Plutarch stated: “Know how to listen and you will profit.” In a recent blog on Eventjuice entitled A Simple Event Marketing Tactic That Works, Liz Alton outlined the validity of adopting a strategy of social listening in any brand’s event marketing procedures. Alton defines social listening as an opportunity to engage with the users who are discussing your brand’s event while keeping track of the level of social chatter about it and your brand. Just about every brand is already well engaged in answering questions about their events, but it is important to ensure that you have a system set up whereby you can gather the information being generated by your customers in order to leverage it to your company’s benefit.
Engage in Event Social Listening Before, During and After
Social listening is a necessary process before, during and after the event, as it can allow your brand to determine whether you have managed to generate sufficient widespread “buzz,” help you identify issues or problems as they occur during the event, and post-event can provide extremely valuable data as to how your brand was perceived in order to facilitate fine-tuning of your exhibit strategy the next time. Alton establishes that one of the most advantageous and effective post-event activities is to set up a specific time and date for a Twitter chat where attendees and your staff can discuss their experiences and the ways on how the brand’s presence can be improved in the next event. If you schedule your Twitter chat within a couple of days of the event and set it up with the same hashtag that you used to promote it, you will likely find that there is an elevated level of participation when the event is still fresh in the minds of your customers.
Provide Insights Through Post-Event Blogging
Following through an event through a sequence of informative and entertaining blog posts can also help solicit that all-important post-event feedback. Although you have likely been blogging and posting during the event, those were only immediate verbal and image snapshots of what was occurring. After the event is the time to post longer and more in-depth perspectives on the event. Don’t limit yourself just to verbiage, as your customers will appreciate the opportunity to view videos of the more popular presentations, speakers or performers, and interviews with some of the luminaries, dignitaries or celebrities present at the event. Select your interview subjects and content carefully, as you want to portray the image of the event as an upstanding and respectful one. Unless your event was an Insane Clown Posse Juggalos show, you don’t want to post an interview with a participant who has been partying heavily, is intoxicated or is otherwise loopy. The image you want to project about your event is well-organized and gracious, not crazed and anarchic.
Tracking Tools Are Readily Available and Effective
All of the best social media chatter you can generate does not carry full value unless you’re keeping track of it. There is a multitude of online tools available which facilitate the tracking of the mentions and trends affecting your brand through an event, so pick the one that you’re most comfortable with and use it religiously. Some of the more popular include:
- Hootsuite – You can monitor and post to multiple social networks while tracking follower growth and brand sentiment. Everything is integrated with Facebook Insights and Google Analytics for easy data crunching.
- Social Mention – Use this social media search and analysis aggregation tool to derive a single data stream from the far flung chatter about your brand and event on over 100 sites.
- Wildfire Social Media Monitor – This tool’s daily tracking allows you to gain insight into the overall growth trends and can facilitate comparing your following across social networks.
Alton makes the point that most marketers consider social networking as a channel to disseminate information but may not be looking at it as a way to gather it. Engage in social listening and derive its unique benefits!