How to Engage the Online World

Developing a digital marketing strategy that aligns with your event is a great way to support and promote your experiential marketing campaign. Remember one of the limitations we had mentioned last week?

“Experiential marketing would be ineffective if trying to disseminate information to the masses.”

Well, social media is the solution! It is a powerful tool that allows for mass messaging, facilitates content sharing AND makes your event searchable for the years to come. So how do you incorporate social media into your event and generate a buzz online?

TIP: Create a communications plan along with your event plan. Create goals and set time lines. When deciding on your strategy again it’s all about your audience! What platform is your target audience on – if any?

Start by thinking through all of the milestones of the event planning process (for example when you’ve decided on a date and location, confirmed special guests) and plan out when you want to announce this information to the public. How will you release the information, what method or channels will you use?  Is there a creative way to do this? A great example that is sure to get your creative juices flowing and show the potential a social media campaign can have is Paul McCartney’s surprise concert in New York’s Times Square in October. His twitter followers were shocked when the musician sent this into the twittersphere,

“Wow! Really excited to be playing New York Times Square at 1 p.m. this afternoon!”

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Photo Credit: Jessica Carrillo

Can you imagine the excitement this single tweet triggered? You think anyone showed up? This tactic is a great way to keep your audience on their toes and keep them watching your every move – or post.

If that is a little too much for you here are seven simple ways to get social media involved!

  1. Do a count down on all of your social media outlets. This is a simple way to remind your audience of the upcoming event and may peak the interest of some who were unaware.
  2. Contests are a great way to get people talking before and during an event. Have people retweet your post or use your hashtag to enter. This is a great way to generate buzz, participation and extend your reach.
  3. A Social Media Wall, for those of you who don’t know, is a screen which displays a live feed of tweets or posts from whichever social media platforms you choose. You can feed posts with specific hashtags or posts which tag your company profile. This is a great way to get people involved at your event as well as expand your reach. Consumers love being able to see their posts being shared with the event in real time. Encourage people to snap photos of themselves at the event and share it with the world!
  4. Encourage consumers to check in at the event! For example on Facebook or Foursquare.
  5. Offer a live feed of your event and get consumers to Like or follow you for access to it.
  6. Offer special sneak peeks via your online profiles. This will encourage people to follow you. Perhaps you could provide a sneak peek of an undisclosed special guest or speaker at your event.
  7. Videos go viral. Why? Because they are easy to watch, easy to understand and easy to share. During – or after – an event post a video recapping the success. Allow consumers to relive their experience and share it too. Better yet, have your audience create videos while at the event and share them on your networks as well as their own. Videos are entertaining and allow for more information to be absorbed than with simple text or an image.

Have any other ways to engage the online world or great examples of companies doing so? Leave a comment and share your ideas!

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