In this day and age of social media, it is easy to get an accurate idea of what happened at an event from the comfort of your couch. Whether it’s live tweets or IG Stories you follow, with the power of social media we as marketers have found ourselves presented with an opportunity unlike anything we’ve seen before. In this article, we will explain how a healthcare company can create an impactful presence at an event without making a large investment in a booth. Instead, they can dominate the conference from their computer or smartphone. We'll show you the strategic steps and share some of our results. Let's take it by platform.
Before the event, check and see if there are any Twitter chats hosted by the conference or social media ambassadors of the event. Participating in these chats will keep you informed, involved, and followed by others attending the event before it even begins. Networking with the ambassadors of the event is tremendously beneficial because it gives you the chance to build a relationship with them. A key thing to remember while participating in a Twitter chat is to use the proper hashtag for the chat on every post; this is the method that allows you to assert yourself as involved in the chat.
You should also be following the event hashtag closely prior to the event and interacting with the users on it. You can make a Twitter list for easy reference during the event. Share relevant content and engage in back-and-forth on trending, relevant topics with the tradeshow's tag. This builds a reputation of thought leadership and establishes credibility in the community early on. People will be more apt to retweet you and interact with their content if they see your thoughts as well-respected.
In advance of the event, you can also make a few posts inviting people to follow along as you live tweet at the conference or tradeshow.
During the event, be sure to post in high volumes (hundreds of posts), including the event's hashtag on every post as well as several very relevant hashtags to boost impressions. Twitter as a platform can handle many posts without annoying followers. Many people are used to live tweets during events and some even actively appreciate them.
Also, be sure to take pictures of the speakers and thought leaders present and tag them in posts to encourage their engagement. In order to actually have a substantial impact on the tag/community, you must post high-quality content that influences people. You are not just tweeting, you are engaging with and connecting to important, influential members present on the hashtag.
After the event, make posts with recaps about the event. Reference the trending topics, the best speakers, even the coolest give-aways. Respond to all your mentions and comments. Continue interacting on the event's hashtag for at least two days after the event has concluded. This will maximize your impact.
HealthIT professionals sometimes shy away from using the platform of Instagram to network professionally. But when it comes to events, Instagram can be highly effective. Instagram has been a popular topic in healthcare social media circles this year, and incorporating it into your overall strategy can help maintain your reputation as early adopters and trendsetters in the desired space. You just have to make sure you're using the platform correctly for your purpose.
You can't post as often to Instagram as you can to Twitter without alienating followers. Making more than three gallery posts a day will actually encourage people to unfollow you! Also, since Instagram is a highly visual platform, we advocate only posting high-quality photos that "fit" with the rest of your feed. However, using the Instagram Stories feature is the way to go.
Before the event, make a post to tell your followers you will be there, and to follow along on Instagram Stories. Search the event's hashtag and connect with other accounts who are using the tag.
During the event, use IG Stories to take quick videos and pictures. Use the tradeshow's hashtag in all posts and tag relevant accounts. Share any IG Stories in which you are tagged. This increases the chances of establishing an online professional relationship. Check to see if there are geo-filters related to the event and also use location tags periodically. These are great ways to gain organic reach. You can post up to about 10 IG Stories a day, and the quality does not have to be as high as a gallery post. Don't be afraid to turn the camera on yourself and speaking to give a "vlogging" effect. On Instagram in particular, this personalizes the experience and encourages engagement.
Be sure you also engage with other users on the tag. Since Instagram is still not widely used as a professional tool in the healthIT space, the community is small; they are actively seeking engagement; and you can dominate the hashtag with less effort than on the other platforms.
After the event, put your stories into an IG Highlight to extend their life. Continue to interact on the tag and respond to all your comments and DM's.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and other Platforms:
While Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. are not usually used too actively during healthIT conferences, you can and should still use your company's other social media accounts for cycling your content out there to a larger viewership. Any universal content (ex. blog posts) produced about the event by your company or your clients company should be featured across the board of social platforms to give your content the best chance at a high view and click-view rate.
Our Marketing Director, Beth Cooper attended an event on behalf of one of our clients using these tactics and the campaign in the cloud was highly successful! The client's social handles dominated the conference hashtag across platforms with a very strong presence. She also made interpersonal connections that led to follows from important professionals and increased the client's reputation as a thought leader in their space.
She was able to garner hundreds of thousands of impressions during the week as well as thousands of engagements, beating out even the competitors who had a very large physical presence at the conference.
Here are some Twitter stats collected following the event:
Beth also made a compilation video of clips of the events highlights and shared it across the clients platforms:
And this infographic visualizes the importance of using the event's hashtag tag:
We here at KNB hope you found this article beneficial and that you use some of these helpful tips next time you need to a cover an event for your company! If you use any of our tricks, please let us know how it went!
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