How To Boost Your Company’s Profile At Conferences Using Social Media

How To Boost Your Company’s Profile At Conferences Using Social Media

Nicole Sorochan

Social media is a great way to generate leads, build brand awareness, and find connections at conferences and trade shows. This article offers a bunch of creative social media tactics and tricks for maximizing your company’s presence at a conference.

Last month, one of our clients co-sponsored a conference. We gave them some tips for making the most out of their social media presence while at the conference and thought we’d share some of the tips on our blog.

This article covers using Twitter, Facebook, and hash-tags at conferences, how to use your blog at a conference, and our one principle for making sure that people come to your booth.

Using Conference Hash-tags and Finding Influencers

#1 Look in the program the night before and follow speakers with Twitter accounts. Also, add speakers to a “list” to your Twitter account.

#2 Create a second list for attendees of the conference (add attendees from the designated conference hash-tag stream in your down-time).

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

#3 Use appropriate event hash-tags based on the content you are tweeting (use the party hash-tags for party announcements and so on). You can typically find these hash-tags on the official conference website.

Presentations and Creating Content

#5 During presentations, try to catch the sound bytes that you would be jotting down as notes from session talks. The first person to post a good speaker quote is often heavily re-tweeted. Get your tweeting hands ready!

#6 Make sure if you quote someone you “@” them. Twitter celebrities and prominent speakers are very vain interested about the buzz around their talk. They will be paying attention to the “@” mentions around their content. This is a good chance to catch their eye and make a connection.

#7 Ask thoughtful questions through Twitter that others in the room can respond to.

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

#8 RT others and “@” other comments as much as possible. 60% of what you tweet should be focused at someone specific. Don’t just barf up hash-tags.

#9 Copywriter Tip: if you want to cover the presentation and turn it into a blog post, a great tactic is to write the post as they speak, rather than trying to capture notes. The reason is the speaker has spent many hours organizing the structure of his or her points. S0–if you follow along and write as the presentation is going, you will end with a logical set of points already assembled into the best possible order. This saves time later as you won’t have to turn your raw notes into a coherent argument.

Photos and Conference Events

#10 Take lots of photos (they get re-tweeted way more often) but don’t be lazy. Get up close, frame up a good shot, and make sure it tells a story. My favourite event photographer is Kris Krug. He loves to shoot with his iphone as well as professional shots. Take a look at his even photography to get an idea of what to shoot: KK Flickr. Or hire him for your next conference.

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

#11 Often times the best stuff that is tweeted is through good conversations outside of the conference room alongside candid photos.

#12 Grab a few shots of awesome conference swag, notes left on note boards around the conference, and people decked out in corporate wear (or mascots).

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

#13 Posting a quick iPhone /iPad interview to YouTube and then tweeting it, is never a bad thing. Just make sure when you do it, make sure the room you film it in is quiet! People can handle shaky cams, but not bad audio!

Covering the Conference on Your Blog

#13 Once the day is finished, compile your best material into a blog post (do this every night as time does matter on whether or not your posts are successful). The beauty of blogging is that your coverage of the conference does not have to be high art. Just share what you learned in a very informal way.

#14 Write a few top 10 X of the day or theme based blog posts with a little humour (short and to the point). These get the most traction at conferences. Don’t write too much! Also include photos.

Photo Credit: Kris Krug

#15 Once the conference is over, go through your Tweets, search through the conference hash-tags, find other posts on the conference, and write a really good round-up of the conference. This blog post should be much more detailed and polished. After you have published it, share it with all the connections and influencers you met at the conference. Make sure you email or Tweet the conference speakers you mention in the post. This leg-work will result in a well-shared post. Consider offering this post to a trade publication for them to publish. Just make sure you are timely as conferences become old news fast.

Social Media Distribution

Send most of your content through Twitter with roughly 15% ending up on your Facebook page, 5% of content into short recap blog posts. Remember to put some Facebook only /Blog only content out there as well. Each channel is different and unique content (per channel) is always great!

Twitter

  • Tweet quotable speaker quotes, party announcements, trivia and occasional photos (use Instagram for photos).
  • Co-ordinate meet-ups and introduce people.
  • Be helpful, useful, candid.
  • 60% of your tweets should be aimed at someone specifically (@).
  • Try a game/quiz or easy competition through Twitter.

Facebook

  • Add a nice photo of the crowd or a candid shot of the speaker and the best quote or lesson learned from one specific session. (try to @ the speaker /company in FB if possible).
  • Add a good party pic to Facebook via Instagram (not where everyone is hammered, but a glam “fun” shot). Tag people in the shot.
  • Add a few photos of your booth to Facebook with staff having a good time.
  • Showcase your staff at a team dinner / event outside the conference.
  • Do not exceed 3 or 4 posts per day on Facebook (and make sure they are spread out and different styles ie. photo, blog post, quote, question).

Company Blog

  • Take your best photos and top speaker summary, or day highlights and put them into a blog post. (Daily Recap).
  • Use the Top 5 or 10 X of the day… format. (Very popular and tweetable).
  • Make sure to tweet each post and add 1 blog post (only 1) to Facebook per day (max).
  • Make sure to get your blog posts up in a timely fashion (if they aren’t up quick, they are worthless less effective).

Getting People to Your Booth

Social media can definitely help to get people to your booth. But we also recommend that you think about how to integrate social media into your conference display.

Our best advice? Make it fun. And make it ‘social-by-design,’ which means building social sharing right into the concept.

For example, last year One Net Marketing created an interactive photo-booth for Victoria’s annual Social Media Camp. We provided attendees with props and removable social media symbols made out of plastic that people could stick on their clothing and take photos with three different poses.

We then had a script that automatically updated these photos with hash-tags in real-time to a website we built just for the conference. The photos were then sent to all of the person’s social media profiles from Twitter to Facebook.

 

The site also dynamically generated a profile page for each participant, capturing their interests, a few hash-tags, and where to find them online. Users could then download the photo-strip and print them out. You can view the fun little site at Flashyourgadgets.com.

The result? Tons of attention. A flurry of re-tweets, traffic spikes, and a bunch of conference attendees around our booth having a great time.

And—to brag—compared with all the other boring booths filled with business cards and posters, our booth did all the work for us, attracting visitors and created a nice integration between social media (people love to share photos of themselves) and our offline marketing. We had people coming to our booth till the very last second (even when we were quite tired and ready to shut it all down).

It was also covered in various conference write-ups. So–make it fun. People will love you for it and reward you with attention.

That’s all the tips we have.

But…if you’d like to book the FlashYourGadgets Photo Booth and bring some geeky fun your event please contact Nicole@onenetmarketing.com.

Photo Credits for Conference Shots by Kris Krug: KK+.