The number one reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity. The second reason is because they crave community. This is a great opportunity for special events and marketing professionals to use social media as a tool to build relationships with customers and potential customers. Special event producers should be aware of the reasons social media is so popular and try to use it as a tool to enhance their special events.
Social media is powerful because people are more likely to believe what they learn from their friends. This includes the simple action of sharing and liking social media posts. This in a sense makes your customers and social media contacts become your brand champions. For example, when your friend posts on Facebook about a new special event they are interested in attending, you instantly are open to the idea of attending the event or at least clicking through to learn more. This helps build brand followers and relationships, which is valuable because later you might need these champions to help you drown out the critics.
1. Respect others online. Respect others everywhere…period. Since this is a blog post about social media we will stick with the online community. It is important to show respect to others online because you never know the consequences of your actions or who you are really interacting with. You also don’t know who all can see your message or how they will interpret your online posts. It is safest to respect others online and avoid trolls at all costs.
2. Don’t try to control or manipulate because it backfires. Sometimes you have to realize “it is what it is” and move on. If you try to control or manipulate it will backfire on you, maybe not every time, but eventually it will. A good example of this is when companies get busted shilling online review sites. When caught they get blocked and it ultimately hurts the business more than just having honest reviews from customers.
3. Don’t try to be all things to all people and don’t chase everything under the sun. When it comes to social media you should focus on the tools that will give you the best return. It is best to use those tools and do a good job, rather than use all social media tools and be average. I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. I am finding Instagram is my new shiny toy for special event social media. It is a really fun platform. The people on Instagram are very positive. It doesn’t have the same political and commercial influence experienced on other social media platforms.
4. Traffic is nice but not the only goal. Yes traffic is measurable and that is great, but what if that traffic never transforms into a customer and they are only passing through. I’d much rather have smaller amounts of traffic but build real customer relationships and build brand recognition. I like to use social media to share stories and build relationships with my business partners, customers, and potential customers.
5. Use your real name. This was new to me, in the past I’ve had accounts on Twitter and Instagram that used names no one would recognize because I thought it was a way to keep some privacy. Looking back that is one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever had. There is no privacy these days on social media. So you need to embrace that fact, be a real person, but also be aware that you are out there and make sure to behave yourself. If it won’t make Mom and Dad proud, or your boss, don’t do it!
6. Be proactive. Don’t go out there and be a pushy marketer. Try to have conversations online and interact with people. Make sure you are providing legitimate content and that you are being genuine. The positive results will follow.
If you are new to the social media marketing field I highly recommend “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. The book has a lot of valuable lessons and reminds you of common sense that you may forget when dabbling in the virtual and social media world.
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