can be a great way to engage an audience and market an association meeting, but only if managed correctly. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has outlined key strategies to getting it right in a just-released white paper, “Social Media Best Practices for Exhibitions and Events.”
“The connection that occurs for people every day through social media is mirrored in what happens at exhibitions and events, which are essentially marketplaces for networking and growth. Event organizers and brand marketers can use online social media to easily extend the reach and voice of a brand across distances, and to educate and share with others the lessons learned at exhibitions and events,” write the authors of the 23-page paper.
The paper details the various social media outlets—from Twitter to Facebook—and how to use them to promote and connect. IAEE compiled a dozen or so ways planners can engage potential attendees through social media. Here are a handful of ideas:
- Determine the identity, character, and personality of the brand and match it to the persona of the individuals representing it online.
Move beyond marketing and sales. Do not speak to audiences through canned messages. Introduce value, insight, and direction with each engagement. Share content and be authentic.
- Establish and nurture beneficial relationships online.
- Earn connections through collaboration and empower advocacy.
- “Un-market” by becoming a resource for communities. This means sharing in conversations and offering something of value. Belonging to a community is the best advertisement one can make.
- Observe the behavioral cultures within each network and adjust outreach accordingly. Become a true participant in each target community.
- Give back, share, reciprocate, and recognize notable contributions from community participants.