How to Use Social Media During Events

How to Use Social Media During EventsThere are many articles on how to build buzz on social media before your event, so let’s focus on something different and learn about what you can do with social media during the event. Whether you are hosting a conference, fundraiser or a tweetup, check out these experience-verified tips:

1. Decide which networks you want to promote and monitor

Even though you may have a presence on many different social networks, some channels are a better fit for events than others. While it is advisable to update all your social media networks with your event information, it’s best to pick one channel per community manager during your event. If you only have one person to service your social media, you should just choose one network to focus on. The most utilized during the events is Twitter due to its public, real-time nature and users’ hashtag adoption. If you decide to utilize Twitter at your event, consider asking for participants’ Twitter handles during registration. Instagram use at events is also on the rise and we can expect more events to make use of live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat.

2. Make sure your hashtag is everywhere

In your event planning phase, you hopefully decided on one, unique hashtag that would be short, easy to pronounce and spell and give event participants a better idea about the topic of the conversation. To make sure your hashtag is unique, search the platform you will be monitoring during your event for the hashtag you intend to use. Once your hashtag is set, make it a part of all your digital and offline marketing materials (email, website, conference app, brochures etc.). Remember to promote your hashtag at the event venue on highly visible spots (on screen before the presentations, in the program, on the flyers etc.).

3. Designate people and their roles

As mentioned in #1, you want to have a dedicated person to monitor and fuel the conversation on social media. You should also have a second person to feed the community manager with pictures, videos etc. Ideally, people handling your social media are present at the event. It is quite common to have a person managing the engagements not to be at the event, but those who are on site will always do a better job than those who can’t get the first-hand experience of the event.

4. Prepare some content before the event and schedule it

Don’t automate too much content, especially on the platforms that you will utilize heavily during your event. However, since your social media staff will be swamped with real-time updates during the event, it’s good to schedule key information in advance.

5. Tell people what you want them to do

Incorporate engaging reminders on-site, such as: “Got a question? Tweet your questions for our panel with #yourhashtag”. Announce the hashtag and your network handle (username) throughout the event and display it on screen before each presenter. Some people are hesitant to use mobile devices during presentations out of respect for the speaker and other attendees, so ask the speakers to invite participants to tweet, check-in etc.

6. Incentivize

Depending on the nature of your event, pick an incentive that your participants would be responsive to. If it’s a fundraising event, get a sponsor to match the social media mentions with donations for your cause. For tech conferences, you can appeal to participants with cool gadgets. To keep it simple, every hashtag mention can serve as an entry to a random drawing (remember people like simple on social!).

7. Make them feel important

It’s in human nature to enjoy public recognition. Set up large screens on site and display interactions in real-time. Use one projector or TV per channel – if you are engaging users on different platforms, you can set up multiple screens.  Use one these free management tools to display all interactions in real-time.

8.  Create engaging and exclusive content

Event attendees love sharing quotes, key takeaways, behind-the-scenes and real-time pictures and videos, so make sure you get as many of those as possible and put those up as soon as possible. Timeliness is key.  You can also attract participants with exclusive presentations, e-books or whitepapers. Speakers can ask interested attendees to tweet (or otherwise engage) with a certain phrase and a hashtag to obtain a link for a free download.

9. Encourage after-event engagement

Keep the momentum going even after the event is over. Post pictures of attendees and encourage the users to tag themselves. Ask users to submit their comments, pictures and videos. Share video testimonials and ask for attendees’ input on what they would like to see at next year’s event.

10. Choose the right community manager

I saved the most important for last. Having the right person managing your event’s engagement is essential because this person becomes a voice of your event. One’s personality projects in one’s writing and social interactions, so if you have never worked with this person before (or agency), ask them to come up with a few examples of posts so you can see if their voice is a good fit for your event. The qualities you should pay attention to are good writing skills, attention to detail, and outgoing personality.  A word of warning – don’t have interns or people without social media experience manage your presence. There are many companies that became famous for their social media fails – you don’t want that to happen to you.

Bonus tip: To figure out the total number of times your hashtag has been used on Twitter or Instagram, use this free tool.

What’s Up in Social: May 2015 Quick Overview

what's up in social May 2015

If you don’t have time to stay on the top of social media trends but want to stay in the know, I hand-picked some important news and stats mentioned in May/June social media articles:

1. Social media has now become the number one internet activity in the world. 72% of all internet users are now active on social media. Google’s algorithm ranks social media pages higher up its search ranking as they are seen as active, engaging platforms, with consistent new content – so it’s important to keep social media channels active.

