When used at your events, audience engagement and response services can be used to provide fresh content for your social media channels, in the same way your social media channels can provide content for audience response. Mark Kisby explains why and how…
A bit of back ground… Does your organisation have a presence on any of the following social media channels? Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Flicker, YouTube, etc… Do you blog or micro-blog? Do you believe the trend gurus that without a presence or a plan for social media you will lose the ability to gain referals as now these channels are increasingly the ‘friend’ that people will turn to to gain a recomendation.
It does not matter that the recommendation is from a person they have not met or ever will meet. It is indeed this fact which possibly makes the recommendation (or horror story…) all the more valid as it appears to be unbiased. This is not lost on the likes of Google and other search engines as they move away from static site listings to monitoring social media for ranking a subject’s current relevence in searches. Essentially if you don’t tweet, blog, facebook, linkin, you risk slipping off the new “radar”.
It is not easy to maintain all these channels and it takes time and effort to build this body of content. One of the tricks is to get others to help you through ‘retweeting’ and ‘friending’ your organisation or even better to get others to generate their own output linking back to you through engaging your audience.
To do this effectivly you need good, useful, content as standard marketing messages no longer apply as they will be recognised as just another biased sales pitch and treated like spam.
Take ownership of the search criteria: On twitter this is the creation of a Hash tag (#). Simply add a ‘#’ to a word you would like to be used as a search word for your event. Ideally a short word so as not to use up too many of the 140 characters available in a tweet… e.g. ‘#mirth’ is used for our local comedy club ‘Mirth of Forth’. This should then be announced as part of your posting style from the first announcement onwards so everyone can search and see the content generated. You can now also send normal text messages to twitter so allowing those not registered to make a contribution via their mobile phones to on line content.
To generate activity organically you need to ensure that the basic content is of interest out side of your immediate circle. This may seem a given but you would be supprised at the number of events we have witnessed where the content is not ‘news’. An Ecology conference attended by ecologists would not be supprised to learn that “100% of those polled thought that ecology was very important”. It is a ‘non’ question where the out come was so predictable as to make the asking of the question a waste of time.
A better statement put to the same group would be “Ecology is slipping in importance to the public eye…” This would create a result which could be broadcast via social media and in turn the public can reply saying why it is slipping. The speed of social media would allow reply comments to be fed back into the conference, via audience response or engagement systems, to be debated further, all greatly increasing the value of the time spent together. The process will have also greatly increased the event’s profile with the the public and media.
So audience response and social media can sit very well together but as always content is king.