Social media is an important tool in 2017. Instead of reaching for the Yellow Pages, people reach for their laptops or smartphones and “Google” whatever they want to find out. Usually, this leads them to website pages and on these pages are social media icons – the bird for Twitter, the F for Facebook, the camera lens for Instagram, the L for LinkedIn and the P for Pinterest. This social media obsession has meant that people have forged careers from these platforms and have become millionaires with the click of a “follow” or “retweet” or “like.”
Therefore, you can’t have an event without social media. It is everywhere.
How does McCullough Moore use social media?
Our events are B2B – so professionals in the working world can network in a professional setting. They include conferences, award evenings and exhibitions in specific sectors such as ‘food’, ‘care’, and ‘catering education’.
The ways in which we use social media are varied but mainly we use the platforms Twitter and Instagram to market our events.
Instagram is used for one of our more quirky events – Universal Cookery and Food Festival. Unlike the majority of our other events which are in hotels and conference or exhibition centres; UCFF is out and about – in fields and farms all over the country – and this year will be in Padstow, Cornwall. We use Instagram to show off the fun of the different venues – from the initial site visit to the actual event, it gives audience a different type of event view than what you can expect from B2B events.
For Twitter, I will take the event Energy Now Expo (a UK event has been running for several years now and Energy Now Ireland has been launched for November 2017). This is a massive event in terms of the use of social media. We use the tool “Hootsuite” to schedule and manage our tweets that go out.
Current affairs not just blowing our events’ trumpet
We ensure that our event social media platforms are not just advertising each of our events, but also giving relevant information and news from the specific sectors that they relate to. This means that audiences do not switch off and become bored and hit that “unfollow” button.
Content driven feeds
What works well with our events is that we use content from our speakers and exhibitors to fuel our tweets. We tag exhibitors so they can retweet and we can then reach a wider audience following. For speakers, we have done “mini profiles” with their biography and images and tried to attract where possible to encourage followers and delegates.
By engaging exhibitors, speakers, sponsors etc, it shows that we as a company are giving something extra to them – exposing them to audiences that they likely want to attract to view their products/services. This is due to our events being specific to certain industry areas.
The importance of #hashtags
By using our own event hashtags – i.e. #EnergyNowExpo #PACE2017 #CARECHEF2017 – it creates a brand around each individual event. This allows us to build trust with our audience through the brand of our events. They will be more likely to book if they believe the event is credible and has value.
To conclude, using social media is vital for the events industry and will continue to be so in the years to come. Whether you are creating a small meeting for 10 in London to a massive exhibition in Nottingham, if you don’t have social media, you miss out on a large percentage of your audience.