Attendees + Social Media = Free Marketing

  • Tweets with quotes from speakers
  • Photos on Facebook or Instagram
  • A blog post shared on LinkedIn
Publish the day's "Top Tweets" in your show daily!
Publish the day’s “Top Tweets” in your show daily!

Regardless of the social media platform that an attendee uses during your conference, they’re telling anyone who will listen about their experience at your conference. Yes, posts can be both good and bad, but, assuming the positive greatly outweigh the negative – they are marketing your event to their followers, for free!

To get the most out of your attendees’ social media participation, it starts with the hashtag. It needs to be wallpapered everywhere – pre-conference promotions, email blasts, onsite signage, housekeeping slides and in your show daily.

The platforms you focus on will vary – you want to be where your audiences are – but here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to watch for any early confusion about what the hashtag actually is – all it takes is one user to start using the wrong hashtag and it will go viral.
  • In the weeks leading up to the conference, monitor social media networks for active users:
    • Tweet out a “call for tweeters” to find out who’s attending and make a list
    • If Twitter (or maybe Instagram or LinkedIn) is still new in your arena, consider hosting an information tutorial session
    • Set a date & time for a tweet-up during the conference so attendees can meet in person
  • Create a plan for monitoring social media networks. Often, when there is a problem or complaint, it will be shared online. Being able to put out fires before misinformation gets around is a must!
  • Encourage users to post their photos to Facebook and Instagram.
  • Look for ways to cross-promote tweets, such as Storify (a great tool for leveraging social media activity) or publishing the “top 10” tweets in each issue of your show daily.
  • And don’t forget about Twitter Chats – hosting one regularly throughout the year will keep the social media buzz going long after the conference has ended.

The goal is to encourage attendees to be active on social media during your conference. What can be done to encourage participation – contests & prizes? Tell us how you’re encouraging attendees to be active on social media during your conference.

Leave a Reply