Felicity Zadro gives her top seven things to avoid in social media for events.

The second wave of social media is here. The first wave was like whiplash; it was quick, a shock, and for many – a pain in the neck. Most people’s reaction was to run out and join everything, to learn and connect with the rest of the world.

I have seen companies take control of their social media in all sorts of ways, so rather than listing all the things you can do on social media for your event, here are some things to avoid:

1. Allowing everyone to be in charge – including the intern!

Like anything, if you don’t put someone in charge of it, it just won’t get done properly. Your dedicated social media person or team needs to know the lingo (both of your brand and the language employed by each social media channel).

Think about the impact of giving the job of talking to your clients and prospects to the person who has the least amount of knowledge of your brand, is not social media trained or who hasn’t signed a privacy policy!

2. Letting the cat out of the bag

Even when it was your creative idea, your team has worked all through the night and you’ve saved the client from a disaster, we still can’t take ownership of the event and ‘leak’ information and content about our clients’ gigs before they do. There have been some instances when this has occurred, and it is not pretty. Don’t release information on social media that could be used as a great public relations piece because once it’s gone out it is no longer hot news. Let traditional media (like micenet) break the story and leverage from there. You’ll get more valuable exposure.

3. Selling rather than telling stories

One of the major trends of social media is storytelling. Great engagement comes from sharing your brand promise or event offering through a narrative, not ‘selling’ to your audience. A relatable story line on why the audience needs your products and services is 50 times more effective in increasing your sales.  So don’t obsess about ROI as the end goal of social media.

4. Turning your channels on and off

For some social media is mainly seen as a supporting sales tool, therefore, when the sales cycle wraps up, the social media stops. Then, when the team is ready to start planning for the next event, the social media channel is reignited. This is not the way to keep your community engaged and interested. It is much harder to ‘turn on’ a social media channel than to keep it going. In addition, if you maintain a consistent flow of content your audience won’t think you are only after the sale and, as a result, you will derive continued value and connection the whole year through.

5. Not listening

The other side of managing social media that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is what we call ‘listening’ to social media. This is where you research your followers to find out what they are watching, saying and listening to. Knowing and understanding your audience is important and this will give you an excellent feel for their likes and dislikes, helping you write great content that engages with them.

6. Leaving off your social media links on company communications

Unleash the potential already inside your organisation. Consider for a moment how many emails, EDMs, e-newsletters and invoices are sent out each day from your company? How many hits on your website or event app? Are your social media channels consistently promoted across all your channels? Your social media links should be visible on most things your company sends out.

7. The Scatter Gun Approach

Social media is another tool in our communications box of tricks. Just like your marketing and PR, it needs a strategic plan behind it to communicate the brand, point of difference, tone of voice and personality of your event or company. Your strategic plan should include a content schedule to ensure the right messages are communicated at the appropriate time by the most suitable channel. This will ensure a targeted approach and avoid turning your audience off by bombarding them with too much information.

Felicity Zadro is the founder and managing director of Zadro Communications. She can be contacted on email – felicity@zadrocommunications.com.au or on (02) 9212 7867.

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