How Can I Be Social (HCIBS) develops and implements strategies for online presence and smart interaction in Social Networks. Our concepts help you use online technologies in a simple and meaningful way.
My mind is still busy processing all the impressions of last week since I went for a walk around the world within three days. IMEX 2013 in Frankfurt was my first international trade show and I had the lucky opportunity to jointhe @IMEXSocialTeam. Equipped with tablet and smartphone we explored the show floor through the eyes of a visitor and captured funny and interesting stories between the various booth. Here are my personal highlights.
Creative in Malaysia
The beautiful décor of the Malaysia booth attracted my attention immediately: big replica of the Petronas KLCC Twin Towers, Asian calligraphy and the delicious smell of fresh herbal tea. Besides the booth offered creative and relaxing activities. We were invited to make bracelets and necklaces from small beads, to colour pictures with batik dye or to barter with play money for small treasures. It was a great demonstration of low budget activities that spice up your booth.
Crazy in Scandinavia
I was always convinced that long periods without natural light couldn’t be healthy for your mind. Now the exhibitors from Norway and Finland have proven me right. Nevertheless, with their crazy ideas they spread joy and fun all over the show floor. Norway opened the happy hour with a screaming contest, offering a trip to the North for the loudest voice. For sporty activities Finland was the place to be: the Fins arranged a real-life Angry Birds tournament.
Party in Holland
If you saw the orange booth of Holland you will understand why ‘gezelligheid’ is a Dutch word. No matter which time of the day you came along – it was always crowded with people who were laughing and cheering. After quitting time I was glad to enjoy a cold beer and have a good chat with the Dutch mascot Mr. Holland. Cheers!
I had three fantastic days and hope that I will see Frankfurt again next year. How about you? What was your favourite booth, your best story or your greatest shot at IMEX in Frankfurt? We want to know! Please share them with us.
Het is in deze tijd niet altijd even makkelijk om je bedrijf online goed onder de aandacht te brengen. Als je jezelf ‘googelt’ verschijnt je bedrijf op pagina 3 of 4 van de zoekresultaten (nadat je de zoektermen twee keer hebt aangepast). Je hebt misschien wel een Facebookpagina maar de ‘Likes’ willen niet echt komen. Je twittert wel een beetje maar de massale retweets komen niet op gang. Heeft het dan nog nut om tijd in je online kanalen te stoppen? Het antwoord is ‘ja!’, mits je het slim aanpakt.
Wat vinden mensen als ze je zoeken?
Social media zijn een slimme manier om je online presence te verbeteren. Met ‘online presence’ bedoelen we alle online locaties waar jij als merk of persoon in de vorm van tekst en/of beeld aanwezig bent. Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter en ander Sociale Media websites scoren altijd hoog in de zoekresultaten van Google. Mits (!) jij zelf zorgt dat je bedrijf ook goed herkenbaar is en dat bezoekers via de juiste links op de juiste plek terecht komen. En het mooie is: dat heb je helemaal zelf in de hand.
Laat je ontdekken
Als je in de zoekresultaten helemaal bovenaan staat ben je vooral goed vindbaar voor mensen die gericht op zoek zijn naar jouw bedrijf of een door jou aangeboden dienst. Er is echter nog een andere manier om contact te leggen met je doelgroep: wordt ontdekt! Via het netwerk van jouw eigen Social Media volgers kan je de potentiële doelgroep behoorlijk vergroten. Ben je interessant en aantrekkelijk genoeg om bij een toevallige lezer onder de aandacht te komen? Dan is de kans groot dat hij over je profielen gaat klikken om naar meer informatie te zoeken. En misschien ook nog wel iets ‘liken’, ‘retweeten’ of +1en.
Verbeter je online fitness
Hoe kun jij nou zorgen dat je beter te vinden bent? Hoe zorg dat jouw volgers over jouw updates gaan praten? En hoe kan je je Social Media kanalen visueel en inhoudelijk aantrekkelijker maken voor een toevallige bezoeker? Wij willen onze ervaringen en technische know-how graag met jou te delen.
Daarom organiseert How Can I Be Social (HCIBS), in samenwerking met de Amsterdamse evenementenlocaties De Nieuwe Liefde en het Westelijk Meterhuis, de komende tijd meerdere open trainingen ‘Social Media’. Deze trainingen zijn voor zowel starters als gevorderden uit de evenementenbranche. Klik hier om meer te lezen.
Geef een training aan iemand die hem verdient
Ken jij iemand die wel een training voor Social Media kan gebruiken? Jij mag namelijk een kandidaat voor een gratis open training bij ons nomineren. Post de naam van je kandidaat plus een spetterende motivatie op de HCIBS Facebook pagina. De persoon met de meeste stemmen en/of de beste motivatie wint de gratis plek in de training.
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.
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’
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!
Check out this highly engaging episode of Eventplanner.TV about Social Media for events. Watch untill the end, where Gerrit shares Donald’s concept of “Some to Some” communication for the first time.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, … Everybody is talking about it, but how many event organizers actually succeed in using social media? How many of them make money with it? Gerrit Heijkoop knows all the secrets of using social media successfully for your event.
Three learnings from the @IMEXSocialTeam reporting from #IMEX12 in Frankfurt
During the IMEX in Frankfurt show in May, the “IMEX Social Team” reported live from the show floor. Our objective was to provide a participant’s perspective in real-time to the rest of the world and to help people with all their questions about social media so they could join the conversation online. In this post we share some of our key learnings for the use of Social Media at live events.