2. Facebook is now dominating the social media advertising budget. It’s on target to hit over $14 billion in advertising revenue in 2015. It is now becoming a serious rival to Google.

3. Twitter ranks slightly more valuable than LinkedIn when it comes to sales prospecting.

4. More than half (52%) of marketers say Facebook is the most important social network they use to grow and market their business.

5. Google has removed prominent links to Google+ accounts at the top of search results, Google’s homepage, and Gmail. The change suggests the tech giant is doing still more to gradually phase out its social network.

6. Facebook has begun testing a new option for users—they’re giving some users the ability to choose people or pages whose posts would always show up at the top of their News Feed. Facebook confirmed the test but offered no more detail about the option and if or when it might receive a wider release.

Features Twitter Needs

What product features Twitter needs?Twitter CEO Dick Costolo asks one question at every product team meeting,  “What’s a bolder choice we could be making?

This question got me thinking – what features would Twitter users and businesses welcome?

1. Edit a tweet

If I found one Twitter user who at some point didn’t wish to edit the tweet after it went out, I would be surprised. Whether it’s a silly autocorrect mistake or overlooked typo, once the tweet is out, it’s out. Tweets you want to edit need to be deleted and reposted again. This is especially a problem if the tweet has already been retweeted, because by deleting the tweet, the engagement on that tweet is also gone. It seems like a no-brainer feature, so why didn’t Twitter enable it yet? One issue is that Twitter is first of all very viral in nature, and it is, for the most part, public. Imagine retweeting a tweet with a certain text and picture and after the user edits it – and say includes a swear word or inappropriate image – it is now on your timeline, hurting your public image. So how can Twitter go around some of these issues? For instance, it could only allow edits on tweets that haven’t been retweeted. This would not resolve the lost engagement issue, but it would at least address the inconvenience of having to delete and repost entire tweet because of one small typo.

2. Suggested hashtags

Many people are unsure which hashtags would fit their tweet. Based on the content of the tweet, Twitter could suggest relevant hashtags where people could just add the hashtags with one simply click. Better yet, it could include an option to have up to 3 hashtags added automatically, which would make the process of tweeting even quicker and easier. RightTag is a great tool to do just that (with fantastic real-time hashtag analytics) but many people are still unaware of this tool.

3. More visual timeline

Social media is an increasingly visual space. Twitter has been moving in that direction as well, but there is still a lot of space for improvement. For instance, Instagram and Pinterest pictures shared on Twitter currently don’t show as a picture but as a link. Should they ‘populate’ and show as a picture, retweets of such tweets would increase. Same holds true for the videos. If you share YouTube video, only the text link will show. The only visual way to currently share a video on Twitter is through Vine. Why not to give the option of adding a video attachment to the tweet directly? And why not to throw Slideshare presentations, pdfs, and other popular formats in the attachment options?

4. Promote how-to Twitter articles on new user timelines

Many new users give up because they just don’t get Twitter. They don’t know how to get new followers and how to engage. Even though Twitter has its own user guide and there are tons of how-to Twitter articles all over the Web, putting it in front of the users while they are using the platform would make it even easier. Does the user have small follower base? Promote a tweet on the top of his timeline about getting new followers. Does the user only tweet his own content? Suggest an article about top ways to engage on Twitter.

5. Join Twitter chat

Finding a Twitter chat that’s relevant to your interest and that’s taking place at the time when you can join is actually quite a task. Twitter would benefit from its own Twitter chat directory where users could search and submit the Twitter chats. The users could then sort it by category and day of the week for instance. This would make it easier on users to find conversations to join and increase chat participation. Even better, Twitter could have Twitter chat rooms people could join in the real-time.

6. Top trends based on category

Twitter has already made some changes to make Top Trends more relevant, but out of the 10 trends that show on my Twitter, only about one is actually something I care about despite having ‘Tailored Trends’ feature on. Tailored Trends are supposedly based on one’s location and people one follows, but since I follow mostly entrepreneurs, social media mavens, and success-related tweeps, Game of Thrones, Caitlyn Jenner, and Ana Ivanovic seem more like a very generic suggestion. I would find more useful trending topics based on category, so I could quickly discover what is trending for instance in social media, small business marketing etc.’

7. Schedule a tweet

Twitter added the option of scheduled tweets to its ad platform in 2013, but who would want to go through all this trouble (unless you are running a Twitter ad) if there are fantastic tools like Buffer or Sprout Social where you can schedule tweets with one click? It makes sense for Twitter to enable its own scheduling feature, but make it one-click deal and not a cumbersome chain of events.

If you were at the Twitter product meeting, what features would you suggest?

Designing Business Cards with Canva? Read This First!

