Hashtag Event Revolution

Twitter is great for supporting live events. As more and more of us trade nationally and in a global marketplace, so attending all ‘must go to’ live events becomes less and less possible and effective – when 100% of your potential leads were based in the UK, an event at the Birmingham NEC would reach many of them, but when 10%, 25%, 50% or 90% of them are based in the EU, North America and South East Asia, that event in Birmingham becomes a much less attractive marketing proposition.

Twitter solves this problem by allowing your potential customers to attend the event virtually. It also means you can take part in events that are always train trip away – very handy for a Nottingham-based company like us.

By doing this you not only vastly extend the reach of your event, you also enhance the experience of all those who are able to attend, and you can exponentially grow the number of people who follow your future tweets.

So, how do you do it?  Begin by establishing a suitable hashtag for your event. Make sure no one else is using it for something unrelated to the event. You can also set up a site which contains all the tweets carrying your new hashtag, as well as a space for people to upload text, photos and videos of the event.

You have now created a virtual space for your event. Encourage people to start using it by integrating the hashtag into your existing marketing: add it to your email marketing campaigns, your existing Twitter conversations, and your sign-up process for the event itself. You can monitor how many people are noticing it and beginning to use it by dedicating a column to it using a tool such as Tweetdeck.

Running this sort of social media mash-up is a fairly straightforward process, but it’s one that can produce impressive results.  We helped to run a social media mash-up for our client Infogroup/UK back in 2010 at Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A), in Earls Court, London.

The website recorded more than 2,000 hits during the event, 75% of which were from new visitors to the Infogroup/UK website, with the average visit lasting an impressive 17 minutes. So, not only did this campaign convey Infogroup/UK’s immediate messages to this audience – many of whom were not at the event itself – it also provided a long-term boost to Infogroup/UK’s social media following with Twitter follower numbers rising by 20%.

It is a vivid example of just what can be achieved through more advanced use of Twitter, and is just one of many ways in which social media is changing marketing. As Carly Ferguson, former Infogroup/UK Marketing Executive, and now Marketing Manager at B2B Marketing, concludes: “I’d always been enthusiastic about using Twitter and other social media, but the work we did at TFM&A really opened my eyes to the possibilities.”

To join the hashtag revolution, and start leveraging the power of social media for your next event, either give us at Nellie PR a call, or start yourself by following these five top tips:

1.    Establish the hashtag sooner rather than later and make sure no one else is using it for something unrelated to the event.
2.    Integrate the hashtag into email marketing campaigns, through Twitter and within invitations and sign up confirmation emails.
3.    Monitor the success of your hashtag by dedicating a column to it using a tool such as Tweetdeck.
4.    Give attendees content to aid their blog posts about the event by capturing as much on film as possible and promoting it via YouTube, Flickr or Vimeo.
5.    Finally, monitor increase of followers on any of your social media platforms, as well as traffic to your website from new visitors, to get a view of the success of your social media campaign.

Want to know more?  Contact Nellie PR.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

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