Ok, this is the last part! You prepared for your event; you went there; you rocked everyone's world. Now let's talk about the after-event social marketing, and this is where you get real differentiation!
After The Event
1. Do everything fast.
We tend to relax after events and feel like the job is done. Well, it's not. You have a very brief window of opportunity (one week) before everyone stops caring about what happened and moves on. This is why I've set a timeframe for all of the following steps.
2. Follow up [48 hours].
The first thing you have to do is follow up with people you've met at the event. In his bestselling book, "Never Eat Alone," Keith Ferrazzi calls follow-up the "key to success in any field." And I couldn't agree more. But since this post is about social media, let's talk about that.
"Make follow-up a habit. Make it automatic." — Keith Ferrazzi
Following up with people on Twitter is powerful because you get to engage and interact with them much more often than if you would keep the conversation email-only. So go through your massive list and send a quick note to everyone you've met.
You can also tell them that you're going to be sharing some cool content over the next couple of days. But don't spam them with links to your site; they can figure it out themselves.
3. Write a roundup post [one week].
Write a blog post about the event. Make it interesting, engaging, and shareable. Here's how:
- Tell a story.
- Include the best quotes from speakers if there were any.
- Add some photos and videos and link to your Facebook or Flickr, where people can find even more.
- Make it about others, not just yourself. (After SXSW 2011, we (at HootSuite) wrote about Japan earthquake relief efforts and how people could get involved. It wasn't about marketing; it was about helping someone in need._
- Include links to other bloggers who reviewed the event. (Trackbacks are a nice feature too.)
4. Share your content. But portion it [two weeks].
If you did everything right, you must have a lot of photos and videos taken. Select the best pictures and divide them into up to 10 groups.
Now start posting** one group of photos per day** on your Facebook and/or Flickr. Then share the link to the pictures over Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
This way you will have engaging content each day and people will keep coming back for more. Do this over the course of two weeks max, until everything is uploaded.
Same goes for your videos but make sure you spend some time on editing. Photos usually don't need much (or any) fixing unless you are a professional photographer.
5. Keep engaging [forever].
The key to social media is that there are no one-time interactions. You have to continue talking, sharing and engaging time and again for your relationships and community to grow.
So don't forget about the people you've met at the event. You may delete your massive Twitter list to create space for a new one, but first reassign its members to a different, permanent index (e.g. Marketers in Vancouver).
Remember, events provide a unique opportunity to connect with people in real life, build context quickly and make your online relationships more meaningful.
That's it. I promised you a bullet-proof guide, and here you have it. These 19 techniques have never failed me before. Use them wisely, and you'll easily take any event by storm. And once you do, let me know how it goes!
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