Social Media Day 2010 Lessons

5 Ways to Socialize Events

Mashable declared June 30th, 2010 Social Media Day to celebrate media becoming a broad-based social dialogue. With over 700 Meetups across six continents many streamed live, Social Media Day was more than a dialogue, it’s a global event, online and offline, that gained influence from a wide range of companies, organizations and individuals. The strength of Social Media Day underscores the ability of social media to extend your reach and enhance your events to achieve your goals.

5 Ways to socialize your events

Here are five ways that social media can boost your events at each major step of planning and executing a meeting.

  1. Facilitates meetings by providing support with organization and related details.  Three major ways social media helps organize events are:
    • Meetups are offline gatherings enabled by a social media forum that provides services to organize and publicize them. Other alternatives include the use of evite and Yahoo Groups.
    • Tweetups are planned or impromptu meetings announced using Twitter.  Location based services like Foursquare also enable impromptu gatherings.
    • TwitterChats are prearranged dialogues that occur on Twitter at a specific, often recurring time, whereby participants contribute through the use of a designated code. [For a list of chats, check out: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=ruaz3GZveOsoXUOOt86B3AQ#gid=0]
  2. Promotes events more widely and quickly by dispersing the message to a broader audience.
    • Blog. Use your company blog to promote the event and build excitement about it. Create a series of posts highlighting different aspects of the event and providing related information.
    • Twitter. Tweet through existing accounts and/or an account set up specifically for the event.
    • Facebook . Use existing pages to promote the event to your fans or create one specifically tailored to the event.
    • Meetup Can attract a broader audience by making the event more searchable and through alerts and comments from your group’s members.
    • Videos. Make a video with commentary, interviews with key speakers, related information to promote event.
    • Other social media venues. Create a group around your event on other relevant social media venues.
  3. Broadens reach beyond live attendees via online sharing. Among the options are:
    • Twitter where attendees can tweet interesting nuggets in 140 characters using the event’s hashtags.
    • Live blogging where attendees and/or media record highlights and/or provide live commentary on the event
    • Live streaming via video or podcast where the event is broadcast in real time to interested individuals who can’t attend live.
  4. Provides for broader interaction both in real time and after the event.
    1. During an event, especially conferences and panels, moderators can monitor the stream of tweets in real time to add them to the discussion or ask panelists questions from a wider audience.
    2. After an event, live and virtual attendees can add comments, content, photos and video.
  5. Keeps a record of the event, extending its reach through time and making it searchable. Documentation of your event provides content that continues to attract interested viewers while creating new entryways to your offering. Among the methods to use are:
    • Presentation slides via a slidesharing site like Slideshare or eSlide to distribute your content more broadly and gather input.
    • Blog about the event. At a minimum, give a wrap up commentary and reference the online resources for your event across various platforms. Mashable did a great job of this for Social Media Day.
    • Videos. Upload videos to sharing sites like YouTube as well as your own website.
    • Photos. Upload photographs from the event onto relevant sites including Flickr.

While social media can transform the marketing power of your events, it’s important to create ways to make your event findable in a unified way, rather than allowing participants to tag your event with random words. At a minimum, develop a hashtag that is relevant to your event that can be used across social media platforms. For example, social media day used  #smday.

Do you have any other ideas for leveraging social media to expand your events? If so, please add your suggestions to the comments section.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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