Chances are your attendees are going to be posting something about their retreat experience on social media, so why not use that to your advantage? With a few simple additions, you can harness the power of what people are saying about your event on social media to get real time feedback, gather photos, promote your event and even reach new potential attendees. Try these east tips for your next event!
Promote your social media early and often
At the very least, create a Facebook page and a Twitter profile and hashtag for your event. Create these early, so you can start promoting them well before your event to start creating a buzz on both platforms. Your Facebook page will give people a way to connect with each other before the event and can also help you recruit more attendees. Use your Twitter profile to start following registrants. Most likely they will start following you in return and thus start building your network. With Twitter, it's essential to create a short "sticky" hashtag, so that everything that is posted about your event is collected all into 1 feed. When considering your hashtag, make one that is "sticky" or easy to remember. Also, search your hashtag before you commit to it. The last thing you want to do is choose a hashtag that's already in use, especially if it's being used by a group that doesn't align with your values.
Don't leave anything up to chance
Once you've done the ground work before your event, assign a few people to "lead the way" with posting content. These should be members of your leadership team that can post pictures, pose questions and give general updates throughout the event. Keeping this content fresh will encourage others to post as well. Also be sure to have your Facebook page, Twitter handle and hashtag printed on your event materials, mentioned in your sessions and part of the footer on your presentations. Subtle as well as direct reminders throughout your event will help keep your social media train steaming ahead.
Make it interactive
Find ways to work social media into everything you do. Designate a screen specifically to run your Twitter feed. Being able to see their posts and tweets in real time will encourage other attendees to do the same. Another idea is to use this feed as a way to allow attendees to submit their questions. Have a little fun and run a social media contest or scavenger hunt with prizes at the end of your event. Award prizes to the person with the best Twitter post or most creative photo. A scavenger hunt takes some pre-planning, but if you have something to find on the list at every session or event, it will ensure that your attendees come, are engaged and are driving content.
Social Media has unlimited potential to work to your advantage, so let your imagination run wild and watch your attendance numbers and your attendee satisfaction ratings soar!