10/29

How to Leverage Social Media at Your Next Conference

Many B2B technology companies find it difficult to identify and connect with customers in online settings. That’s why, over the past few years, hosting user conferences has become an extremely important way for companies to generate new customers and strengthen their relationships with current ones. Events like Dreamforce and Eloqua Experience attract thousands of attendees each year because of the networking and educational opportunities, while generating leads for the host companies.

As user conferences become more and more popular, brands are brainstorming ways to increase attendee interactions through Social Media. Here are a few ideas to leverage this channel to elevate your next event.

1)      Incentivize Attendees to Tweet Your Event Hashtag

One effective way to enhance a sense of community at events is to create a common goal for attendees. Event organizers should consider a group prize if the event hashtag (like Dreamforce’s #DF13) is tweeted a certain number of times. For instance, if #DF13 is tweeted 5,000 times throughout the conference, all attendees win an iPhone. If the hashtag is tweeted over 10,000 times, all attendees receive an iPad. Of course, you can tailor these prizes to your industry and event budget. In order to broadcast the progress of hitting the goal, you can set up projectors or T.V. screens that broadcast the progress in real time. If you aren’t able to build your own system for tracking, you can use a service like Hash Tracking.

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2)      Create a Twitter Leaderboard

To reward individual Social Media all-stars, create a leaderboard that tracks the number of times individual Twitter users have used your event hashtag. This incentivizes users to tweet more often, while rewarding those who are the most engaged. Similar to the group tweeting prize, try to make the leaderboard as transparent as possible by broadcasting it live on screens throughout the event venue. This allows you to highlight your brand ambassadors and give them a platform to promote themselves. In addition to the group reward, you can then reward the top 3 or 5 Twitter leaders with special prizes of their own.

3)     Hold a Raffle Where Contestants Enter By Tweeting, Checking in, or Following Your Brand Pages

Another way to spur engagement through social media is to hold a raffle. Instead of a traditional raffle where contestants must buy a ticket or fill out a form, there are a variety of ways you can have attendees enter through Social Media like: following your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn page; tweeting the event hashtag; or checking in to your event on Facebook. Sites like Scan.Me allow you to create custom QR codes that can speed up this entry process.

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Need help leveraging Social Media at your next event? Contact us to learn more about our Social Media Marketing services.