How do you reach almost 2.5 million people on Twitter, attract 600 contributors on social media and attract 300 niche financial professionals at your next event?
Integrating social and multi-media with live events aimed at a hard-to-reach B2B audience isn’t as cryptic as you might think. Here, I share with you the seven ingredients crucial to the success of Saxo Capital Markets’ #TradingDebates event.
Seven Steps to Successfully Integrating Social with Events:
- Why do this?
Define your business and marketing objective(s) at the outset and create key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure what success looks like to your business.
Pool resources and responsibilities across related departments. We collaborated among our internal marketing teams and leveraged the experience of agencies specialised in search, PR and content marketing.
- Influencers are brand VIPs
Influencers are great message amplifiers. Identify the social media influencers who speak to your target audience and get them involved any way you can, from guest writing blogs to hosting pre-event Twitter debates or even chairing a session at your event. Keep your influencers engaged and invested in your event in the build-up, during and after the event.
- Put social media at the heart of your event
We chose a hashtag-inclusive name for our event – #TradingDebates – which was promoted across all online and offline channels, reinforcing that this is a digitally integrated event. We launched a Twitter competition ahead of the event, incentivising social media participation by awarding an iPad to participants with the highest impact, most popular, most active and for (number of) original tweets.
- Get the party started!
The integrated #TradingDebates campaign took six months to prepare – so start planning and putting out content early. You need to ‘warm up’ your audience in anticipation of your event and make it a real ‘happening’. We commissioned illustrations, inforgraphics and a ‘thought leadership’ white paper for each panel topic to stimulate debate on social media and in traditional media (through PR) in the lead-up to the event.
- Be social during your event
a) Collaborate – intensively. This is when intra-department collaboration all comes together; nothing beats real-time engagement at events, which opens the event to the world via social channels and provides attendees at the physical event with another avenue to engage, provide feedback and share with their networks.
b) Add value, not noise. Live tweet not just ‘who said what’ but also facilitate deeper debate by sharing highly relevant content (charts, infographics, illustrations, reports etc) from your brand and trusted third parties, as well as sparking deeper conversations from contributor posts.
c) Think multi-media. During the event, consider ways to capture the event as a multi-sensory experience and how to convey this digitally; consider recording photos, audio, video (1min for short snippets or longer for Saxo Bank TV/YouTube) and other multi-media formats such as illustration to bring your event ‘to life’ for a digital audience. At #TradingDebates, a Twitter wall prominently displayed streams of social conversations based on keywords relating to whichever panel discussion was taking place at that time.
- Assess your success
After the event, take time to sift through the social data collected and combine this with feedback from attendees to the physical event. You will find this data provides strong signals about how you can better personalise your communications for this audience in future, making a positive impact on them in a meaningful way.
Too often I think heavily regulated brands hide behind compliance as a reason for not engaging in a two-way conversation with their peers and target audience. Their fear is that if they can’t control the conversation – whether online or offline – they can’t promote a biased, sales-orientated agenda.
This is the old way; it is the antithesis of social media marketing.
For the firms that embrace modern marketing tools and techniques – such as integrated social and content marketing – and do so in a compliant fashion, opportunities abound.
Follow me on twitter @urielac