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Social Media Marketing for Events: 3 Ways to Start Strong + Lower Stress

stressed out girl at computerRunning or attending industry events creates a special kind of stress. From last-minute requests to changing details to content overload, social media marketing for events can feel like a fast-paced, pressure-filled juggling act. It’s like a race—you’ve trained and put in tons of time, work, and preparation for this moment—and then once it starts, you just go! 

We love attending industry events either for networking, speaking, or simply learning new stuff. Keynote events, especially, present an opportunity to share dynamic, real-time content. Industry events can also be stressful, unpredictable, and chaotic, making it hard to plan social content. We’ve put together a few steps that will make your social media plan as adaptable and disaster-resistant as possible.

By having an established, premeditated plan in place, you’ll decrease your stress levels, execute your strategy with confidence, and be prepared as things come up or change. The 3 areas to focus on as you begin your prep, are your goals, your team, and yourself.

Let’s dive in:

1. Start with Your Goals + Messaging

It’s back to the basics. Start by asking yourself: What are your goals for the event? What does success look like for this event?

Try to tie the answers back to the company’s (or marketing department’s) bigger goals for the year. It’s likely that you’ll have more than one, so if multiple ideas come to mind, prioritize and focus on the top two or three.

When creating a social media marketing plan for your next event, start by asking yourself: What are your goals for the event? What does success look like for this event? Click To Tweet

Some example goals include:

  • Increasing followers
  • Increasing engagements or engagement rates
  • Capturing photos/content
  • Promoting a giveaway
  • Driving website traffic
  • Driving booth traffic
  • Growing your contact list

The second part of your social media event strategy objective is based on clear, intentional messaging. What is the one message you want your audience to take away? Once you know that, you have a foundation on which you can start building your strategy and content.

When it comes to marketing your next industry event, craft a social media strategy based on clear, intentional messaging. What is the one message you want your audience to take away? Click To Tweet

2. Set Your Team Up For Success

It takes a village. Depending on the size of your company, you may have multiple people, if not multiple teams, working together to make the event a success. That’s why coordinating and having processes set up ahead of time will make your life so much easier when the race starts. These are some items to consider and set up ahead of time:

  • Roles + Responsibilities: First and foremost, make sure everyone has clearly defined jobs to do. Everyone should know what their specific goals and objectives are, and who to go to for help outside their scope.
  • Content Checklist: Identify the priority moments and pieces of content you want to promote before, during, and after the event (press releases, coverage of a keynote, a specific booth demo or session, etc).
  • Comms + Content-Sharing Systems: Make sure you have a plan for how to quickly reach and send content to your team in a timely manner. This could be setting up a group text chain or Dropbox for images. Events are time-sensitive and you need to set expectations and know how to get ahold of your team for when the plan changes or things come up.
  • Knowledge Center: Have one central place where all team members can access the plan and important info about the event so everyone is on the same page.
  • Content-Tagging Structure: Anticipate the numbers and reports you’ll need ahead of time and create a content tagging structure to make it easy to pull reporting. These tags could represent the topics that are being covered, the companies involved, anything that will help tell the right story in your data.
  • Monitoring Dashboards: Use event-specific keywords and include any relevant handles, speakers, influencers, etc. What would you search for if you were looking for this event?
  • Reporting Dashboards: Set reporting dashboards up ahead of time so you will be able to quickly pull numbers during or post-event. Your future self will thank you!
  • Listening Dashboards: Track how many people mention you, your event, your campaign, etc. Use this information for active engagement, reporting, or attribution.
  • Evergreen Posts: Prepare and schedule as much as you can in advance so when you’re at the event, all you need to focus on is what’s happening in real-time there. Include relevant hashtags, handles, and links.
  • Amplification: Ask a select group within your network to amplify content. Provide them with the information they need to easily spread the word and boost traction for your event.

3. Set Yourself Up for Success

With your team systems in place, it’s time to make sure YOU are ready to complete your mission for the event. Here are some things to think about:

  • Your Role + Responsibilities: Write out a list of everything you’re expected to do and accomplish for the event. Get specific. Micro-managing yourself may sound unnecessary now, but when it hits the fan, you’ll be happy you have a guide to follow.
  • Your Schedule: Have your schedule each day planned out, including time for food and breaks! Most likely you won’t follow your exact schedule perfectly. Who ever does?! But like your trusty to-do list, you’ll be happy to have some structure in your day when things get chaotic and you don’t want to take the time to remember what’s happening next or whether you’ll have enough time to get that third coffee.
  • Your Expectations: Set realistic expectations and be okay with things changing. Visualize how the event will go. Try to think of scenarios where things go wrong. How will you adapt?  
  • Your Wellbeing: Think of some things that you can do to decrease stress leading up to and during the event. It might be taking a few deep breaths, finding a quiet space to meditate, or exercising when you’re off the clock. It could also be as simple as having a water bottle and healthy snacks on hand to maintain energy and hydration.
  • Your Reactions: Keep in mind how you respond when stressors pop up. No one likes having to push a post out ASAP or having to pull numbers right away with no warning. Chances are, your coworkers are also under pressure. People under stress aren’t typically the best versions of themselves, and events typically make everyone stressed. Do your best to keep your cool and use these events as team-building experiences.

The Best Way to Minimize Event Stress

Preparation, teamwork, and organization definitely help, but you know what can also help? Outsourcing! Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the budget to do so, but if you do have enough to hire outside help, it can go a long way to ensuring a successful event and taking a load off your plate. Find an agency you trust, that has proven expertise and experience, to partner with and execute your plan so you can focus on other responsibilities.

Our team at Social Tribe is passionate about leveraging the newest trends and technology to help enterprise companies get the most out of their social, content, and influencer programs. Interested in learning more about how we can help you plan and navigate your marketing roadmap? Let’s talk!