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.
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.
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.
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.
While 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.
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:
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!
What’s In This Post
We’ve created the Event Experts Report to eliminate these problems and more through
The 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.
The Event Experts report includes objective measures of attendee engagement with your event like
The metrics included in the Event Experts report are not meaningless numbers. They are all metrics that you can directly influence and improve.
Every 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:
To 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.
Now you can get your Sched.org tools on your Facebook Fan page! The 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 app will allow your Facebook fans to interact with all aspects of your event including:
…and much, much more!
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!
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.
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.
How is your event using social media?
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.
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.
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?
by Marvin McTaw
What’s In This Article?
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.
There are several regularly scheduled chats that exist for conference, festival, meeting & other event professionals. Some of my personal favorites are:
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chat moderators have a difficult and often times, thankless job. Please be sure to thank them before leaving the chat room.
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.
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.
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?
People Follow Brands To Receive Exclusivity, Promotions & To Be “In The Know”
1/3 Of Brand Followers Are Interacting With Brands More This Year Than The Previous Year
Twitter Users Under 35 Are Much More Likely To Follow Brands Than Are Older Users
75% Of Followers Have Never Un-followed A Brand
Followers Read Brand Posts (84% Of Respondents) More Than They Tweet About Brands (23% Of Respondents)
50% Of Followers Say They’re More Likely To Buy A Brand After Following
60% Of Followers Say They’re More Likely To Recommend A Brand To A Friend After Following
How Do You Use Twitter For Your Events?