Nowadays, an event can’t be planned without strategic communication blueprints for social media, content and engagement. When planning an event, the goal should be not only for attendees to walk away enlightened, but energized as well.
So, how can you ensure they’ll leave invigorated?
Social media is a valuable and powerful tool in helping to power and energize events. And with its increasing popularity, social media is being used in different ways to fit the needs of different events.
Companies are just now harnessing the power of using social media to increase levels of interaction by using both social media aggregators and real time displays.
>>Read more about social media displays for events
Your Audience and Social Media
Leveraging social media engagement while the event is happening allows you to get much more mileage out of an event. With social media, your event becomes much larger and reaches far beyond the people in the room. Status updates, photos and posts spread throughout each of the attendee’s networks, generating participation and commentary from third parties with similar interests.
Keeping attendees connected via social media and live social media displays keeps your audience engaged, as they wait for something intriguing to tweet or post about.
By displaying real-time social media activity with a platform like Postano, you can help create a gamified effect to the event. As participants and users see their social media posts displayed, they get increasingly excited about sharing content related to the event or hashtag.
Displaying tweets, posts, photos and more gives event attendees incentive to join the conversation and share their thoughts more robustly on social media.
Gamifying Your Real-Time Display
Gamification involves the use of gaming techniques to enhance non-game contexts. By gamifying your event’s social media, you’re incentivizing social activities and rewarding your audience in some shape or form.
Ways to incentivize sharing with a social media display at an event:
- Challenges: Challenges can range from testing attendees to see if they can keep a tweet under a certain amount of characters, or an Instagram scavenger hunt.
- Contests: Contests can be used to ignite your audience’s competitive nature, like Instagram contests for the best photo, most amount of tweets, etc.
- Voting and Polls: This can be used to gather insight on the audience’s perspective of the discussion at hand. This creates dialogue and actively involves your audience, giving them a voice and chance to be heard.
- Rewards: Similar to Foursquare using badges as rewards, events can use badges/medals/titles for individuals in the audience. Five-dollar gift cards or vouchers for free items are great rewards too. Rewards don’t need to be ridiculously huge; it’s the concept of winning that drives individuals.
- Event-specific Hashtags: Creating a simple and short hashtag that’s specific to your event not only creates a brand for attendees to identify with, but it also makes content easier to syndicate.
Here’s a few examples: #SXSW, #SMW, #ESPY, #Sundance
>>Read more tips on using hashtags for marketing
Avoiding the ‘Crash and Burn’
Adding game mechanics isn’t the only step to successfully gamifying your social media display. Like many things at an event, gamification can go wrong too.
Instead of building and connecting with your audience, it can also create barriers such as failing to communicate the urgency to participate, lack of choice in how users can be involved, not appealing to your audience and failing to listen.
Gamification is meant to make things simpler and more fun; and if lines of communication are kept open, the call to action is thoroughly explained and the audience feels as though what they’re saying is being acknowledged, avoiding barriers should be no sweat.
Gamification must also add an extra layer of engagement to what you’re already doing with social media; otherwise it’s bound to fail. It should be used as a supplement to increase conversation and make an event more interactive- not solely relied upon to generate all conversation.