Facebook Ads? No. Fan Page? Yes!

by Marvin McTaw

Last week was huge for the business of social media with Facebook’s $100 billion IPO. The general excitement about the IPO was thrown a curveball when GM, the huge auto manufacturer, announced its decision to pull its entire $10 million Facebook Ads budget. GM’s decision was a result of what they deemed to be the low effectiveness of Facebook Ads for their business. 

Facebook Fan Page Logo

Facebok Ads vs Fan Pages

Many conferences and festivals feel they must be active on Facebook. They typically promote themselves in much the same way as GM: creating content and engaging Fans. The good part about a Facebook Fan page is that there is no upfront cost…but that doesn’t mean it is free. Although GM is pulling it’s $10 million advertising budget, they still spend $30 million a year generating content and maintaining their accounts. I imagine with most organizations it is the same.

Goal: Engaging Attendees

Facebook Fan pages are by far and away the better choice if you’re looking to engage with attendees. Fan pages allow you to connect directly with your community and engage in conversations with them. You can also install Facebook Apps to your Fan page to engage your attendees even more.

Goal: Finding Registrants

I’ve increasingly seen conferences and festivals advertising on Facebook. While these ads may help in building awareness for events, GM’s decision throws into question the effectiveness of Facebook Ads

Can Facebook Ads Work?

Facebook Ad OptionsWhile Facebook Ads can work, whether it is the best use of your limited marketing budget is an entirely different question. Ben Kunz of Businessweek Magazine summarizes it best:

Facebook can be a wonderful platform for both paid advertising and social communication. It is also extraordinarily difficult to fulfill its promise.

Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below…

Does your event use Facebook Ads & have they been successful for you?

1 note Tags: social media event experts all facebook advertising marketing

Must-Attend Twitter Chats

We’ve talked about the importance of Twitter chats before—specifically what they are, and how to join them. In short, they’re a great way to stay connected to people in any industry, engage in great discussions on an array of topics, and hear what the smartest and most respected folks in a community have to say. 

Here are just a few of our favorite weekly Twitter chats:

  • #EventProfs: The gold standard of event professional Twitter chats. With an awesome, large community of participants and moderators who come up with diverse interesting topics, it’s a must-attend for anyone in the professional (or amateur!) event community. Hosted by Adrian Segar and Lara McCulloch (founder). Tuesdays, 9 - 10 PM and Thursdays 12 - 1 PM (EST).
  • #AssnChat: For all members of the Association community, from members to organizers. Hosted by Kiki L’ItalienTuesdays, 2 -3 PM (EST). 
  • #EventTable: Another great event industry chat hosted by Iani Ciatti. Mondays, 3 - 4 PM.
  • #ExpoChat: One of my personal favorite Twitter chats, hosted by Traci Browne and Stephanie Selesnick. While focused more toward folks in the trade show community, I find the topics chosen and the discussion that ensues to be some of the most insightful. Wednesdays, 3 - 4 PM (EST).

Do you join in any of the chats we mentioned? If not, what are some of your favorite Twitter chats? I’d love to join!

2 notes Tags: all event experts event-experts Twitter Chat Twitter Social media assnchat

Do *NOT* Piss Off These Attendees [NEW FEATURE]

What’s In This Post

  • Overview of the new Event Experts Report
  • Manage your event’s image 
  • Improve engagement metrics
  • Discover important attendees

Event Experts Report Now Available

Common Event Management Problems

Our team’s job is to eliminate your event management headaches because you have an incredibly difficult job. Some common headaches we hear from our customers include

  • Reputation: event organizers don’t know what people are saying about their conference, festival or meeting
  • Engagement: event organizers find it difficult to measure their audience’s engagement with their events
  • Who Matters Most: event organizers don’t always know the identities of the most important attendees

Uncommon Solutions

We’ve created the Event Experts Report to eliminate these problems and more through

  • Monitoring: see what your attendees and others are saying about your event online and in social media
  • Engagement Metrics: objective metrics to help you understand and improve your attendees engagement with your event
  • Important Attendees: determine and interact with the attendees that have the most connections, largest audiences and biggest influence 

Manage Your Event’s Reputation

Tweets About This EventThe Event Experts report includes real time summaries of what people are saying about your event on Twitter and on the web including websites, blogs and the press. This real time view can help you manage the perception of your event online and gives you tools to respond when required

Objective Measures Of Engagement

Important NumbersThe Event Experts report includes objective measures of  attendee engagement with your event like

  • Pageviews and unique visitors from Google Analytics
  • Total Accounts and Personal Schedules created 
  • Average number of sessions per personal schedule

The metrics included in the Event Experts report are not meaningless numbers. They are all metrics that you can directly influence and improve.

