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  • How to leverage social media to increase engagement at your events

How to leverage social media to increase engagement at your events

Social media has long become an integral part of event marketing, but did you know you can also leverage it to drive engagement at every stage of your event?

These days, social media can help you craft a digital presence that's as lively and engaging as the event itself. There's more to it than scheduling a few posts from your brand account—with the right strategy behind it, it turns into a powerful tool that converts attendees into event content creators, builds authentic audience engagement, and prolongs the life of your event content.

And why wouldn't you use social media as an engagement tool when most of your attendees use it on a regular basis anyway? The best solutions are usually the simplest ones.

In this article, we'll explore a few tactics you can use to ensure you're making the most out of your event social media campaigns and share some content ideas for every event stage.

Step 1: Set up an event hashtag   

When it comes to leveraging social media as an engagement tool, a hashtag is your knight in shining armor and the key to a successful social campaign. It glues together all communication around your event, making it easier for you to track conversations and spot attendee-generated content. It also helps your audience find all the important information you post about the event, engage in conversations, and, with the right incentives, generate content for your brand and community.

When choosing the right hashtag for your event, make it easy to remember so your audience doesn't go through the trouble of trying to remember it while posting in X or Instagram.

A powerful event hashtag is simple and memorable. It’s unique in a way that speaks to your audience. To check that it’s not used by anyone else, you can run a simple X search.

Finally, make sure your event hashtag stands front and center. Include it in all of your marketing communications, and promote it at the venue and on all your event materials so your attendees use it as a beacon that guides them through all the social media buzz.

Step 2: Encourage attendee-generated content  

Spark the flame of user-generated content (UGC) with a dash of creativity: pepper your channels with engaging content that begs to be discussed and shared, and spotlight attendee-generated posts—tagged with your event's signature hashtag—on a buzzing social wall at the heart of your event.

When your attendees share their own stories and excitement, they're essentially acting as your brand's ambassadors. This kind of genuine content not only spreads your message wider but also serves as real-life endorsements.

Step 3: Share engaging content on every event stage  

To ensure continuous engagement through social media, you need to create content that catches attention and prompts people to interact with it. Here are a few ideas you can employ at each stage of your event to achieve this.

Before the event  

Speaker spotlights: Kick things off by shining a spotlight on your event's key speakers. Create bite-sized video interviews or compelling bios that delve into their expertise, the intriguing topics they'll cover, and what attendees can expect from their sessions. This not only builds anticipation but also establishes a personal connection between your audience and the speakers, encouraging attendees to look forward to the event and engage with the content.

Polls and surveys: These can be fun and interactive ways to learn what your attendees are most excited about, whether it's certain topics, speakers, or activities. This not only makes your audience feel heard and valued but also provides you with valuable insights to tailor the event to their preferences, increasing overall engagement and satisfaction.

Behind-the-scenes: Pull back the curtain and give your audience a sneak peek of what goes into organizing an event with behind-the-scenes content. Share videos or photos of the venue being set up, the tech team doing sound and video checks, or the event team in planning meetings.

During the event  

UGC: During the event, get attendees to become part of the story by encouraging them to share their personal experiences and moments using your designated hashtag. This not only amplifies engagement but also creates a rich tapestry of perspectives that can be showcased on a social wall.

Live Q&A: Spice up the event by hosting a live Q&A session on social media. Whether it's with the speakers or the attendees, this interactive format allows for real-time engagement and adds an element of spontaneity to the event. It gives attendees the unique opportunity to get their questions answered on the spot, fostering a deeper connection with the speakers and the content being presented.

Live updates: Keep the excitement buzzing by posting live updates during the event. Whether it's the kickoff of a new session, a notable speaker stepping onto the stage, or unexpected, exciting developments, these real-time posts keep your audience in the loop and engaged.

After the event   

Event recap: Keep the event's energy alive by sharing a dynamic video or photo montage that captures the key moments and highlights. This not only allows attendees to relive their favorite parts but also shows those who couldn't attend what they missed, sparking interest for future events.

UGC recap: Continue to celebrate the attendee experience by sharing a curated collection of their content from the social wall. This gesture shows appreciation for their participation and perspectives, reinforcing the event's community feel. It also provides attendees with a collective memory of the event, encouraging them to stay engaged, share their experiences further, and look forward to your next event.

Key takeaways: After the event, share impactful quotes or surprising statistics that emerged during the sessions. This not only provides value by distilling the event's essence into digestible highlights but also encourages continued learning and discussion. It's a great way to reinforce the event's key messages, engage attendees in reflection, and maintain the momentum of the event's impact.

Find more social media content ideas for every event stage in the Event Professional's Toolkit by Walls.io! Discover a goldmine of event planning resources, including checklists, ready-to-use templates, guides, statistics, and more.

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