Conferences, workshops, and other offline experiences can be great opportunities for attracting new people to your community. The key? A little planning of course!
Here are five tips for how to best share your event experience online.
Five Tips for Sharing an Offline Event Experience Online
In about two weeks, The Hello Sessions 2016 starts. If you're attending, now is the perfect time to let your community know you're going to be there, especially if you're planning on sharing your learning live online.
Let Your Followers Know Your Plans.
Whenever you're changing up the type of information you're sharing or the frequency at which you share, it's good practice to let your community know. This advance notice gives your followers a chance to temporarily mute your streams or temporarily unfollow and follow again after the event.
Tell your followers ahead of time that you'll be attending an event and sharing your learnings live. Be clear about what social media channels you'll be using so that they can tune in. Also let them know whether you'll be sharing the same content on your channels or different event highlights as appropriate to the channel. Sharing different content is a great way to get people following you on multiple channels.
Introduce Yourself to New Followers.
If you've intentionally selected an event of interest to your target audience, you should see new people connecting with you across your social media channels during and after the event.
Increase the likelihood of them sticking around by crafting a blog post about the event (or creating a landing page) that also serves as a reintroduction for your readers. Got a New Here? page for your blog? Link to it in your event-specific post. Think of this content as your online business card.
Be sure to include a link to your blog post (or landing page) throughout the event on social media to give followers context for your updates.
Get to Know Event Organizers, Speakers, and Sponsors.
Offline events are about the people--the connections you're making in the now. Not about being glued to your smartphone. And this is where planning and a little work before you arrive will pay off in spades.
- Follow or like the event on all social media channels. Seems like an obvious to do, but not everyone does this. And also, you can totally unfollow or unlike them after the event's finished. (You may miss news about upcoming events but hey I'm not judging.)
- On each channel you plan to share from live, follow your speakers. This ensures you're giving credit to the right person during the conference. (You can unfollow them after the conference is over.)
- If Twitter is your jam, create Twitter lists so that you can filter your content and only see news and updates about the event you're attending.
- Work efficiently! Create a dashboard in Hootsuite that organizes all event content across all social media channels in one place.
Increase the Visibility of Your Updates.
Algorithms are a way of life. And as much as we'd like to complain about them they're here to stay. So take advantage of them! Popular events with people talking about them get noticed by algorithms, which means your content has a higher chance of being seen!
- Include both the event hashtag and the main brand hashtag if different in all of your posts. When speakers have a session-specific hashtag, if possible, use as well--especially if the speaker is of interest to your readers and if you want to potentially collaborate with them.
- Tag speakers when you paraphrase or quote them. After sessions, speakers often review their social feeds to see how their session was received. If you've tagged them, they may retweet or repost your takeaway.
- Respond to people who follow up your updates with questions.
- Thank anyone who shares your updates live.
Before hitting publish, think about whether your tweet, Facebook status update, or Instagram photo adds to the event experience. Is your tip useful, unusual, unique?
Monitor all of the hashtags related to the event to see what other attendees are posting. If you're not the first to share a takeaway, retweet or repost the other person's update, or revise your takeaway to be original and unique.
Draft a few tweets and/or Facebook status updates in advance where possible, for example at the start and the end of each day or right as sessions you're looking forward to are starting. This way you can be more in the now at the event and not scrambling to get content to share. (You're also less likely to post with embarrassing typos.)
Do you share takeaways from events you attend live? What tips do you have for keeping followers engaged throughout the event?