For every event that you do, being active on social networks before, during, and after the event is critical to your promotional strategy, successful attendee engagement for the event, and in most cases, to the overall objective/mission of your organisation. Events happen in real-time and social media provides a unique opportunity to interact directly with your audience and have them share your message. To make this happen with a better chance of success, a stellar Social Media Plan for Events is what you need. The plan helps you know your social strategy for before, during, and after an event.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to cover specifics about event planning because the variations are just too many. However, having a clear/basic understanding of what the event seeks to achieve, especially when working with a large team, is essential to success. To keep this simple, does your event require any specifics you need to pay attention to?
- Is it an open event for the public or it requires some sort of censorship?
- Is it an event that would allow active participation/engagement from followers online?
- Is it an event with just a speaker/panel and no need for audience participation?
- Is it a no/low budget event or you have some money to spare?
- Is this event a part of a call to action? So how do you plan to carry the online audience along, or use social media to manage post-event actions for people who could not attend but want to participate in your call?
- Etc, etc, etc
The point is a better understanding of the event would help you plan better for the best audience experience. Better to view and treat the social media plan is a key component of your event planning so you don’t execute as an afterthought. This document is to help you cover your engagement on social media all through the lifetime of the event. It covers content development and curation, pre event campaigns, live event updates, etc.
With a better understanding of what your event is a needs, I find working with a pre-event checklist makes it easier to keep track. The checklist ensures you sort equipments and personnel needed beforehand. Common questions to ask include:
- What is the timeline for event promotions and announcements?
- What is the hashtag?
- What visual elements would you need to support your event across all channels?
- Where will your event page be hosted? Eventbrite, Facebook, LinkedIn…or all of them?
- Paid promotions?
- Is there any blog, platform, group or network to aid promote your event?
- Do you have/need a social media team to monitor and engage with your social channels?
- What time of the day is the event? Do you need to supplement lighting for image and/or video? Do you need to engage professional help?
- What is the plan for photography – mobile phones or camera?
- If mobile phones, ensure to plan for a device with great camera; being pairable with other devices is secondary but worth considering.
- If camera, what do you have in terms of equipment or expert personnel? What do you need to augment?
- Do you need influencers? This could be from big time influencers within to your sector to leveraging communal efforts (i.e. folks at your place of work, or your group/ community) to get the word out or join the in-event engagement.
- Live Updates:
- Blogging: will you live-blog (tweets, facebook posts, etc) during the event? Then plan who will post what, and to what platform(s) – twitter, facebook, google+, Linkedin. This article outlines how you can use popular social media platforms for events.
- Live Image Updates: would you use images from mobile phones or cameras? If you are not sharing images directly from your phone, using a camera could be tricky. You want to ensure you plan the best way to extract images from the equipment during the event with little or no downtime so you don’t miss critical shots while trying to extract images.
- Live Video Streaming: will you stream live video? Irrespective of what device/equipment you plan to use, you want to keep in mind steady video, great audio, lighting and personnel. Plus you need to decide on the social media platform(s) you plan to stream to and their peculiarities.
- Infographics: Would you need infographics during the event?
- Interview: will you interview attendees, customers, speakers, or influencers for blog and social content?
- Post-Event Content Sharing:
- Video uploads to YouTube
- Photos sharing (to Flickr)
- Sum up the best tweets with www.storify.com
- Feedback/Evaluation: What feedback and how do you plan to collect such from your audience? Digital or on-site?
- Blog/Media Update: Wrap up blog post(s) about event for sharing with X platforms or media houses. Will write-up summarize individual sessions and offer slides? How many images or videos will you feature?
- Follow-up Materials: How do you plan to reach your audience after events if the need arises?
To keep it all together, you can create a worksheet. This sample worksheet will help guide you to plan the following aspects of your event using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and your blog:
- Social logistics
- Pre-event planning
- Pre-event social checklist
- During event social checklist
- Post event social checklist
Remember this is just a guide, you need to adapt to suite your need. Is there anything thing I missed? Kindly leave your comment below. Thank.