How To Extend Your Firm’s Social Media Reach At Conferences
Conferences and other live events provide opportunities to extend your business’ social media reach. Conferences are an older version of social media without the technology. Think of conferences as a way to extend your firm’s social media presence, whether you’re a presenter or an attendee.
To ensure your entire team, not just the presenter, support your conference opportunity, here are ten actionable social media tips. (Here’s an 8 point conference checklist that’s a good starting point.)
- Leverage the conference’s website, catalog and other collateral. As a marketer, think other people’s audiences. More people will receive the catalog and other communications than will attend the show. Actionable Social Media Tip: Include your relevant social media handles to connect with people before, during and after the conference.
- Let your social media gang know you’ll be attending the show. Announce on social media platforms that you’ll be at the conference so that you can make plans to meet in real time. Even if you live in the same city, reach out to colleagues and say hi. Actionable Social Media Tip: Organize a get together at a nearby coffeeshop or bar. Often no one wants to be the person to make the arrangements.
- Dress the part. Think in terms of your brand. Mari Smith always wears turquoise in line with her brand. Actionable Social Media Tip: Wear clothes that help people remember you and find you in a crowd. I use my purple glasses to stand out.
- Integrate your brand into your slides. While many conferences require use of their presentation format, extend your brand in terms of the content on the slides. Subtly continue your branding with color and typeface. Keep typeface to a minimum of 24 point or larger. Use images including photographs and drawings since they convey your message effectively. Make sure you have rights to use them. Fewer words on a slide translate to more comprehension. Actionable Social Media Tip: To aid live tweeting include Twitter handles—yours, your firm’s and the show’s.
- Streamline your story. Start by answering: What do you want the audience to walk away from your talk remembering? Go larger and think strategically how you’ll present your information. Actionable Social Media Tip: Make sure you tell a story, not just present a pile of facts. People remember stories with a beginning, middle and end.
- Know your material. Don’t read your notes. Be able to talk and answer questions while staying on track. Actionable Social Media Tip: Speak slowly and clearly. If you’ve got a foreign or regional accent speak much slower since the audience may take a while to understand you, even if you’re using the same language. The goal is to convey your message, not say the most words in a limited amount of time. Practice your talk before hand to know your pacing and be able to stay on time.
- Skip the sales pitch. As a conference speaker, it’s acceptable to give a three line here’s who I am and here’s what I do introduction but don’t launch into a sales spiel about your product. Instead provide useful information and lure them in. (Here are 5 keys to an efective conference talk.) Actionable Social Media Tip: Be mindful of your audience’s time. Make your presentation without going over your allotted time. If you do, don’t be surprised when people start leaving.
- Make your talk tweetable. Include Twitter bait. If you don’t have information or sound bites, all people will tweet is that they’re at your talk. Actionable Social Media Tip: Incorporate short, easy to remember tidbits that stand on their own in your presentation.
- Have business cards to hand out. Unless you’re a senior level executive or a celebrity, conferences are a venue to make business connections. Have cards to hand out to allow others to engage with you. Actionable Social Media Tip: Give attendees a reason to share their business cards with you by offering them a white paper or other useful information.
- Post your presentation on a social sharing platform. Expand your presentation’s audience by posting it on a social sharing site. (Of course, make sure it doesn’t contain confidential information.) Actionable Social Media Tip: Highlight your presentation in your post-conference communications with attendees and others.
Conferences are more than a chance to get out of the office. They’re an opportunity to build your firm’s social media presence. To this end, it’s important to be proactive before, during and after the event.
Do you have any other conference related social media suggestions? If so, please add them in the comment section below.
Note: I will be attending BlogWorld Expo in New York City next week. Please let me know if you’ll be there.
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