Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event?

Many event planners search for new ideas to reach more attendees. Social Media can help you to extend your reach beyond the boundaries of the physical event, meeting, trade show or conference. In this post I would like to share some tactics to make this work for you.

Create an experience ‘worth sharing’

The easiest way to achieve massive exposure is to let your participants promote your event. But how? Thanks to the rise of Social Media and mobile phones, we now all have the option to share special experiences instantly with our colleagues, friends and family. If you manage to create such a remarkable experience at your event, you can get the word out to the social network of each participant, which on average contains 300-400 people.

pope2013 Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

Go for visuals

Which updates make good shareable content for Social Media? In times where everyone starts to suffer from ‘information overload’, we only quickly scan our news feeds for interesting stuff. How can you win the battle for follower’s attention? Simple: funny, eye-catching pictures. We capture images faster than text, thus if you want to be seen, you should put your energy in clever visuals.

Find your ‘Mickey Mouse’

Mickey Mouse Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)So how can you create a situation where an attendee grabs his cell phone to take a picture and share it with his friends? Learn from others. When you go to Disneyland, what would be your personal highlight? Right, you want to be on a photo with Mickey Mouse. The Disneyland mascot is so popular and well-known, that the picture itself has more marketing power than any written information. But you don’t necessarily need a popular mascot for the photo moment. The most important aspect is that you create a special situation, that is unique for your meeting or event and which places your attendee in the spotlights.

Leave the sharing to them

Of course you could place photoboxes, green screens or other fancy stuff for cool pictures. However, the great disadvantage of such tools is that you somehow have to manage how your attendee will receive and share the picture. Most shares occur instantly and are quickly forgotten after the ‘magic moment’  has passed. Thus, activate and facilitate the use of own cell phones and cameras, so that your attendee can share his picture immediately. Extra advantage: you don’t have to figure on which social platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc) you have to place the photos to maximize the reach. They will take care of that themselves, by automatically sharing the picture on the network where most of their audience is!

Sharing with attendees cameras Spread the word: how can Social Media increase the reach of my event? by How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)And now what?

We hope you like our approach as described above. Interested in being able to do this yourself? Take a look at our Training Social Media for the Events Industry (in Dutch only)!

HCIBS on air: Social capital and the R.O.I. of Social Media

In November 20112 Gerrit Heijkoop visited EIBTM in Barcelona. Samuel Smith talked to him about trial on error on Social Media, building a social capital and the Return on Investment (R.O.I.) of Social media.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202

TRANSCRIPT:
Sam Smith: All right, so, we’ve learned how to listen. We’ve learned how to share and give away our knowledge and not our gold, but then these other things that multiply back, our network, whatever. But what’s the third tip?

Gerrit Heijkoop: The third tip is to just start doing it and enjoy it.

Sam: Have fun.

Gerrit: Exactly. The stuff with technology is, remember how you learned how to ride a bike. Remember how you learned to play with Lego. It’s not because you read it in a book and then stepped on it, it’s because you started playing, fooling around with it in the backyard, fall off your bike, built something ugly with the Lego. Just by doing it, you got the hang of it. That’s with social media is, the same thing. There are more and more books, but you’re not going to learn it from the book. You need to start pushing buttons. You need to see what happens and experiment.

Sam: I agree with everything that you’ve said and I buy into the sharing and all of that. But for some of these folks out here, this could be a little “Kumbaya,” right? “Oh, I’m not into that.” Because we’re talking to event organizers or hoteliers or destinations, and they’re thinking, “how do I build my list?” “How do I put someone in the marketing funnel?” “How do I turn these people into revenue?” “How do I turn all this social media into cash?” Can you help me take it a step further? It’s not about what they would do different. But it’s how do they measure it, and how do they take this conversations and then put people into the marketing funnel, which then can become part of the sales funnel or sales channel. Do you have any strategies for that?

Gerrit: Yeah, certainly. The part I’m just describing is not about the list. Well, the list could be a result. The reason why I want to do business with your destination, with your hotel is first of all, because it’s a good product. That’s the basis of everything, right? But let’s say we all have good products. From there on, it’s about, because you’re fun to work with. You’re a good guy. You’re good to have in the Network. You’re a valuable person in my network. How it gets to the sales funnel? It starts with being there. That is “Kumbaya.” That is trusting the kosmos. That is believing in doing good, sharing, and creating a stronger network around you.

But then, at one day, you have a question. You throw it to the network. The network will start working for you. Or if you know that I’m a valuable person in your network, I got a hotel and I sell rooms, and you talk to someone here at the fair or somewhere, anywhere, somewhere back in the U.S., who is looking for a nice hotel in Amsterdam, where I happen to be in?

I’m going to be top of mind. Like, “Hey, wait a minute. You’re looking for a hotel in Amsterdam? Just talk to Gerrit.” Then, they go into the funnel.

Sam: If I were to summarize this, what I heard was two things from you. If you’re out there and you’re wondering, how do I translate all this into revenue? Rather than just being another element in the RFP process, you are differentiating yourself. You’re not only differentiating yourself with direct people in your circle, but with the other people who know you and appreciate you. You might have 600 friends. But your other friend might have 600 friends.