Now this post is not directly related to social media, but I chose to share this guide since it could be useful to every professional – whether social or not.

As I was recently working with Canva on my new business cards, I came across few things to add to Canva’s awesome, easy-to-follow guide. 

business card design

Source: canva.com

But before I get to these points, it’s important to note why Canva. While there are thousands of templates to choose from when buying business cards, the easy way is typically not the most effective way. A business card is the reflection of you and your business and that’s unique right? Therefore, your business card should be unique as well. If you can’t do magic with Photoshop, Canva is your to-go website. Even though Canva’s guide is pretty good, there are few additional things to know that the guide won’t tell you.

1. Don’t settle for the template. 

Don’t go for the easiest route and just change the text and a logo. You can use the template, but at least change the colors, fonts, and visuals to reflect your brand’s uniqueness. Playing with the layout may be more tricky and time-consuming, but it’s well worth it.

2. Get inspired.

I spent a good hour searching the web for different business card design ideas. Take your time reading through the articles with business card inspirations. Here is one of my favorites that is sure to get you inspired and make you smile.

3. Remember the best practices.

No matter what you do, always always always check for the best practices. Did you know that on average, prospects keep a color card 10 times longer than a standard card? Check out this fantastic infographic to learn more about what works and what doesn’t.

4. When done, save your creation as a pdf not an image!

If you save your work as an image and then try to print it, it will be blurry. Save it in pdf and you can always convert it to an image if necessary (make sure you save it in the best quality possible).

5. What you see is not what you get.

The colors you see on your screen won’t be printed exactly as such. Typically the color will print darker than you see on your computer screen, so make sure you take that into consideration. If you are using colorful background for instance, make sure there is enough contrast between the font and the background.

Now go give it a try, it’s free! Business Card Inspiration

Brands’ Biggest Instagram Frustrations


Instagram Biggest FrustrationsInstagram‘s popularity with the brands has been on the rise. Recent report from Olapic and L2  indicated that brands have been putting up more posts on Instagram and decreasing the number of posts on Facebook. Facebook’s organic reach squeeze had the brands looking for alternatives, but before your brand joins the Instagram madness, consider this:

  •  Instagram ads are way too costly for smaller players:  “Lower-end monthly pricing is estimated around $350,000, while higher end can get up to $1 million. (Jun 12, 2014)”. In most cases brands don’t have hundreds of thousands to drop on an Instagram ad, so all of the sudden paying few dollars on Facebook isn’t all that bad. Without ads, your brand will be stuck with having to grow followers organically, which will be pretty time-consuming (and time is money). 
  • You can forget about clickable links on Instagram (for now). Instagram has only recently given this sought-after benefit to the advertisers who use carousel ads. I expect this feature to roll out to all the users in a near future (or is it wishful thinking), but for now, most brands have to rely on the only active link which is in the profile’s bio. Brands have been pretty creative to work around this by sneaking the link references elsewhere, but it’s pretty frustrating for both brands and users to have to beat around the bush when it can be just so simple (come on, Instagram!).
  • Have I mentioned Instagram’s limited analytics options? At the moment, brands have to rely on the third party apps for metrics. There are not many choices either: easily the most popular one, Iconosquare, gives you a decent amount of data (who your most loyal followers are, most popular images, best times to post etc.) but you won’t get any demographics data, won’t be able to customize date range, and there is no option of one-click exporting.

So should your brand invest more into Instagram than into Facebook? Depends on what your goals are.

If you are looking to drive traffic, then you’re currently better off paying to play on Facebook (or get pinning). If you care more about engagement and brand awareness, give Instagram a try. According to a November 2014 Instagram study from research firm L2, users interacted 18 times more on Instagram than on Facebook.

How to Deal with Undesirable Facebook Friend Requests

If someone you don’t want to add to your Facebook sends you a friend request, you have two choices – not accept and risk that they will be offended or accept and then constantly worry about what this person is going to think when they see your post, comments etc. Of course if the request is from a complete stranger, you just ignore it/block it without thinking twice; however, in some situations (the friend request from your boss, a co-worker, your ex’s mutual friend) it’s not as clear cut.  That’s where the Facebook’s “Restricted List” comes in handy.

You can accept their request but add them immediately to your Restricted list, so they’ll only be able to see your Public content or posts that you tag them in. In other words, unless the update or a picture you posted is set to “Public”, the person in the restricted list won’t be able to see it (given you don’t tag them). I would not recommend having your updates or pictures set to Public, as then everyone, friend or not, can see your content. How can you tell if your posts is seen by all? There will be a little “globe icon” by the date and when you scroll over the icon, it’ll say “Shared with Public”. You can change the setting of each update or a picture (except for the cover photo which is by default public and can’t be changed).

