Any conference that wants to truly distinguish itself should learn how to leverage the power of an event hashtag. Especially on Twitter, but Instagram as well, people share content before, during and after the conference. Any of the content that includes the hashtag can then be used for future market research, audience engagement, or content articles. Here are five ways to get the most out of the event hashtag.
1. Pick the Hastag and Promote It to Target Audiences
The first thing to do is create a hashtag for your conference and promote it. You should make sure it is posted around the conference and at speakers sessions. It is essential that all audiences, attendees and speakers know the hashtag and use it.
Prior to the conference, attendees should identify your target audiences:
1. Prospects – brands or individuals – attending the event
2. Prospects who are unable to attend the conference
3. Influencers or journalists who can help introduce prospects
Map out the prospects’ social media handles and create a cheat sheet with this information for easy access. Share their content and engage with them during the conference to enhance the conversation. With so many conferences taking place, many people are unable to attend every event. Social media can be used to involve them and provide them with a virtual ticket to the event.
Top Tip: Create a leader-board of who tweets the most at the conference.
2. Focus on the Visual
Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially online. According to Twitter, visual content yields 35 percent more engagement than text-only tweets. Visuals, including video, are an excellent way to stand out at any conference. A few quality pictures can grow any business and generate event awareness. Selfies and photo opportunities at a conference can replace business cards.
Top Tip: Tag other attendees in the pictures/ videos with their handle. In videos, use a call to action to encourage people to visit a conference relevant page on a website.
3. Live Marketing and Blogging
Live tweeting of sessions, panels, and keynotes is a simple way to share valuable pieces of content. Sharing presentations also builds relationships with the speakers. While live tweeting may work, live blogging is an easier way to generate conference-relevant content in a matter of minutes.
To truly maximize live-blogging, conference organisers should plan in advance the sessions that interest their audience. Then create blog templates prior to the event. While listening to the sessions, the conference organiser has to input the information into these templates and then push publish. Please remember to share the notes in a timely manner, ideally within an hour of the session. Don’t forget to post it with the event hashtag and mention with @ the speaker. Watch them share the content with their audience...
Top Tip: Add an event specific call-to-action at the bottom of live blog post. This will help convert readers into potential leads that can be nurtured later.
4. Stats and Data
Every speaker shares case studies. Every case study includes statistics and data. Sharing the quantifiable metrics of any presentation is an extremely valuable way to lend credibility to an event. Share these numbers often.
5. Conference Recap
After live-blogging, sharing presentations, creating valuable tweets, leveraging the conference hashtag, what’s next? Having mastered social media the conference organiser should have amassed an impressive amount of content that can be repurposed and revamped in multiple ways. Combine videos, slide decks, articles and embedded tweets from key audiences to truly shine after the conference. Discover trends on what worked well and reach out and stay in touch with top influencers.
Social media and event hashtags can serve as excellent opportunities for businesses to truly out perform their competition. Success on social media at a conference requires organization, strategy and focus.
Top Tip: Ideally, the recap post should be published soon after the conference. The title of the recap post should include the hashtag as a way to boost search potential for anyone looking for information about that conference.