Tips for Hosting Better Events with Social Media

As a retailer, events are a great way to market your business because they can help increase foot traffic, increase your brand awareness of products and services you offer, and help you generate leads. Moreover, social media has evolved from a source of status updates to a venue for news discovery. With students coming back to campus for second semester, you can use the social media tips below to enhance engagement and create more buzz around your event.

A Twitter hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it.

A Twitter hashtag is simply a keyword phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it.

Create a Twitter hash tag for your event. 

Hash tags are great for centralizing conversations around live, in-person events or conferences, live webinars, or other marketing campaigns you’re running. Hash tags are simply text, and they can be placed in the beginning, middle, or end of a tweet. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you are all set! When picking a hash tag for your event, make sure to stick to the basics: keep it short, meaningful and simple (e.g. #Tigerfest2013). Also, before you begin using your hash tag, make sure you search for it on Twitter.com.  If another business is already using that same hash tag, you may want to consider a different option. Hash tags are helpful because they will make it super simple for your attendees to help you spread the word to their own Twitter followers and easier for you to track.

Twitterfall is a Twitter client specializing in real-time tweet searches. New tweets fall into the page.

Twitterfall is a Twitter client specializing in real-time tweet searches. New tweets fall into the page.

Provide a Twitter forum for discussion.

Set up a projector in a visible area and connect it up to a computer or iPad® to display the Twitter feed for your event’s hash tag. You can use free tools such as Twitterfall to display the river of tweets as they happen in real time. Encourage attendees to submit their comments about your event via Twitter by using your hash tag or submit questions for a presentation or training.  This is particularly helpful at informational events such as freshmen orientation or training seminars.

Foursquare check-in

Promote the involvement of your event with Foursquare to encourage visitor engagement.

Create a virtual event in Foursquare. 

Create a location named after your event on Foursquare (e.g. Tigerfest 2013). Attendees will want to check-in  and let others know what they’re up to. By doing this, you will help other potential attendees discover your event through their friends.  To add your own venue on Foursquare you need to visit http://foursquare.com/add_venue.  To be safe, create your venue or event location ahead of time. A week is a good amount of time to ensure the location or event becomes registered. Finally, one of Foursquare’s most basic features allows users to provide tips and/or to-dos for different venues. As part of your event, consider setting up a reward for those attendees who offer up tips or to-dos during their time at your place of business.

Do you have additional examples or idea on how your business is using social media to promote events? Leave a comment below to share.

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