Charting the Industry: Social Media Now a Fixture for Live Events


A survey released in February 2012 from engagement marketing firm Constant Contact finds that social media has become a critical communications tool for small businesses and nonprofits that plan events, with 77% of event planners currently using social media to promote their events, and another 14% planning to do so in the next year.

While the survey also reports that event planners still rely heavily on e-mail, online event marketing tools, Web sites and print advertising to promote their events, 78% of survey respondents believe that social media is an important marketing tool for their events.

“Event communications has evolved. It’s no longer just direct mail invitations, phone calls and simply hoping that people will come,” said Chris Litster, VP and general manager of event marketing for Constant Contact. “Now it’s social media conversations, real-time communication and online video—true engagement across platforms to create a holistic event experience from start to finish.”

FOREVER EVENT

Social media is certainly firmly integrated in Pollock Communications ’ event efforts for clients, says Marcie Klein, senior VP at the New York-based agency. The key to social media, says Klein, is that they extend the life of an event, as “everything lives forever online,” she says.

Pollock often will deploy an event-specific blog, Twitter account, YouTube channel and Facebook page to generate pre-event excitement and buzz for a client’s event.

During an event, Klein recommends deploying a location-based service like Foursquare to show friends and their followers exactly where they are and what they’re up to. Integrating Facebook into the mix, giveaways and/or coupons can be offered. And then there’s the specific Twitter hashtag associated with the event that aggregates event buzz and feedback in real time (a tactic that’s regularly executed at PR News events).

The study also asked respondents about their event/social media goals for the future. Two-thirds of respondents would like to use social media to reach more people, 65% hope to gather feedback from past event attendees, 63% would obtain new/more event attendees and 62% look to remain engaged with past event attendees.

TRADITIONAL RULES APPLY

Whatever the goals may be, Klein offers a couple of tips to make social media efforts seamless for event campaigns:

• Be respectful of your brand and consumers’ social media space. “Brand ambassadors and guests can tweet fun, interesting updates to followers during an event,” says Klein. “But don’t forget, the same offline media rules apply to social media channels: Be interesting and relevant and don’t overdo it.”

• Ensure your social media activities serve the overall brand strategy and personality, and that they are all linked together seamlessly to support your brand story.

“The combination of social media with other event marketing platforms can be powerful, and today’s tools make it easier than ever to integrate them together,” says Litster.

Just make sure you use these platforms judiciously.

CONTACT:

Marcie Klein, mklein@pollock-pr.com; Chris Litster, @cmlitster.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01




Comments Off

avatar

About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.



Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech

prn_ms_175x135_ep

Unlike other conferences, you’ll be immersed in the strategies and tactics that you can apply right away to your work as a communicator. You’ll learn what it takes to compete for attention, engagement and positive brand awareness across an array of social media networks.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Digital PR & Social Media Guidebook

DigitalPRSocialMedia_PrintDigital_vol6

This guidebook has one essential purpose: helping you maximize your communications effectiveness in the digital world. The articles in this guidebook produced both by the PR News staff and more than fifty communications industry thought leaders, focus on most every facet of digital PR and social media.

Use code “DIGITAL6” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription

Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.