How To Drive Event Engagement Using Social Media 2018

How To Drive Event Engagement Using Social Media 2018

Social media marketing can be a great tool for building buzz around your event, but it can also be fantastic for driving engagement during and after your event too! Here are a few ways you can drive engagement using social media for events.

Before the event

It is important to drum up buzz to get people to come to your event. Using social media for events is an efficient way to drive excitement and educate your target event attendees. Here are a few ways you can use social media before your event:

Create a content plan

To get started with using social media for events you’ll want to create a content plan specific to your event. This plan can be based on an existing content plan or you can create your event social media plan in addition to the initiatives you have in place. Your event social media plan and schedule should feature content that educates followers about the event topic(s), the industry your event in targeting, speakers, sponsors etc. Your content plan should also drive traffic to the event website, and include some sales messaging as well.

Email marketing

With the state of social media in 2018 we can’t forget to use email marketing to keep prospects and ticket holders up to date. Send your list updates with speaker content, agenda updates, discounts, accompanying event materials and calls to follow your event on social media. Email marketing will supplement your social media efforts.

Get speakers/sponsors and influencers involved

Use your speakers, sponsors and event partners to help push your event on social media. In the past I’ve brought up employee advocacy and this is the same thing. Equip everyone involved with messaging and images to share with their social media networks. Create content about individual speakers and make sure to tag them and any sponsors in social media messages. The trick here is to make sharing as easy as possible for them – and since these people (or other brands) are involved in the event they should be more than happy to help you promote it. For DOYOLive I was invited to take over their Instagram account for the day. This not only helped DOYOLive’s current audience get excited about the event, and get some value beforehand, but I also invited my audience to go check out what I was sharing on the event’s channel.

Another side to this coin is to reach out to influencers that are relevant to your event, but may not necesarily be attending. Even if they aren’t directly working with or attending the event it may still be something they’d like to share with their audiences. For some ideas on how to get and influencer campaign going read: How To Win With Influencer Marketing.


During the event:

Social media for events isn’t just for building buzz. Sharing shouldn’t stop because the event is happening. Social media is the perfect tool to use to continue to drive engagement and expand reach during your event. Here are a few ideas on how you can achieve that:

Live updates via your social media networks.

The most basic way you can use social media for events is to post about your event on your social channels. You can use Twitter to live tweet and interact with attendees sharing with the event hashtags. Tweet quotes from speakers and share photos. You can also share photos, videos and boomerangs on Instagram Stories and posts.

Live Feeds and Twitter walls.

When I worked in the financial publication world, live Twitter feeds were always a big hit! Everyone was amazed as they walked by the screen and saw their tweets, or pictures they’d shared on display. There are tons of tools to help you build the best feed. Here are a few: TweetBeam (paid),  Twitterfall, Twubbs, and HootFeed from Hootsuite. It’s a really fun way to use social media for events to surprise and delight attendees.

Live stream or record parts of your event.

Don’t forget to create videos when using social media for events. There are just so many moments you can capture and share. You can live stream using Periscope (or Twitter Live Video), Facebook Live or Instagram Live Stories. You can also share snippets of the event using Instagram Stories (and Instagram Stories Highlights). You can create short video Q&A’s with speakers and attendees to post on social media. Make sure to save videos so you can use them after the event as well.

Social media stations.

If you’re not sure how social savvy your event attendees are, teach them. This is a great way to create engagement and even more value from social media for events. You can set up a branded social media station (how about by the Twitter feed screen?). Make the station fun with photo ops and hashtagged items. Take time to engage with visitors letting them know the social campaigns happening around the event or sign them up for Twitter and help them send their 1st tweet.

Questions and polls.

As you’re interacting with event attendees from your event handles, ask questions. You can ask anything from “What was your favorite session so far?” to “Did you like signature drink 1 or 2?”. Twitter Polls and Instagram Stories Poll Stickers are great tools to use to make polling a breeze while creating network specific content.


After the event:

Once more, your job isn’t done once the last person leaves the wrap party. Here are a few things you can do to get even more out of your social media for events efforts after the event is done:

Thank event attendees via your social media channels.


Compile shared moments and share them with your audience.

You can use Storify to pull all messages using your event hashtag onto one landing page. I loved Storify because it lets the people included know they are part of your Storify via Twitter – driving instant traffic. I am currently researching alternatives as this service is no longer functioning – update to come later.

And post post event?

Use all the content (quotes, pictures, etc.) that you’ve collected during the event to create even more wonderful content and build buzz for next year’s event.

Social media for events has so many benefits! You can educate your audience, drive new leads, keep attendees informed and so much more! (Like creating and maintaining a Facebook group for event attendees?). Lastly using social media for events marketing can help you surprise and delight your audience while also reaching folks who may have not been able to make it in person.

Got any questions or comments? Need help with using social media for events? Let me know below or tweet me @DhariLo




I am a Hubspot Academy course contributor, Social Media Today Expert, and you can find my articles in Social Media Week, Business 2 Community and the AgoraPulse blog.

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