Today’s events and conferences all start with conversations on social media. It has never been easier to make connections before the event has even started. Companies spend thousands of dollars a year to sponsor, attend and spotlight at events. We all know how time consuming it can be, many times, we just don’t have the time to connect with potential leads. Luckily, times are changing and social media has allowed us to make connections without burning a hole in our pockets. We’ve compiled a list of 8 tips on using social media to improve your B2B event strategy to make the most of your time and money.
1. Make yourself seen and heard. Be a leader and not a follower.
Let’s face it, we have to be biggest and the best to make it in today’s world. What’s the secret? You have to walk the walk and talk the talk. Optimize all of your social media channels in order to be seen and heard. Show off your resume by enhancing your LinkedIn profile with your accomplishments and details of your current position. Use Twitter to showcase your industry related knowledge and to gain a followership before your big event.
2. Get connected.
The best way to start connected is by first making a list of all the relevant influencers, leads and journalist attending the event. Make a spread sheet or use a CRM system to identify the social media channels they are most active in and which they would be more likely to connect.
LinkedIn tip: Always make sure you introduce yourself when you make a request to connect. Mark the relevant box where it asks “How do you know this person”. Attach a short message introducing yourself through “include a personal note”.
3. Engage, Engage.
Now that you have created your connection list, it’s time to engage. Join relevant event conversations, make small talk and let everyone in Twitterverse know that you are an influencer. Have something to say? Send links and blog posts to have an impact and keep conversation going.
4. Hashtag like it’s your job.
Tracking events is easy, simply search for the event hashtag and you will find a feed of conversations. These hashtags are no longer limited to just Twitter. For example, if we were hosting an event we would name it something like #colaboevent. You would be able to search for this hashtag through Twitter, Instagram Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google + and YouTube among the bigger channels where people are buzzing. To make life even easier, you can use Colabo to track all event conversations live, as-it-happens through email alerts and a feed board. You can even host a portal and large TV view board to showcase during the event using Colabo.
5. Be the center of attention.There is only so much you can say in 140 characters, don’t limit yourself. Utilize your company blog to provide insights. Use forum based social media sites like LinkedIn Groups, Quora and Reddit to answer user questions, make yourself a reputable source. Always publish your original content.
6. Join the community.
Through socially driven applications like Bizzabo, you can be connected to event goers before, after and during the event. This nifty app connects event goers through their LinkedIn profiles to make a professional connection. We all know how difficult it is to brand yourself and network, this app allows you to meet the connections you may have missed by identifying the people who check-in through the app. Other social applications such as Meetup and Foursquare also enable you to see who’s who to connect and learn more about event attendees.
7. Be creative.
We all know it’s not as easy as it sounds to drive people to your booth. Giveaways are always a sure shot to attract attention. Don’t limit these to the day event, create a contest or game through Twitter using the event hashtag. By doing this, you are engaging with people who may have otherwise not known about your brand. For event attendees only, it will give them a consolation to collect their prize and visit your booth.
8. Make noise.
The best way to be noticed is to be everywhere. Don’t limit yourself to just Twitter or LinkedIn, test all channels to discover the best way to make connections. The most important thing to remember is, there will be more events, don’t quit your social media chatter while you’re still hot. Be loud, be engaging and make noise.
For more on Colabo, check out our website: www.colabo.com