -- Be Diligent 

Live-tweeting is fast paced, so it is imperative that you are diligent in checking your posts for spelling or grammatical errors. If you misspell the event hashtag, your post won't be seen in live feeds, and you will miss opportunities for engagement. It will be easy for others to find your posts if you utilize the proper hashtag.

#5 -- Engage and Interact 

Do not rely on your original content; be sure to retweet and reply to what other attendees are saying and sharing.  Engage in conversation, add your own commentary to retweets, and follow other relevant attendees you converse with.

#6-- Follow-up! 

Do not let the conversation die once the event is over. Thank the speakers, share blog recaps, and continue to engage in networking and conversation after the event has ended!



#7 -- Chose an Appropriate Event Hashtag 

Choose a hashtag that is short and a good representation of the event. Make sure it's easily accessible for social media users, promoted ahead of time, and easy for attendees to remember. You do not want to end up with multiple hashtags for your event and content not properly aggregated.

#8 -- Make It Easy 

Showcase hashtags on decor and event marketing collateral. Make the public Wifi password readily available. Provide accommodating materials sharable on all channels and make the most of the anticipation and enthusiasm surrounding the event. Tell attendees where they can find the organizer and speakers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.

#9 -- Engage With Attendees 

Be a part of the discussion. Follow attendees back and thank them for attending your event. Encourage them to  utilize the event hashtag in their conversations. Retweet your attendees, reply to their tweets, and engage in conversations and ask questions.

#10 -- Designate a Team Member to Monitor

Be proactive, not reactive. Always have a plan in place in case anything on social goes awry.

Designate a member of your team to monitor event hashtags and feeds  before, during, and after the event. Respond to both positive and negative comments (and quickly). Having a plan and roles set in place before the event will aid in making the most out of the experience and provide an opportunity to learn more about the attendees and their needs while building your online community.