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A word of warning: if you are commenting on a Public post or a photo on Facebook, people in the restricted list can see that.

So say that your favorite brand posted a “public” (visible to all) post on a page and you’re liking it and/or commenting on it, it will be visible to everyone on your friends’ list. However, if you’re commenting on updates that are set to friends only or friends of friends, then people on the restricted list can’t see it.

Now how to add people to your restricted list the easiest way:

1. Log in to your Facebook

2. Go to your “friends” list  (click “Friends” on your profile page)

3. You will see a list of all your friends

4. By each friend, it will say “Friends” and have a check mark by it. Scroll over the Friends button and the following pops up:

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5. Click on “Add to another list”

6. The names of all lists you have will pop up, including the Restricted option (see below). Click on Restricted. If the person is successfully added, there will be a check mark by Restricted list.

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7. You can repeat this by each friend you want to add to the Restricted List.

Now every time you post something that is not public can’t be seen by the Restricted List people (including your or others comments on that post). To the Restricted List people, this post simply doesn’t exist.

Create Professional LinkedIn Background in Minutes

Following in Facebook’s and Twitter’s footsteps, LinkedIn recently enabled its users to add a cover photo to their profile. Currently this feature is available to the LinkedIn Premium users and some free users, but we can expect this to soon be “fun for all”. If you want your Linkedin profile to stand out but don’t have a designer background, this article is for you.

1. Create a free account on canva.com, it takes a minute (you only need your e-mail, no payment information is needed)

2.  Once logged in, you’ll see “Start a new design page”. On the right side, you’ll see “use custom dimensions” option (see pic below) and click on it.

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3. Once you clicked on “use custom dimensions”, the table will pop up asking for width and height dimensions. For width, input 1400 and height 425. From the dropdown menu, choose px (pixels). See pic below.

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4. Once you have it filled out per step #3, click Design! button.

5. New tab or pop up will open. You can then either use keywords in “search” to find the background that fits what you are looking for (i.e. if you are in healthcare, type “health” or “healthcare” in search etc.). Many items are free and some are just a $1. You can create a lot for free! You can also upload files from your computer or Facebook by clicking “Uploads” on left hand side. (see pic below).

Canva.com

6. You can add text and background as well, which is what I did for my LinkedIn background. You will want to spend some time playing with it, especially if you are going to add text. Do not close your canva page even when you think you are finished, as most likely you’ll want to make changes. Close it only after you upload it to your LinkedIn profile and are satisfied with it.

7. When you are done with creating your background on canva, click “download or link”, then “image” and it’d open the “save as” pop up for you. You just save it as a picture wherever you’d like it on your computer to be saved (pic below).

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8. Once saved, go to your LinkedIn profile, click edit, then “edit background” and “change image” or “new image” if you don’t have any yet. Upload your canva creation and click “save changes”. Don’t forget to save changes as otherwise it won’t save your new background. You’re done! Here is my free canva creation. Have fun!

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How to Block Annoying Facebook Apps

If you are tired of getting Farmville, Candy Crush Saga or any other annoying Facebook app invites that your friends are sending you, just block it and never get those again! Here is how:

1. Log in to your Facebook.

2. On the top right corner you will see a little lock symbol. Click on it and privacy shortcuts window like this one will appear:

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3. Click on “See More Settings”

4. The “Privacy Settings and Tools” window will appear. On the left hand side will be tab called “Blocking”. Click on it. (See the picture below1a)

5. When you click on “Blocking”, “Manage Blocking” page will appear. Scroll down to “Block apps”. Start typing the name of the app you want to block. When it appears in choices, just select it and it’ll be added to your “blocked app list”. You’re done! No more annoying invites! If you change your mind, you can always unblock it in the same place you blocked it! You’d just follow the same steps and click “unblock”.

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How to Remove Yourself from the Facebook Group

Have you been added by someone on Facebook to the group you don’t want to be part of and don’t know how to leave the group? It’s simple and only takes a minute. Some of my friends have been added and didn’t know how to take themselves off, so here are the simple steps. I am illustrating it on Přidej sem koho chceš CZ&SK Facebook group (which I have been added to and which happens to be very annoying :)

1. Look up the name of the group in search or if you see the posting in the group in your newsfeed, just click on the name of it. This will take you to the main group page.

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2. On the main group page, you will see button called “JOINED” (where cover photo is). Click on it (left button) or just scroll over it and then “Leave group” option will appear. Click on it and the following box appears:

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3. Check the box to prevent other members to re-add you and then click “leave group”

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4. After you click that you will be still on the main group page but no longer a member. You’re done! Now you can just go on your main page, newsfeed or close the page.

