“If it’s everybody’s job, it’s nobody’s job.” Ian Sohn, executive VP and director of emerging platforms and partnerships for Ogilvy & Mather, repeated that piece of wisdom multiple times during a session on social media for the event planner at BizBash IdeaFest in Chicago. He’s helped numerous companies create and implement social media strategies at events, and he says it’s immensely important to assign specific team members to specific social media jobs. If you just say, “We all need to tweet out event updates on the hashtag,” nobody will do it, or many people will do it but no one will do it well. Here are five other tips Sohn shared during the session:
1. Create a conversation calendar. As a planner, you need to decide what you want people talking about and when. Tailor your scheduled social posts to guide the conversation throughout the event, and don’t be afraid to change up the schedule if something unexpected happens and leads the event in a new direction (a high-profile speaker agreeing to do photo ops after a keynote, for example).
2. Think sight, sound and motion. The fastest-growing social platforms in 2013 are the ones that are highly visual (think Instagram, Vine and Pinterest). People don’t just want to read what’s happening at your event. They want to see it. Tweet short videos of attendees and speakers, and post photos throughout the event of receptions, food and décor.
3. Give influencers something special. You might have 500 followers on Twitter, but one of your speakers might have 500,000. Urge them to be active on social media, sharing event news with their own networks. In return, make them feel VIP. Give them special access at the event.
4. Follow the 80/20 rule. During an event, 80 percent of what’s going out on your networks should be about the event. The other 20 percent should be about your brand.
5. Create an impact report to share with the C-suite. Planners are used to creating post-con reports, but it should have an impact report that outlines how much social reach an event had. How many people tweeted on the hashtag? How many shared photos on Instagram?