I haven’t touched on social media for a while, but right after the Oscars there was a fabulous article by Jay Baer entitled, “17 (Mostly Failed) Brand Tweets from the Oscars.” Since Oreos took advantage of the Super Bowl blackout, everyone else is following their example, mostly without the humor and connection to product or brand. In other words, without a strategy.
So what does this article have to do with live tweeting from events? Lots. Tons. Many lessons to be learned! Have you ever bothered to read the Twitter feed from your show? Seen what your marketing department is doing?
If not, may I suggest you start doing so?
Twitter is an amazing, useful tool for live “in-the-moment” engagement for two separate audiences: those attending your event and those who are not there, but still interested in what’s going on. It connects. When it’s done correctly, it includes everyone.
The majority of people in the expo industry still don’t tweet. They think it’s lame. It’s a waste of time. It’s people reporting on inane parts of their life. Sometimes it is. But not as much anymore.
Just because you don’t use it doesn’t mean it automatically sucks. It may not.
Earlier this week I attended Gary Shapiro’s (CEA/CES International) “Ask Me Anything” Session on Reddit.com. I had never been on Reddit before, didn’t know what it was, but had heard of it. Figured I’d give it a go. It took about 30 seconds to sign up.
I was able to see the feed (conversation)—essentially unfiltered questions from the attendees and Gary’s replies. Participants would award each other points for good questions, answers and replies. There are also negative points for stupid or bad questions. There was even an option to view the feed by points, which was pretty cool. You could also easily link questions and answers to Twitter.
I couldn’t figure out how to award points, but it didn’t matter. I plan to go back and play on the site more as I can see the value in using it as a social media chat tool with top executives.
Seriously, social media is NOT brain surgery. It’s different ways of connecting with others around mutual interests. It’s free. It’s way easier to learn than Microsoft Word and Excel (think back…). You can even lurk (so no one knows you’re there).
Try a new social media channel this week and let me know about your experiences.
Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.