Attendees With Megaphones

Important AttendeesEvery event has it’s VIP’s but as an event organizer, you don’t always know who they are. The Event Experts report ranks your attendees based on their connections and social media influence. There are many ways you can use this list including:

  • Providing extra attention for high ranking attendees before, during and after the event
  • Monitoring the social media activity of high ranking attendees including Twitter feeds, LinkedIn updates, blog posts and Facebook timelines
  • Interact with high ranking attendees to leverage their connections and influence to help promote your event

Your Event Experts Report

Reports In DashboardTo access your Event Experts Report, click on the Reports tab in the top right hand corner in the Administrative Dashboard for your Sched.org tools

Questions? Want to learn more? Contact us!

Tags: all product social media reports reporting social media monitoring

Introducing Sched.org Facebook Apps [New Feature]

Now you can get your Sched.org tools on your Facebook Fan pageThe Facebook app is perfect for events looking to build their social media presence and is another tool designed to help engage your Facebook Fans. It’s also a great way to help further your social media marketing efforts!

The Schedule, Directories & More

The app will allow your Facebook fans to interact with all aspects of your event including: 

  • The Schedule: List, detailed, grid and venue-based schedule views  
  • Directories: Attendees, Speakers, Bands/Artists, Sponsors, Exhibitors and others
  • Connect: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare integrations
  • Interact: group schedules, connection finders and friend connect
  • Explore & Share: popularity charts, session details and social sharing
  • Exports: access print-ready versions, ical feeds, mobile versions, embeds 

…and much, much more! 

Easy Installation

The Facebook app installs directly on your Fan page and can be used both on the existing and Timeline based versions. Once installed, your attendees can access your app with one click from your Facebook Fan page.    

Facebook App Installed On Timeline Based Page

Want to see the Facebook App in action? 

Check out the Sched.org Facebook App for SXSW!

Facebook Apps are now a part of the Premium Package or available on a standalone basis. Contact us if you’d like to learn more!

1 note Tags: all product facebook social media apps

Find More Friends With Foursquare [NEW FEATURE]

Now you can connect your Foursquare account to your Sched.org account! This will allow you to see your Foursquare friends attending the event and the sessions they are interested in.

This addition to our Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn integrations will help you find even more friends and provide social context around the schedule of events.

Example: Social Connections

Example: Social Context 

Tags: product all foursquare social social media

Who Really Uses LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a great resource for keeping track of my professional network. I always find myself wishing I would use the service more than I already do now. There are such great resources there including LinkedIn’s commitment to providing great curated content (http://www.linkedin.com/today/).
As an event organizer, it’s also a great place to keep up with your attendees especially as you try to help them with their professional development. 

Source: businessinsider.com via Irene on Pinterest

Tell us on Facebook or Twitter

  • Are you using LinkedIn as part of your event’s marketing strategy?
  • How are you using LinkedIn for your events or organization?

Tags: event experts social media all


A somewhat different take on the thing we reblogged earlier, but it shows two very interesting things: First, Tumblr and Pinterest are timesucks in equal measure, and second, nobody’s actually hanging around Google+ once they sign up. The latter is the subject of this super-interesting Wall Street Journal piece. (EDIT: A good point: Don’t take that Twitter number at face value, as this graphic skips two key elements of the Twitter experience — mobile and third-party apps.)


A somewhat different take on the thing we reblogged earlier, but it shows two very interesting things: First, Tumblr and Pinterest are timesucks in equal measure, and second, nobody’s actually hanging around Google+ once they sign up. The latter is the subject of this super-interesting Wall Street Journal piece. (EDIT: A good point: Don’t take that Twitter number at face value, as this graphic skips two key elements of the Twitter experience — mobile and third-party apps.)

721 notes (via ilovecharts & shortformblog)Tags: event experts all social media

Social Media For Events [Presentation]

I came across this great presentation about how events should use social media. Check it out below. 

1 note Tags: event experts social media facebook twitter linkedin

How The Fortune 100 Use Social Media

The Fortune 100 represent the 100 largest companies in the world by revenue. This presentation summarizes how they use social media, specifically Facebook, Twitter & Blogs. Beyond the stats, there are some examples that I found useful. My personal favorite is on slide 11 discussing promotions and deals used by Walgreens and State Farm Insurance. If you don’t feel like reading through the presentation, I’ve included highlights below and I’ve made bold the stats that I found particularly interesting.  


