Command Attention: Social Event Marketing Strategies That Actually Work, Part VI

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Dear readers, we’ve come a long way during this journey across the livestreaming and live social sharing landscape, but our travels are nearly at end. To wrap things up, I want to share a few of the terrific questions that came from the audience during our Boosting Conference Engagement with Live Social Media webinar.

I love getting questions from the audience, whether during a webinar or at the end of a speaking session at a conference. Why? Because it means I’ve managed to make a connection with those listening in. I’ve ignited curiosity, spurred a desire to learn more. And I’m hoping that’s what this master class series has done for you. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Question 1: the Tortoise or the Hare?

Our first question is about drip campaigns: Are drip campaigns quick or small, or are they slow?

We should probably start by defining what a drip campaign is. Truthfully, it’s just like it sounds – it’s the process of giving your audience just enough information to tantalize, drawing them in and getting them to want to learn more. To answer the question posed by our webinar audience member, I say: it depends. I know, way to be specific, right?

TortoiseHare

One of these guys is about to have a bad hare day.

But that’s the truth. It depends on you and your audience, how much time you have in your schedule, and how many resources you have available to call upon. And it depends on you knowing your audience. If you have a major event coming up and a long lead time, your campaign can extend for weeks or on the extreme end of the scale, months. If you’re hosting a smaller event or you’re short on time, a whirlwind drip campaign can be as short as a week.

For example, say you’re a member-driven organization and you’re promoting your upcoming annual meeting. Your drip campaign can run anywhere from two weeks to two months or more. You can set the stage by publishing your event via Facebook’s event widget, then “drip” out details of your keynote speakers, social events, important meetings, or profiles of your sponsors and exhibitors. It’s all about giving the audience just enough information to pique their interest, then getting them to seek out additional information.

At the heart of the matter though, is the need to know thy audience (and how many times have you heard me say that one?) before you launch your campaign. Which platform does your audience use the most, and what days and times are they using it? How do they use the platform? Are they consuming video content? Looking for breaking news? Following a few select thought leaders? Knowing what your audience is up to is essential.

But, how do you find out this information? Luckily, the primary social media platforms know that this info is in high demand, and they make it readily available to you. You can figure all of this out by falling back on your social media metrics. Dig into your Facebook insights. Pore over your Twitter Analytics. Explore your LinkedIn page analytics data. These treasure troves of information will give you valuable clues as to how, when, and where your audience is engaging on social media. Armed with these critical insights, you can then establish parameters for your drip campaign.

Question 2: Age Matters

Question #2 addresses an issue that I think weighs on event and social media marketers alike: What if my audience contains a broad mix of ages but includes more attendees leaning toward the 50-year old plus demographic? Will social media for event marketing be effective?

Age Matters

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter, right?

Forget that “age is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel” stuff you hear all the time; age does matter when it comes to social media use. Why? Well, we know that Facebook’s demographics skew it beyond the 18 – 24 year-old demographic that you’re going to find on Instagram and Snapchat. We also know that LinkedIn tends to attract a lot of the C-Suite crowd, and that Millennials tend to hang out on Twitter. So, if your audience demographics are skewing older, you’ll want to gravitate to Facebook and LinkedIn over Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

And do remember that Facebook is the 900 lb. gorilla in terms of audience size, with an audience pool of nearly 1.5 billion daily active users. That’s a lot of eyeballs that have the opportunity to land on your content. Even with with an older crowd, live social sharing remains an effective means of promoting your event.

Question 3: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Our third question has to do with the right amount of livestreaming: What’s the right amount to livestream from my event so that my in-person attendees don’t feel like they’re being cheated?

Big Dog Little Dog

Who are we kidding? No such thing as too much dog. Ever.

Repeat after me, “Less is more.” If you stream your entire conference or event for free, there’s not a lot of value in being onsite, is there? Your attendees are paying to access your event, and they need to be reassured there’s value in actually being there live. Pick a few key sessions or activities that have a broad appeal, and leverage just those for livestreaming. Remember, the idea is to give your audience a taste of what they’re missing out on by not being there in person.

Before I give you a bad case of the willies, let me reassure you – even with all of the rapid advancements we’re seeing in livestreaming combined with new and easier ways of accessing this rich content, there’s very little substitute for the ultra-valuable connections you can forge during in-person events. While I caution you to not try and stream absolutely every moment of your conference or event, doing so isn’t quite as dire as it sounds.

Question 4: Instagram – Whose Playground Is It?

Our final question asks, “Do you find that B2B companies are using Instagram or are they mostly using just LinkedIn and Twitter?”

Playground

Totally unfair that playgrounds are for kids only. Just sayin’.

My answer to this is: you’d probably be surprised at the number of B2B companies that have found a home on Instagram. Sure, it’s traditionally known as a B2C platform. Consumer brands take to Instagram the way a duck takes to water. You see them there all the time, pushing their new skateboard, launching a line of lipsticks, or flogging the latest cruise line destination.

One of my favorite examples of effective B2B use of Instagram is Cisco. Cisco is a master at social media marketing and communications, and it uses Instagram to the fullest. It hosts frequent takeovers of its Instagram account, shares behind-the-scenes looks at what it’s like to be a Cisco intern, showcases funny cats, and employees regularly post to its stories. It’s a riot of exciting, rich, user-generated content.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily translate into actual product sales. It’s not likely you’re going to run out and buy a new router because you saw a clever “day in the life of” thread on Cisco’s Instagram story. What it does do, however, is keep Cisco’s brand top-of-mind. Cisco effectively uses Instagram’s many features to build its reputation as a fresh thinker, a technology innovator, and an awesome place to work. I’d say that’s a pretty good case study on how B2B brands can put the power of Instagram to work, wouldn’t you?

Well, we’re at the end of our live social sharing journey. I hope you’ve enjoyed every step of our travels together, because I know I have. More importantly, I hope I’ve been able to convince you that live social sharing and livestreaming is worth the effort, and you’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way. And if I’ve left you with any questions, my inbox is always open. Good luck in your livestreaming endeavors, and I hope to see you at our next Master Class webinar on Wikipedia on October 25, 2018. Keep an eye on this blog and our website for more details and a link to our registration page.