Social Media Contests That Work

It is no secret that running contests on social media (if done right) boosts the company’s following. You can think of it as a good strategy to increase your number of subscribers if you were talking about the email marketing. In a sense, it is very similar: by liking or following you, your fans and followers opt in to receive your company’s messages on a regular basis, which makes it for companies well worth the investment. If the turnout of the contest is good, it can be a pretty cheap way (considering the alternatives like Facebook ads) to boost the number of fans and followers on your social media sites.

In this post I won’t be advising you on how to run a successful contest but rather put on your radar some contests that have been tremendously successful, so you can learn what has worked well and apply these principles for your own contest.

I have decided to pinpoint one for Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, so if you are thinking about running a contest on any of these platforms, you’ll find good examples to follow below.

TWITTER

Shutterbug Social’s Pre-Contest #MillionDollarPhoto Giveaway

For 4 days, Twitter users can enter Shutterbug Social’s Pre-Contest #MillionDollarPhoto Giveaway. Company used promoted tweets to spread the word on Twitter and the response has been great so far. The contest started yesterday and one day later there have been over 15k mentions and 4,660 tweets with #milliondollarphoto hashtag (when I started on this post 9 hours ago, this number was about 600 tweets lower btw.)

Source: TwitterCounter

Shutterbug Social got over 2.6k followers in two days and is now at 6.5k followers – very curious what it’s going to be on day four. Just a side note, Shutterbug Social is giving away Canon Rebel T3i, Samsung Galaxy S3 &  Canon PowerShot ELPH 110HS to three winners in this contest, not a million dollars (yet).

The tremendous response is to the large point caused by the fact that Shutterbug Social used promoted tweet, which is a sponsored tweet that appears in user timelines or search. Promoted Tweets are priced on a Cost-per-Engagement (CPE) basis, so you pay when someone retweets, replies to, clicks or favorites your Promoted Tweet. Promoted tweets are expensive for most small businesses (over $120k per day) but if you really want to get your tweet across the Twitterverse, they’re a very good way to do so. If you don’t have $120k to drop in a day, you can still run a successful Twitter contest. Twitter celebrity and social media maven, Aaron Lee, wrote a good post about that: http://askaaronlee.com/binkd-twitter-contest/

FACEBOOK

I rarely ever participate in Facebook contests, maybe because I never win or maybe because they are just not fun or simple enough. However, I fell in love with the “Spot the SunSM”  campaign ran by Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts. The hotel giant is giving away 100 free hotel room nights each day in August on their Facebook page. Entering the contest is super easy, fast, and fun, which is partially why it became so popular.  To enter, the Facebook user has to find and click on the sun that can be found in the picture posted on the app. First grader would manage to do it, yet it is still entertaining enough for a college graduate.  Once you find a sun, you fill out short form with name and email (great way to grow their email database this way too) and then you just hope you win!

What also adds to the appeal is that you can enter again if you don’t win, as every new day means a new chance to win. The winners are announced the next day, so the curiosity will have you come back and check the page again (and enter again) before you forget such contest existed.

The page’s Facebook Insights reveal that the contest received a great response. Ever since the campaign launched, the Facebook page has been receiving over 1000 likes per week, way more than before the contest started. The engagement on the page also skyrocketed as the result of the campaign, so kudos to Marriott – nicely done.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to run successful Facebook contests, check out my “Top 10 tips on Doing Facebook Contest “ article.

PINTEREST

Norwegian Cruise Line decided to enter Pinterest with a bang and launched a week-long “Pin to Win” contest on August 15 on Pinterest. The concept is fun and smart as it integrates other social media channels (you have to either tweet or post on Facebook about the contest to finish your entry).  NCL is giving away a seven-day cruise for two in a balcony stateroom to any of Norwegian’s popular destinations such as Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii and more on August 24. To win, the participants need to do quite a few things including creating a special board on Pinterest, repinning NCL’s pin and tweeting/adding a comment on the Facebook page. I must admit it was too much work for me so I didn’t enter but apparently many people weren’t that “lazy”, as the contest board that contains 1 pin has over 2,000 followers and this one pin got 822 repins, 64 comments and 84 likes. Not bad if you ask me, especially since the NCL’s overall Pinterest account has just bit over 2.5k followers. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but comparing to the other cruise lines, NCL is now way ahead. Needless to say they can thank this contest for it!

Got a Q or need help?

Connect with me 

http://www.linkedin.com/in/luciehys

http://pinterest.com/onlinefantastic/

http://twitter.com/onlinefantastic/

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