Simon Geraghty from DotDash, the Dublin-based social media consultancy, gave a blunt message to planners who neglect social media: “If your audience is not using social media in droves, then don’t expect to hear from them in droves. Meetings today are not a linear, one-way street of information being presented at you. The ultimate idea is to give your event a long shelf life.”
Speaking at MCI’s MeetSmarter, it was fitting, Geraghty said, that this inaugural social media education event was being held in Killarney, Ireland, as it now has free Wi-Fi throughout the city.
Geraghty gave his crib sheet on setting up a social media pre and post-event plan, always keeping in mind his triptych of important questions – Firstly, What do I have to say? Secondly, How often should I say it? And lastly, When should I say it in proximity to the event?
1. Announce the big changes in the event’s field
2. Generate some Top 10-style articles and/or infographics
3. Announce speakers
4. Promote the format and location
5. Promote any survey results
6. Share slides and keynotes
7. Videos, photos
Geraghty also encouraged the many buyers and suppliers in the audience to promote their events weekly in relevant LinkedIn groups.
Another speaker, Damien Mulley, owner of Cork-based Mulley Communications and organiser of the Irish Web Awards, added: “There are 953 million smartphones are today out there, but within four or five years this number will catch up with those using regular mobile phones, which todays stands at 6.1 billion. The world is on smartphone, and so should your event."
He added that there is so much noise generated across social media, that planners need to keep announcing their events but at the same time "finding the balance between that need and the idea that they might be spamming”.
Mulley’s clearest point to planners hesitant at fully embracing social media was that it often did a lot of the planner’s work: “Take the pain away. Let your audience do your promotion through their social media sharing. And remember that the next generation of your audience will not be using email.”