Reach young audiences at events with social media

There is absolutely no doubt that social media is part of our lives. Each network is a bit different, and, as time passes, network-specific demographic reach becomes more clear.

Today, if you are a brand or an agency, it makes sense to combine the power of social media targeting with event activities to encourage visits and meaningful engagements.

For this week’s post we will go through some of the ways event teams can leverage social media to reach and involve young audiences at events.


Where is your audience on social media?

Recently, the social media management platform Hootsuite published the results of a month-long study. In their results a slide caught our attention, It is the audience size of the young audience group (13 to 17 yo) for each of the four main social network that are Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

For each, as you can see, the audience size is quite large. If you are looking where to start or which network to narrow your content strategy to, look no further.

Next, it’s time to think about a content strategy.


Design a content strategy that drives event footfall

Social media is the medium of choice (in addition to traditional advertising) to build-up hype and eventually FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) prior to an event. While the more classical avenues such as hosting a FB event page, or launching a dedicated Twitter / Instagram hashtag are still the tools of the trade, you might want to consider other more creative options.

  1. Ads. Target very specific visitor groups or visitor niches with specialized content and call to actions. Both Facebook and Instagram are extremely effective for this. Integrations with mailing lists and CRM system can make this even more effective.
  2. Videos. Use footage from past events to tell the story of this year’s rendez-vous. Using any-kind of positive experience showcase will entice your audience to not miss out on this year’s opportunities
    1. Do not hesitate to also be vulnerable. Share behind-the-scene content and work in progress updates. Booth renders, design iterations, and sample of what is to come will greatly resonate.
  3. Influencers. Working with influencers on shows has become ubiquitous. Leverage the reach of celebrities by progressively announcing them as you are getting closer to D-Day.
  4. Give them an appointment. “We are here, come anytime” leaves just enough space for people to go see someone else. Be specific in your content and use precise dates and times at which you want them to be there.

And the list goes on.


Recording a podcast – behind the scene

Each network offers specific tools and ways you can interact with targeted visitors prior to a show. Use them, and don’t forget to prepare for the next phase – the show itself.


Get visitors to talk about you during the show

During events, visitors, especially the younger audiences will be eager to engage with your brand. And as long as you’ve planned for this, you are here to help them tell the story. Here are some of the tools you can use to encourage engagements, and at the same time measure success:

  • Geotagged filters for Snapchat. Snapchat pioneered the use of filters on its network. Use location-based filters to allow only visitors of your event to showcase their presence to friends.
  • Hashtag. The most obvious one, make sure to give visitors a reason to use your hashtag on content they share.
  • Gamification. Incentives sharing of content using games and contests like scavenger hunts. Leverage your partner network if some of them are also exhibiting on the same show.

Social media event gamification

As childish as some of these may sound, they also works very well on B2B shows. Everyone is up for some fun – don’t be so serious.


Combine metrics and visualize success

Finally, the event is over, mission complete? Not quite, it’s time to pull-in the numbers and visualize success. As much as we are able to tell you how many visitors converted into engaged visitors of your space, social media analytics can tell you the conversion story among people you’ve reached.


Social media analytics

Here are some of the important metrics to look out for:

  • How many came to visit you? (=> effectiveness of your communication campaign)
  • How many visitors talked about you before, during and after the event?
  • What did people shared most from the show and how does it stacks up with on-location visitor behavior? (=> identify what works)

We’ve recently been asked to include social media analytics as part of our analytics and consulting services for events. Is it something we should consider? Let us know!