  • 60% of the Top 100 use some social media (e.g. blog, Twitter, Faceboook, etc.)
  • Industries related to technology, media or have some consumer element are much more likely to use social media  


  • 54% of the top 100 companies are on Twitter
  • 69% post at least four times a week
  • Technology companies (e.g. Dell, HP, Cisco) are the most active
  • 94% use for news, announcements and updates
  • 67% use for customer service/direct marketing responses
  • 57% use for promotions/deals/contests
  • The average Fortune 100 company has 5234 followers and the median is 674 followers


  • 57% have a Facebook fan page
  • 29% are considered “active”
  • Pages are overwhelmingly consumer focused
  • Most companies have groups but do not have a Facebook page


  • 32% of the Fortune 100 have blogs
  • Typically current projects and corporate community involvement
  • Most have avoided blogs and gone straight to Twitter
  • Least active: healthcare and food industries

Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below…

How is your event using social media?

1 note Tags: event experts all social media facebook twitter linkedin google

Social Media Cheat Sheet

by Marvin McTaw

If you follow us on Twitter or participate in Twitter Talks then you know I am pretty skeptical on Pinterest. I’ve recommended most event organizers wait a year before trying to incorporate yet another network into their social media efforts. With that background, I came across this great social media cheat sheet on Pinterest today.

While it’s aimed at “small businesses” most conferences, festivals and events are essentially small or medium sized businesses so the tips and tricks are applicable.

Source: readwriteweb.com via Ash on Pinterest

One of my favorite elements of the cheat sheet was the “How To Begin” as I think that’s the biggest hurdle for most organizers and event marketers. I also found the diagram at the bottom be incredibly useful in understanding the relative size of the various networks.

Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below…

What did you find helpful about this cheat sheet? Is there any additional advice you would give to event organizers, marketers or association professionals? Do you already incorporate any of the cheat sheet’s advice? What was your favorite tip?

8 notes Tags: event experts all social media facebook twitter youtube google+ google plus tumblr digg pinterest

19 notes Tags: event experts all facebook social media

How To Participate In Twitter Chats

by Marvin McTaw

What’s In This Article?

  • Explanation of Twitter Chats
  • Steps To Participate or “Listen”
  • How To Find Relevant Conversations
  • List Of Chats For Event Professionals
  • Other Tools, Tips & Tricks

A Tool For Discovery, Engagement & Entertainment!

A robust community exists for event professionals on Twitter. Even if you aren’t a big Twitter user you will benefit from listening or participating in Twitter Chats (a.k.a. Twitter Talks). Twitter Chats will help you to discover thought leaders, find solutions to common problems and interact with other industry members.

This post will provide step-by-step directions and provide guidelines to help you benefit from and experience the excitement of Twitter Chats.

Step 1: Find A Chat

There are several regularly scheduled chats that exist for conference, festival, meeting & other event professionals. Some of my personal favorites are:

  • #assnchat - a general chat for association professionals and vendors (Tuesday 2-3 PM ET)
  • #expochat - chats discussing topics important for the tradeshow community (Wednesday 3-4 PM ET)
  • #eventprofs - a general chat for topics important to the event industry (rotating Tuesday 9-10pm ET & Thursday 12-1pm ET, check the schedule here)
    List Of All Twitter Chats

    There is a Google spreadsheet documenting Twitter chat schedules that you can find here. Please be very careful interacting with this document as it is an open, wiki-style document that anyone can edit. Any additions, changes or deletions you make will be saved to the document.

    List of All Twitter Chats

    Step 2: Go to Tweetchat.com

    Twitter chats require the use of a hashtag and keyword (e.g. #keyword). One of the best ways I’ve found to automatically attach the relavant hashtagged term and block out all other Twitter randomness is with TweetChat.com. TweetChat is free and simple to use. Sign in with your twitter account, enter the relevant keyword (e.g. eventprofs) and you’re ready to begin.

    Twitter Chat

    Step 3: Find The Moderator  

    The most important person in any Twitter chat is the moderator. They are responsible for managing the community which typically includes, but is not limited to,

    • Asking the questions
    • Moderating debates between participants
    • Soliciting responses/questions
    • Creating preparatory materials and 
    • Summarizing key chat takeaways

    Suggestion: Feature The Moderator

    It’s usually much easier to follow the discussion when you highlight the moderator in your user settings. You can do this buy using user controls in TweetChat. To do this

    • Select the User Controls
    • Input the moderator’s user name with no “@” symbol and
    • Place a comma after their name
    The moderator’s tweets will now be highlighted in the twitter stream. 

