Using Social Media at your Event

In the spirit of trying to staying on par with class material, I found an interesting article about the use of social media at events from a blogger at Ogilvy PR, one of the world’s largest and most well-known PR agencies.

The article, Maximizing Social Media at Your Event, was written by Emily Peterson. She says there are four items to consider before going through with social media at an event. They are: listen, plan, engage and amplify. Listen to the issues before the event via social media, and see what’s being discussed. Plan the content and social media opportunities for the event. Engage via social platforms with the crew who are responsible for live updating. Amplify the awareness that social media is being used at the event, so folks know they can interact.

My consensus is that many of us, as PR practitioners, feel that social media is important, but thanks to Ogilvy, we can have a better idea of the steps to take into account for social media and event planning. As you can see, the brunt of the work for using social media is done beforehand. For instance, have clear content ready to post, have hashtags created to make it organized, and research what guests are saying before the event.

I’m wondering what you all think of this topic. Is the key to social media preparing ahead of time or reacting to events live as they occur? Will you use standards like this for event planning? Would you add anything to the four-step process?

Happy blogging!

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6 Responses to Using Social Media at your Event

  1. jweishar says:

    I think the keys to social media are both preparing and reacting. Social media should be organized and engaging to followers so that they understand what is being promoted, while continuing to do so as the events play out. I think Ogilvy has presented an effective way to carry out social media tactics, and as a PR practitioner, I would definitely implement these for event planning. I think bullet-pointing these steps makes it clearer and easier to carry out an effective social media plan.

  2. cbaumgar says:

    This is a great find for a blog topic. I think your point about having content predetermined is important because sporadic content is less valuable and trusted. Hashtags are key too because they help separate the topics of your content. I think the company that is hosting the event needs to let the public know that they will be live tweeting in order for them to prepare to interact. It is important, as you said, to listen beforehand to make sure people are even interested in your event. It would not be beneficial to use live tweeting or Facebook posts if no one will interact. There are definitely certain events, such as sporting games, auctions, fundraising and elections, which would greatly benefit from event social media. Great job!

  3. jlmart20 says:

    It is critical to determine what you want social media to do for your event before you begin using it.

    I was the content creator for my internship event. The organization was nervous and apprehensive to use Facebook and Twitter. I determined that the most important way to use social media was to showcase the details prior to the event. Also, I wanted to build trust within the organization itself.

    We did not do any contests, promotions or day-of-event interaction. This was the first year they used social media, so I didn’t want to complicate the issue. I did monitor and control comments during the event.

    If I were to do an event social media campaign again, I would definitely incorporate more interaction. I think an interactive campaign can add a great texture to events.

    Also, I would designate a person or team to run it — as it was extremely difficult to manage while juggling tasks during the event. Designating a team and having a clear plan are critical for success.

    Social media also provides events with statistics for demographics, feedback, outreach and is a great way to communicate with event participants, planners and sponsors.

  4. bmalex says:

    jlmart20- thanks for the comment.

    I can totally see where you’re coming with for the event you did with your internship. From what you said, it sounds like maybe from a social media aspect, it wasn’t as successful as it could have been b/c you weren’t given the freedom to use social media properly.

    That situation sounds a lot like what Dr. Matera has mentioned in class before: companies/corps don’t know how to use social media properly, and they’re afraid to do it all because they may not doing something right. I hope we see companies invest more in social media in the future because it will benefit them and their relationships with consumers.

    And it will give us jobs 😉

  5. sbfogel says:

    I think that the Ogilvy PR point of view on social media (listen, plan, engage and amplify) is overall a well-formulated template in which to operate. While I personally think that planning properly and engaging with online “fans” and “follower”‘ are the key steps in creating a social media campaign, I also think that evaluating success/failure AFTER the event is pertinent to a company. Without being able to critique and measure calculable results, there is no point in creating a viral campaign in the first place.

    Emily Peterson touched on the landmarks needed to hit in order to generate buzz and interest in an event, but I would (without a doubt) include a fifth step called “Evaluate” in the process.

  6. cmmassey says:

    This was a fascinating article. Many people think that social media is a tactic you use before an event, not during or after. Social media can be amplified throughout events. I have attended conferences where people were tweeting throughout, so those who were not in attendance could get real-time information about what was going on and the impact it was having on participants. There is also something to be said about the success of your event and campaign if people are using social media to talk about it after it is over. If there is positive commentary, that means that your event was well-done, and people thought that they should inform others about that event. Social media needs to be looked at in a holistic format. I don’t think many people are maximizing the potential. The PR practitioners who see that potential, such as Emily Peterson, will be the successful ones.

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