How to Use a Social Media Wall for Events
Live social media displays are being utilized at more and more events as attendees are constantly on their smartphones. There is certainly a huge opportunity to engage event guests through the social apps they're already using, including Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.
It isn't enough though to set up a screen and invite users to connect with you on social media, you need a plan in place to drive engagement and generate buzz. Follow these 5 steps to get the most out of your social media event display:
1. Create a strong event hashtag
In order to set up a Twitter or Instagram feed for your social wall, you first need a strong hashtag. The most effective hashtags are unique, concise & memorable. If your hashtag is too long (i.e. #automotivemarketingconference2017), people may get it wrong. If it's too generic (i.e. #conference2017) you'll have a LOT of unrelated traffic on your social feed.
A few strong hashtag examples: #ExhibitorLIVE17 / #ComicCon17 / #EARBooth185
Before settling on anything, search within your chosen social account/s to make sure it isn't already being used. It's also good practice to plan out your hashtag well in advance so you can incorporate it into all your event's promotional efforts. Ideally, everyone will know your hashtag before they even set foot in your event or trade show booth.
2. Choose the perfect social display
When it comes to choosing the right display for your event's social feed, the sky's really the limit. If you're looking for a huge social media feed to be the centerpiece of your event, a video wall rental is probably the way to go. You could also use a large monitor or a series of monitors scattered around your event. If you're using a social wall within a booth or smaller conference, a package with a 60" monitor should work great.
Social displays can range in size from a single monitor to a giant video wall.
Whatever display you select, make sure your hashtag is featured prominently on your social feed layout and elsewhere around your event (on backdrops, digital signage, brochures, iPad rentals, charging stations, etc).
3. Direct & inspire conversation
It's important to inspire your audience to share (& keep sharing!) their posts or you may be left with a lack of engagement on your wall. Use your social display to pose questions to attendees and throw out topics & picture ideas.
Display a thought leaderboard to promote interaction.
If you have prizes to give out, utilize gamification and select prize winners from your feed who have the best picture or answer a question correctly. Then you can highlight winners and thought influencers on your wall to motivate even more people to join the conversation.
4. Moderate your social wall feed
Most of the time, automatically displaying all posts in your feed is ok for your social wall. However, if you want to select specific posts to include, you'll need someone on hand to moderate. This will also be a huge help for picking out prize winners, featuring thought leaders and keeping out unwanted traffic.
Feature winners and outstanding posts using a live feed moderator.
Another great advantage to having a real-time feed manager is they can instantly respond to questions and spark further conversation with your audience. This will undoubtedly increase engagement with your brand and give users a better social experience.
5. Incorporate sponsors into your branding
Just like WiFi at conferences or concert stages at music festivals, social walls can be leveraged as a great sponsorship opportunity. Along with general event updates, sponsors can feature official brand messages and special offers through the social media wall. (Your social display provider should be able to integrate logos and customize colors to match your sponsor's image and/or the event branding.)
In conclusion, if you follow these 5 steps you'll have a beautiful live social display that perfectly integrates your hashtag, brand, sponsors and social media strategy. Then if you plan ahead and align tech needs with overall event goals, you'll be primed to maximize engagement and interaction at your event.
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