To Be or B2B? How Social Can Take You Center-Stage At EventsMay 02, 2014
Tis’ the season for B2B Marketing!
Conferences are sprouting up everywhere. Makes sense, as 79% of businesses rank events as important, and 67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing the most effective strategy for connecting with consumers.
And here’s another statistic from the same report that you might not expect: social media marketing budgets are expected to double over the next five years.
Unrelated? Not on your life. Social media at events is now the butter on popcorn—sure, you could have one without the other, but what’s the point?!? Since stats don’t lie, here’s the takeaway: your social media strategy can make those #DollaDollaBills count more when applied at events.
- Incredible brand exposure– conferences bring people together from all corners of the world! Leveraging social can help you build long-term relationships with audiences you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to interact with.
- Connection with industry insiders– a LOT of expertise gets shared over social at events. Now’s your chance to become the center of that community!
- Tell your story more visually—each conference or event is deluged with pitches, news, and sales attempts. But real-time social media tactics can make your story stand out amidst any crowd, helping you to ultimately capture more leads.
So what to do? Whether you’re traveling to rep’ your business or hosting the year’s best conference to drive customer interest, social media engagement can be achieved in just a few easy steps:
1) Create a Killer #Hashtag
The first and most important step, by far. Create some unity around your brand with a single event #hashtag that lets audiences interact across the same conversation. If you’re an event attendee, you can still generate engagement from the tradeshow floor with a #hashtag around your business or campaign.
2) Show Off the Goods
Make the social conversation visible! We could hawk our Event Displays to help you achieve this, but it’s really about providing constant reminders for those who post to your #hashtag over social. Make announcements, give prizes (more on that later), and yes, use tools like Twitter Walls, Instagram Walls, or Social Hubs to let people see and get excited from their own contributions. If you’re an attendee, using this tactic will also help you grant more foot traffic to your booth—so win-win!
3) Mario Kart Anyone? Make A Game Of It.
There’s no better way to spark social media engagement than to add a little friendly competition. Gamifying is HUGE at events these days, and you can kill two birds with one stone by adding a social component (the other bird, of course, being brand awareness). Our tip: gamify however best ties back into your brand. But an easy way to make these two worlds collide is to use leaderboards that rank audiences over social. This lets fans battle to produce social content, which will help your #hashtag trend!
Summed up, a conference is an opportunity that is too good to waste by forgetting to add social engagement into the mix. Have fun with it! Your social media marketing budget will thank you later.