Not too long ago, your boss had a really awesome idea. Fire up the social media machine and start a social media campaign to share information out about your conference or event. They would come in droves he said, they would love your event and things would be just amazing.
Everyone thought that this was a great idea. The web is becoming more social and your attendees all seem to be on Twitter and Facebook. How could you fail? What could go wrong…
You took the time to set up a really nice Facebook page (isn’t your cover photo just peachy!), your Twitter Background is stupendous (it captures who you are) and all of your other social outposts are in just as beautiful shape (even that Pinterest thingy).
In fact, it all just rocks, your plan is kick ass and your event is simply the best thing since sliced bread. The boss loves you and your team so much that he bought donuts.. the ones with the sprinkles that say “you’re really special in a co-worker kinda way”.
You launched your social campaign on Monday and never looked back. At first the re-tweets and Facebook comments were pouring in. You would post about the event and get retweets up the wazoo and 150 likes… what was not to love! Shoot, this whole social media thing is EASY.
Jump Forward a Month
The first month flew by, what a whirlwind…. you were all moving at about 1000 mph but something was wrong, the tire was wobbly. You were starting to slow down. You started to notice that 100 likes became 90, then 80, then 20 and now you are lucky to get one. You were still gaining Twitter followers but no one was retweeting your posts anymore.
What happened? Did people stop loving you? Liking you?
The short answer is no. Your fans and followers did not stop liking you, they stopped “being in like” with your evil twin.
What Evil Twin?
Your evil twin is a narcissistic a-hole that only wants to talk about himself. The twin only talks about what he has done and only shares what he has accomplished. The twin only wants to tell people about early bird rates, special hotel deals and sign up now promotions.
The twin does not care about anyone else because they do not matter in his world.
The twin is like that jerk wad at the party that will just not stop talking about his great job and sexy girlfriend. Uggg, what an ass. This dude is really screwing with your ju-ju.
Dump the Twin
You can do better than this, you can have the most awesome social media presence if you will only tell the evil twin to get out and not come back. Telling that jerkweed to take a hike is easy to do, you just have to have faith that talking about more than your event will bring more people TO your event.
There are some really easy steps to becoming a social media rockstar with your conference or event. Just follow a few rules.
Sharing something that is not related to your event is very scary for a lot of event marketers. They think that they will be driving people away from their website and away from registering but the exact opposite will happen.
Having broad horizons when it comes to sharing will build your credibility and trust which will encourage people to listen more closely to what you have to say. When it comes time to announce that the earlybird rate is ending, people’s ears will perk up, they will not run away.
My unscientific rule of thumb is 5 to 1. You should be sharing about 5 items related to your industry for every 1 thing that is all about you. This is not set in stone mind you and for some it may be a little more or a little less.
When someone does something nice like mentioning you, retweeting you or linking to you, take a second to thank them, it goes a long way. If you are hugely popular this will not always be prudent or possible but try your best. Really, it helps.
If you want people to promote you, promote them. Pretty simple formula. You may not want to promote your direct competition but it may be helpful to look at other events in your industry with which you share common values and audiences and strike up a deal. You scratch their back and they can scratch yours by introducing you to new audience streams.
Dig deep into your industry news and find things that others are not talking about. This will make people look to you as a resource where they can get fresh information. This leads to more shares, more likes and more followers.
Links and information are really great but after a while they get boring. Mix it up with images, video and other forms of communication.
Now, these little rules are not the be all and end all of social media stardom but they are a fast way to correct a course that is sending you on the path to destruction. Once you log a couple of easy wins like this, it will be less traumatic to continue making changes that will gain you more attendees because the the ultimate goal of social media is to get people to your event.
Remember, it is all about putting butts in seats, nothing more, nothing less.