1. Make a connection between online and offline
From a cynical perspective, one could choose to view Twitter as a place where ‘people have a conversation with themselves, hoping that someone will respond’. A more optimistic perspective sees the platform as a great opportunity to make potentially valuable new connections. In practice during IMEX this meant the social team scanned the #IMEX12 timeline in order to identify people who were tweeting from the show floor and then we went to look them up and make a personal connection!
“Excuse me Melissa, you have been Tweeting at us, right?!” After a first look of surprise, we were always greeted with a big smile. “Yes indeed! How nice to meet you in real life!”. Of course this usually led to a ‘photo opportunity’, which then resulted in a tweet, and often a re-tweet quickly thereafter.
We believe it is vital to make a connection between the online and offline worlds at live events. Whether with a personal ‘lookup’ like we did, with a Tweetup Drink like the #EUventprofs community did, or with a physical ‘Tweetingpoint’, often supplied by the organiser. It is often the perfect – and the only – way to make online networking relevant to the offline networking goals and ambitions of a live event.
2. Add a personal touch
We were quite amazed that no less than 40% of our messages were ‘re-tweeted’. This gave us a much larger reach, compared to the 137 followers we collected in the five days we were active. We really made an effort to add a photo and someone’s @username to almost every message which gave a strong incentive to the re-tweeter. This tactic alone, although requiring a bit more work and attention to detail, seemed to be almost a guaranteed recipe for a ‘re-tweet’. Why? Because people love to be in the spotlight!
And they want to tell their friends about it. Have you ever been mentioned in a newspaper when you were a kid? I bet you saved that clipping and showed it to your parents, grandparents, neighbours and classmates didn’t you? For now that principle still seems to hold in the Social Media arena. Our tip: next time you write up a Social Media message, try to add a personal touch to it and see what difference it makes.
3. Integrate with other media
Twitter and live events are made for each other. Due to the fact that all updates are public, it makes it really easy to connect with people at the same event, whether you’ve met them before or not. However, Twitter has a drawback: it still only reaches a minority of your total audience. That is why we strongly believe in integration with other media such as print and e-mail, which are accessible to everyone.
Adding a selection of ‘user generated content’ to your existing editorial media is a reward for the crowd that is already tweeting about your event (see previous learning). And at the same time it will show those who are not yet participating in the online conversation that there is some good stuff going on. And of course, the more people tweeting about your event, the more exposure and reach you (and your sponsors!) can enjoy.
You’ll be able to see the @IMEXSocialTeam in action again at IMEX America in Las Vegas from October 9th – 11th where we’ll be sponsored by MEXICO. Don’t forget to send a tweet to @IMEXSocialTeam once you get there. We’ll do our best to find you on the show floor!
Ruud Janssen: Hi, good afternoon and welcome back to IMEX tv. A familiar face, Gerrit Heijkoop. Now, something is happening in the cloud there, isn’t there?
Heijkoop: There is something new in the cloud. This is the official shirt of the IMEX social team. Follow on Twitter at via @imexsocialteam. And we are here in two functions, we are reporting live from the show floor doing meets and tweets, sharing pictures with people who cannot attend or want to look back later at what it was like. And we are also physically on the show floor helping people with their questions about Twitter, social media, this #IMEX 12. What is it? What happens if I do something with that?
Janssen: OK, so when you look at what is coming out of that and what you are putting into that what is the buzz conversation? What are the three topics that you see addressed?
Heijkoop: Well, up until now it is mainly the excitement that the show is starting. I mean we are only like four or five hours on the ways. So a lot of people buzzing on my way to IMEX Frankfort, now walking in, the show has started, looking really nice. It is pre show excitement, mainly. And we are throwing in some nice pictures. We covered the opening address, we covered some fun education sessions, and well I guess we are starting today.
Janssen: Let me ask you, where do you get your inspiration for doing some of the stuff that you do with your business?
Heijkoop: Well, for me I guess it is quite a unique perspective. Because as I told, I am on the show floor to help other people getting started. And I really love that, like the people who have this kind of a cold water fear. “Ooh, Twitter. Ooh, online. Ooh, social media. Why should I do that? Oh man, I prefer face to face meetings.” And just having that conversation, showing the other side, showing the potential benefits. But also really practical, showing them how it is done and why it is so much fun and then the reward with the smile on their face. Like, “oh this is cool. Oh, I see a tweet of that. I know him is he on Twitter too?”
Janssen: So let me ask you, I tend to remember things like when I first signed on, or who motivated me to create my profile on LinkedIn. Like my first touch points to who pointed something out to me. You pointed Path out to me for instance. And I remember those things, right? That is a very powerful connection to make isn’t it?
Heijkoop: Yeah, it is really, and I am going to repeat myself in this chair, but it is really about what I call dare to give. So it is so much fun to share your knowledge, to share your vision, and to help other people to take those little steps that I’ve been able to make already. And I don’t say that I know all the answers, I mean I’m in real time experimenting as well with all this stuff. But that is fun to share and to learn and really practical tips and tricks. But also on a very fundamental conceptual level the fact that for the first time ever communication is no longer about push. You know, this whole online technology social media is about pull. And you can see that by the fact that it is about liking and following. So if I don’t like your brand, if I don’t follow your brand you are not on my attention. And that requires a whole different approach. It’s not about putting the image out there, the branding, sending the message repeating. But it is about making a true connection and I find that very interesting…
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.