Here are a few tips we recommend for making sure your Social Media Day event is a success.
1. Know your Audience
No matter where you host Social Media Day, whether it’s a large city, such as NYC or a small town in Maine, you’ll need to build your event around your attendees. This includes the content, sponsors, giveaways, contests, and promotion. Ask yourself who will come, who are we promoting the event to, how and where will we promote the event, why should people come? Those answers will help you build a solid plan and strategy for your Social Media Day event.
2. Decide what type of experience you want to create
What do you want your attendees to remember? Is it the delicious food truck food or the take-away one of the speakers mentioned on stage? If you want to throw a great party invest in a band and lots of booze, if you want to provide content bring in good speakers. Also, no matter what experience you want to create you should provide some entertainment for your attendees. Consider having a photo booth, which is fun and gives the attendees something to share on social media, it’s a win-win.
3. Submit a proclamation request
Mashable started Social Media Day five years ago, and they state that in order to be recognized as an official Social Media Day event you will need to have a proclamation request recognizing the day in your city. Although, sometimes it is hard to receive a proclamation request, most cities will offer it, but some may not, so be prepared for both outcomes by planning in advance. If you can not obtain a proclamation request list your Social Media Day event on Mashable’s website so residents in your area can easily find where they can celebrate Social Media Day in their city.
4. Reach out to the Social Media Influencers in your city
This is especially important if you’ve never hosted Social Media Day. Depending on your location and format you could quickly find competition from others in your area for hosting this event. Reach out to those influencers and ask them to be involved in the event, this way you can own the venue, format, promotion, etc for Social Media Day in your city.
5. Secure a website for event registration and information
First you’ll need to claim the venue for Social Media Day in your city on Mashable’s website, if you haven’t already. Second, I would recommend securing the URL for Social Media Day [city] if possible. Third, create a Social Media Day [city] twitter account, if you have resources available to help you. Lastly, if you do not secure a URL for your event, and would like to do online registration I suggest creating your event registration site on Eventbrite.
Eventbrite is extremely user friendly, they have social plugins integrated, and they provide you with branded HTML emails to send to your contacts and invite them to your event. You can also create discount codes for the press, influencers, clients or anyone else you want to attend but shouldn’t have to pay. Eventbrite also has great reporting options and many other awesome metrics. The platform is free to use except for a small processing fee for each ticket sold, which you can either have deducted from the money you collect or add it to the ticket price. However, I found out that if you allow a 3rd party application, such as PayPal to administer payment, you will be charged a fee for using Eventbrite.
6. Promote, Promote, Promote
Now that you have created an online presence for your event you need to start promoting it. Use the Social Media Day [city] twitter account to engage with locals in your area, retweet them, reply to them and invite them to the event, etc. I also recommend creating a Facebook Event that is tied to the company Facebook Business Page of whoever is hosting the event. This is the fastest and easiest way to attract residents in your local area to attend your event. You only need one person to RSVP for many people who live nearby to learn about your event.
7. Encourage social media use during the event
Make sure you create a Hashtag for your event that attendees can use online, before and after the event, to share their thoughts and excitement. We used #SMDayME on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Displaying the live Twitter feed of that hashtag on a large monitor at your event will definitely catch the attention of your attendees. In addition, running Twitter contests at your event, which include the hashtag will also help you generate buzz online.
8. Just cause the party ends, doesn’t mean its over
Keep the channels you’ve built for the event active and continue to engage with your audience. You can continue using the Social Media Day [city] twitter account, as well as the hashtag, to attract attendees to next year’s event. Make sure to share photos from your attendees on all of the social networks, and ask them to tag their friends. This will increase the reach for your event exponentially, remember everyone loves to see themselves featured online.
What are some of the ways you promote your events and keep attendees coming back year after year?