Gerrit: It’s the second degree network.

Sam: That’s where it creates power, because they say, “Oh, I know Gerrit. He’s a great person. He does these five things really well, and that’s where he excels. You should call him.” That’s where you create the value. That’s excellent advice for anyone who’s out there.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!

Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/samueljsmith – Samuel Smith
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Samuel Smith at EIBTM Barcelona?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
beMatrix
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

HCIBS on air: how to join the big conversation on Twitter

In November 2011 Gerrit Heijkoop visited EIBTM in Barcelona. During the interview with Samuel Smith he describes some starter tips to help you join the big conversation on Twitter.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202

TRANSCRIPT:
Sam Smith: I’ve been tweeting for a couple years now and I’ve sent over 6000 tweets. I forget what it was like that first time I sent that first tweet. Is your advice to send tweets? When should you do that first tweet? Do you listen in all the social networks the same way?

Gerrit Heijkoop: The starting on Twitter phase is a bit awkward. We’ve all been there. It’s like going into a bar, which is entirely empty. You’re the only one stepping in there and there’s no one there talking, and there’s no one there talking to, and there’s no one who listens to you. It’s an empty space and you’re there all alone, zero followers, zero following. What you should start with is, get some people in your virtual bar. You just start to follow people. First of all, you want to start to follow the people you already know. Because hey, it’s 2011, there are lots of people around you who are already on Twitter.

As I said, give Twitter your email addresses and it will tell you which of the folks that you know are already on Twitter. Start following them. That’s a nice base to start with. Because hey, these are your friends, anyway.

Then, you can take a look at people they follow or people they re tweet. Obviously, this person is saying something relevant, because they repeat his message. Or you can browse their lists.

For example, I have ordered the accounts I follow in all these kinds of lists. And I have a list that’s called Event Peeps. If you’re in the events industry, you could start with going to my profile, look at that list, and you’ll find all these people I’ve already collected, who are also in the events industry.

That’s where it starts, and then, you collect a nice set of people that you start to listen to, people you already know, and people who could be of interest, because they work in the same professional field.

Step two is, if you listen and you see questions, start answering them. In the Netherlands, we have a very, very famous or Twitter thing going on, it’s called #daretoask (#durftevragen). It’s actually a hashtag, it’s very famous.
It started with a few guys who noticed. Networking is very strong, there’s a lot of social capital around you, a lot of knowledge, a lot of connections. But your network cannot help you if you don’t ask what you need. If you don’t make explicit that you’re looking for a specific venue, or that you’re struggling with a specific challenge, or that you want more information or how to get started with hybrid events, if you don’t tweet that, people won’t be able to help you.

Sam Smith: You mean, they can’t read your mind digitally?

Gerrit: Exactly. Still, they cannot read your mind as they cannot in real life, they cannot online, either. I was brought up in a little farmer’s village, and I got a little farmer’s knowledge there. That says, you cannot harvest before you sow. If we go online freshly new and we start asking questions, there’s little chance that we get a lot of answers, because the people out there are not just there sitting ready to answer your questions.
You should start sowing by answering questions yourself, and that’s why there’s the connection with the listening. If you listen keenly on questions in your network, and you start to answer them, and that’s what I then call, as a parallel to the #daretoask, that’s what I call Dare to Give.

Then, you start creating value for your network, you start to become a valuable person in your network, and people are hardwired to repay you.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/samueljsmith – Samuel Smith
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Samuel Smith at EIBTM Barcelona?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
beMatrix
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

HCIBS on air: how to get started on Social Media

In November 2011 Gerrit Heijkoop visited EIBTM in Barcelona. For Samuel Smith he presented some helpful to tips for getting started on Social Media. Learn about listening, helping each other and #Daretoask.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202

TRANSCRIPT:
Sam Smith: Now I live in the United States. I used to live in Europe, now I’m living in the United States. Networking is much different in the United States than it is in Europe. Help me understand. What can the folks at home do to get ready for a social networking mindset online? Is there kind of a three tips, or an easy thing that we can do, or is it going to be a hard evolution that we have to go through?

Gerrit Heijkoop: Well, it might be hard. But I think I can boil it down to three important tips.
If you say the objective is not to gather as much followers, or listeners, but the objectives, or the metric, that we’re trying to score on is conversations, then I think the first key to starting a conversation, a relevant conversation, is listening.

Sam: Yep.

Gerrit: That should be fairly easy. That should mean just go on these profiles. Get your profiles up. Don’t do anything. Just find the people who are on there that you already know. Throw your email addresses at it and Twitter will tell you who of your connections are on Twitter. Facebook does the same. LinkedIn does the same. Just start listening to what these people are talking about, what their topics are, what their issues are, what their questions are. Very easy.

Sam: Right. Real quick, though. Hold on, this listening thing. Let’s just be real clear for the folks at home because…
I’ve been tweeting for a couple years now and I’ve sent over 6000 tweets. I forget what it was like that first time I sent that first tweet. Is your advice to send tweets? When should you do that first tweet? Do you listen in all the social networks the same way?