    Rule: Don’t Spam Your Followers

    Twitter chats can involve very active messaging by participants. This can cause you to very quickly pollute your followers’ timelines. This usually results in them un-following you. To prevent spamming your followers, you should always begin your messages with an “@username” where the “username” is the moderator’s or specific respondent’s twitter user name. These messages will not appear in all of your followers’ timelines and are only visible to users who also follow the referenced user’s account

    Step 4: Introduce Yourself

    The moderator will usually begin the chat by asking everyone who is there for the chat to introduce themselves. Even if you only plan on listening, you should introduce yourself to let others know you are there.

    Step 5: Listen & Participate

    After introductions, the moderator will usually begin by asking a question. The questions usually follow a numerical format: Q1, Q2, Q3…etc. You should always respond in similar fashion (i.e. A1, A2, A3…) when responding to a question. This will help others to understand what you’re referring to. 

    Step 6: Engage Others

    Users may say something that you wish to respond to during the Twitter chat. To engage the user, you should @username reply them in the chat room to respond to them. This will give that user a special notification. It also makes it easier to follow that “branch” of the conversation. 

    Rule: Re-tweet With Caution

    You may often feel compelled to re-tweet something a user has said. I generally do not recommend doing this because most of your followers will have no context for what you are retweeting. It will also be near to impossible for them to figure it out later on. Also, many people who participate in Twitter chats filter out re-tweets.

    I recommend modifying your re-tweets. Remove the “RT ” [space intentionally included] so that your messages start with an “@username” and adding a “+1”. This will prevent polluting your followers’ timelines and let the person know you agree with them or want to echo their sentiments.

    Rule: Provide A Reference

    The default delay in TweetChat is ten (10) seconds. The minimum delay between a response and it appearing in the chat room is five (5) seconds. A lot can happen in five seconds within the chatroom. Help others know what you’re talking about by responding to the tweet in question and including a frame of reference. You can easily accomplish this by including a “re: Topic” at the start or end of your tweet.  

    Rule: Be Authentic

    Twitter chats are not professional presentations or member meetings. They are colloquial, informal gatherings of people interested in a topic. You should always be respectful of others but do not mince your words or talk in superflous, vague language. Try and be as specific and direct as possible so users don’t have to read three or four tweets to understand your points. 

    Rule: Be Succinct

    If your points do require multiple tweets, let users know by including “cont’d…” at the end of the first tweet and beginning the following tweet with “…cont’d”. This will help users to connect your Tweets to fully understand your points.    

    Step 7: Thank Your Moderator

    Chat moderators have a difficult and often times, thankless job. Please be sure to thank them before leaving the chat room.

    Step 8: Check The “Press” 

    Some moderators will catalogue the Twitter chats using wikis or tools like Storify. When these are released the moderator will usually publicize it’s release on Twitter. You should always take a look to make sure nothing you said is mis-quoted or taken completely out of context.

    Step 9: Follow Friends & Grow The Community 

    You will meet incredible people by participating in Twitter chats. You should either follow these users or add them to a list.

    Another great way to give back to the community is to help promote the chats you find interesting. You can do this by promoting the chats on your various social networks or sharing announcements that are relevant to the community.

    Tell Us On Facebook, Twitter or In The Comments Below…

    Do you participate in any Twitter chats? What are your favorite Twitter chats? What is your favorite thing about Twitter chats? What do you wish was different about them? Are there any other services you use for Twitter chats?

    7 notes Tags: all event experts social media twitter twitter chat twitter talk how to

    Facebook Is For Women, LinkedIn Is For Men

    View more presentations from steven van belleghem

    I just finished going through this presentation which has been sitting in my queue for quite a while. Frankly, its long (167 slides) but its got some great research from a huge global sample size in it. I’ve included an embed above but I recommend thumbing through it on the Slideshare site here as there’s some smaller text on the graphs that is harder to read in the smaller version above. I’ve included highlights below if you don’t feel like going through all the slides but I recommend it anyway. 