Gerrit Heijkoop: The starting on Twitter phase is a bit awkward. [further transcript at Twitter video]

Step two is, if you listen and you see questions, start answering them. In the Netherlands, we have a very, very famous or Twitter thing going on, it’s called #daretoask (#durftevragen). It’s actually a hashtag, it’s very famous.
It started with a few guys who noticed. Networking is very strong, there’s a lot of social capital around you, a lot of knowledge, a lot of connections. But your network cannot help you if you don’t ask what you need. If you don’t make explicit that you’re looking for a specific venue, or that you’re struggling with a specific challenge, or that you want more information or how to get started with hybrid events, if you don’t tweet that, people won’t be able to help you.

Sam Smith: You mean, they can’t read your mind digitally?

Gerrit: Exactly. Still, they cannot read your mind as they cannot in real life, they cannot online, either. I was brought up in a little farmer’s village, and I got a little farmer’s knowledge there. That says, you cannot harvest before you sow. If we go online freshly new and we start asking questions, there’s little chance that we get a lot of answers, because the people out there are not just there sitting ready to answer your questions.
You should start sowing by answering questions yourself, and that’s why there’s the connection with the listening. If you listen keenly on questions in your network, and you start to answer them, and that’s what I then call, as a parallel to the #daretoask, that’s what I call Dare to Give.

Then, you start creating value for your network, you start to become a valuable person in your network, and people are hardwired to repay you.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/samueljsmith – Samuel Smith
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Samuel Smith at EIBTM Barcelona?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
beMatrix
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist

HCIBS on air: how Social Media affect our social networks

In November 2011 Gerrit Heijkoop visited EIBTM in Barcelona. For Samuel Smith he describes how Social Media affect our social networks and how we behave socially when we are online.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

Watch full length video at: http://vimeo.com/32956202

TRANSSCRIPT:
Sam Smith: Tell the folks at home, what does it really take to be successful social networking? You know, before you get started, we’re all doing it, right? We’re Facebook ing, we’re Linkedin ing, we’re doing, is it crossing? Or X ing? We’re doing this. We’ve got everything going on, but how do we be successful? How do we have that right mindset?

Gerrit Heijkoop: Well, if you’re talking about the mindset already, we’re already on the right page. But let’s first get there. A lot of people ask questions about social media. How do I get started? What tools do I need to use? What skills do I need to have? Of course that is important, but I think the main point is the right attitude. To understand that, you have to make a difference between the media, and the social. I mean, the media nowadays is Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin. But within two years it might be other platforms. But, the technology might be quite the same.

You interact online in a social group. That social network, that’s where the power comes from. Because as we’re all professionals, as we’re all doing business or as we’re all people, we are very fond of social interaction, social connection, social communication.

In the first place, social networking is fun. It’s just fun to hang out with people. But from a business perspective, this can be very valuable, because it allows you to stay in touch with a lot more people than you would normally do. I think our opening speech, how you just introduced us, is a very great example. We’ve never met in person before, yet we have the feeling that we already know each other for two years.

Sam: Right.

Gerrit: That was never possible in the age before social media. I guess that is the most powerful impact that these media have. Now, how to be effective there is actually the same as how to be effective in offline social networking. Maybe I should start with a little example.

Sam: You mean, we should be drinking lots of champagne, and getting together and having a good time?

Gerrit: Exactly. Now, say we do that, and we’re going to do that tonight, right? Or at least tomorrow. Say we do that. We get into the bar this afternoon. We go, we both have a drink and I say, “By the way, did you know I have a great company and we sell this wonderful product? And, oh, by the way, this is great, and this is what we do. We’ve got this client, and by the way, this and that.” I keep rambling on like that for two and half hours. How would that make you feel? Exactly. You’d leave. That’s boring. That’s not how we socially behave. Yet, on the other hand, that’s what you see a lot of companies are doing on social media.

They think it’s just another channel. It’s marketing 1.0, where they need to tell on Facebook, need to tell on Linkedin, how great their company is, how great their product is, and all that stuff. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about conversation.

Sam: I agree exactly with what you’re saying. I love that you draw the analogy to how companies behave, because it seems like a lot of companies are pushing messages out into the channels.

Gerrit: That’s what they’ve been used to.

Sam: They might even be crossing the channels, so they’re using the same messages
in each channel, not really recognizing the differences in the audiences in those channels, and the behaviors in the channels.

END OF TRANSCRIPT

Thank you for watching: Sharing is caring!
Let us know what you think via Twitter
http://twitter.com/samueljsmith – Samuel Smith
http://twitter.com/gheijkoop – Gerrit Heijkoop

http://twitter.com/HCIBS – How Can I Be Social (HCIBS)

or join the conversation on Facebook: http://facebook.com/hcibs

Want to see more?

more videos from the interview with Samuel Smith at EIBTM Barcelona?
or
more videos about the use of Social Media at conferences & events?

check http://www.HCIBS.TV

video credits:

production
ABBIT Meeting Support – http://www.abbit.eu

sponsors of video booth
beMatrix
Meeting Support Institute

soundtrack
“River Flow” by unknown artist