    Social Media Around The World Highlights

    Social Networks - General
    • ~100% aware of Facebook, and average user spends 30+ min on per day
    • ~80% aware of Twitter but only 16% use it
    • Ever heard of Vkontakte? It’s huge in Eastern Europe with 39% market penetration
    • 37 minutes is average time on Facebook
    • 7% of people intend to quit at least one social network
    • 53% of users on Facebook are women while 56% of users on LinkedIn are for men
    • There is a symbiotic relationship between Facebook & Twitter: usage time increases on both networks when using the other
    • West Europe lags in social network penetration
    • Brazil and India have the highest awareness and penetration
    Your Event On Social Media
    • People prefer people above brands: organizations should put personal identity above of institutional identity in social media to improve their efforts
    • Consumers prefer to react to brand updates rather than start a conversation with brand themselves
    • Lack of personalized contact is main reason for de-friending 
    • 57% of people friend a brand in the US
    • Media & entertainment are the most popular for following brands
    • People follow a brand for direct personal benefits like discounts
    • 42% had conversations with brands on social networks
    • Content planning and regular content updates are a way to increase the engagement
    • Social networkers are generally younger
    Connections To Brands
    • >50% people are connected to brands
    • Don’t waste your money acquiring fans via advertising
    • » People become a fan because they like the product, not because of advertising
    • 36% post content about brand on social network
    • 44% is asking to take part in co-creation of products & advertising
    • Consumers prefer email to social networks to ask questions of brands
    • Women consult more often about products and brands than men
    • Offline brand experiences are the best online conversation starter
    • » Idea for event planners: discuss prior experiences at conferences & festivals as conversation starters
    • People prefer to share positive brand experiences on social media (61% of survey respondents)… followed closely by negative experiences (46%)
    • Positive experiences reported to have the highest impact on buying intention
    • » This is why it’s important to have social proof for your events
    • More than half of people are willing to share feedback (61% social networkers vs 52% all respondents) with email being the preferred method followed closely by websites
    Employees: Use Them As Ambassadors On Social Media
    • 2 out of 3 employees is proud about their employer but only 19% share stories on social media
    • In the US, 63% of employed social networkers are proud of the company they work for
    • In China, 75% China of employed social networkers are proud of the company they work for
    • 50% of employees announce events
    Mobile, Apps & Location Based Services
    • Most used apps are social network apps
    • » Does your event have one of the 25 apps installed on a users phone? Is it one of the 12 apps actually used by smartphone owners? 
    • Only 12% use location based services (“LBS”) like Facebook Places & Foursquare
    • 20% of LBS users check in daily
    • Smartphones have more intense social media usage
    • 69% of people with smartphones follow brands on Social Media 
    • LBS is still niche @ 12% penetration of SMARTPHONE users (Slide 145)
    • Facebook Places is the best known location based network and is used by 8% of the population in West Europe
    • People expect local promotions, things to do, background info from LBS
    • 37% of people don’t use LBS because of privacy concerns

    5 notes Tags: social media Facebook Twitter LinkedIn statistics presentations event experts all

    Twitter Behaviors & What This Means For Your Event

    10 Quick Facts You Should Know About Consumer Behavior on Twitter


    Constant Contact released some interesting research about consumer behavior on Twitter (see presentation on Slideshare). Below are some key points and what they mean for your event.

    People Follow Brands To Receive Exclusivity, Promotions & To Be “In The Know” 

    • Make your Twitter followers feel special! Provide exclusive offers like registration discounts with “Twitter Followers Only” code
    • Idea: consider having a special session for your Twitter followers to help build exclusivity   
    • Keep your followers updated with event information like recently confirmed speakers, venue changes and even meal options
    • The more granular and specific you can be with your details, the better informed your attendees will feel

    1/3 Of Brand Followers Are Interacting With Brands More This Year Than The Previous Year

    • Followers increasingly expect to interact with you and the trend will likely increase  
    • Take advantage of the two-way communication offered by Twitter and don’t simply use Twitter as a megaphone. Use Twitter to ask questions and solicit real time feedback

    Twitter Users Under 35 Are Much More Likely To Follow Brands Than Are Older Users

    • If the demographics of your attendees skew younger, you should strongly encourage them to follow you as they are much likely to do so 

    75% Of Followers Have Never Un-followed A Brand

    • Once users are following your event’s Twitter account, they are highly unlikely to stop following you and your updates
    • This means users will stay connected to you event and if they leave, you can encourage them to come back
    • Idea: consider a “Come Back Home” special to get previous attendees who have missed an event to come back

    Followers Read Brand Posts (84% Of Respondents) More Than They Tweet About Brands (23% Of Respondents)

    • Don’t expect everyone to Tweet about your event as they are much more likely to only read your tweets and re-tweet when they feel compelled to do so
    • Provide relevant, actionable information in your Tweets to increase the likelihood of getting users to post about you 

    50% Of Followers Say They’re More Likely To Buy A Brand After Following

    • This might be a result of receiving regular updates, the interaction or specials being run but If you want to sell more tickets to your events, grow your Twitter followers

    60% Of Followers Say They’re More Likely To Recommend A Brand To A Friend After Following

    • This one speaks for itself

    How Do You Use Twitter For Your Events?

    1 note Tags: marketing twitter social media event marketing consumer behavior event experts all

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