The Reference Guide for “Social Media and Face-to-Face Meetings”
Social Media Adoption and the “Pie” Analogy By Michelle Bruno
ocial media adoption has come a long way since the days when event organizers began to actively experiment with social channels. When we as an industry took our first baby steps, there were enormous misconceptions about Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. For some, Twitter was the platform of choice for declaring what you had for breakfast. Facebook was an evil plot to invade your privacy and LinkedIn was a clever way for your “connections” to spam you without having to know your email address. In the beginning, the question that most face-to-face event producers grappled with was how to get a marketing message through channels that few of their customers and prospects used or understood—themselves included. Now, as Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other platforms continue to expand— forcing late adopters and even some non-believers into submission—and the event community gets a handle on the medium as well as the message, several trends have emerged:
Gameification From Farmville to Word Mole, games have become part of the social landscape and smart marketers have figured out how to harness players’ fascination with game play and competition to engage customers. Trade show and conference organizers, including International CES and IMTS, have used geo-location platforms like foursquare and SCAVNGR to reward attendees who visit certain booths.
Content The content contest—tasty content delivered hot and fast—has prompted event planners to deliberate
long and hard about what kind, how much, and how often to post to their Website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and private networking platforms (if they have them). Because so much is searchable online (including content from some social networking platforms) and search is one of the primary ways that customers learn about events, creating posts, articles, white papers, videos, and photos is a full time job for organizations.
Social Sharing When Facebook added its “Like” feature, it became yet another way for people to share content—a Website, blog or YouTube video—with others. Now social sharing buttons that allow online visitors to bookmark, post, or list content on other networking sites like Tumblr, Delicious, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Mixx, Technorati, Google Buzz, and many others are commonplace on event Websites and blogs. The ability to share in a seemingly infinite number of places provides tremendous opportunity to the “sharer” and sharing widgets appear everywhere.
Community The idea of building a community of interested followers, friends, and aficionados is simple to understand but difficult to implement for many live event producers. It is easy to infer interest from an attendee, sponsor or exhibitor who has paid to participate in a face-to-face meeting. It is much more difficult to gauge the appeal of a live event to individuals who join an online group. The notion of building a community of interest around a live event has become more popular and many organizations have begun hiring community CONTINUED ON PAGE
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THE REFERENCE GUIDE (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1)
managers to provide the “glue” that links the members of the various public social networks together or curates the private (members only) network.
information. By downloading a scanning app to their mobile phones, information seekers can take a snapshot of the code and jettison themselves to a Website, landing page, vCard, or other online destination. QR codes are becoming the central component of scavenger hunts (the NTEN Nonprofit Technology Network is one example), schemes to build Facebook and Twitter followers, and clever ways to dole out company information.
Mobile Unless your Attendees are four years old or younger, Amish, or live under a rock, they bring mobile phones or other Smart devices to your events. Many organizers—the number is growing exponentially—are either developing mobile apps for their events or optimizing their Web-based content for mobile. Either way, the proliferation of mobile devices has prompted planners to think differently about their content delivery, sponsorship strategies, and exhibitor promotional packages.
Although b-to-b event organizers have progressed quickly, they still lag behind many consumer brands and the full potential of social media has yet to be realized. If one were to characterize the trajectory of social media adoption in face-to-face events, it might look like this: Past: “I like pie”—a misunderstanding of the purpose of social networking platforms taken from the popular belief that Twitter users only talk about minutia and menu preferences. Present: “We sell pie”—the use of social channels to communicate one-way marketing messages. Future: “Wanna share some pie?”—the true engagement and community building that will come from listening, sharing, and NOT selling.
QR Codes Quick Response codes— two-dimensional barcodes that were invented in Japan to track auto part inventory—have begun appearing in connection with event marketing and exhibitor promotion. The small symbols that look like a Rorschach inkblot test gone wild are actually gateways to online
Scheduled for publication on www.TSNN.com, a division of Tarsus Advon.
Social Media Usage Case Study Comparison Channel Facebook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Flickr Blog Mobile App Game Social Sharing Buttons Community Manager Content Aggregator Private Social Network QR Codes Posterous
IMTS ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
NTEN ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ * ✔ ✔
BlogWorld & New Media Expo ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
Internat’l CES ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
✔ ✔ ✔
* Game played in 2010. No game planned for 2011. CONTINUED ON PAGE
2011 SOUTHWEST SHOWCASE | AUSTIN, TEXAS | JANUARY 27, 2011
Quick Link Reference Guide International Machine Tool Show
Mobile App: http://www.imts.com/visitor/newsletter/insider/2010Aug18/notes_mobile.html
Social Circle: http://www.cesweb.org/socialcircle/
NTEN Website: http://www.nten.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nten.org LinkedIn:
Additional Resources Social Sharing Buttons: http://sharethis.com/publishers/get-sharing-button Mojo: http://everything2everything.com/enter-mojo-
foursquare-for-the-web/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/ntenorg YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/NPTechNet-
Private Social Network: http://myntc.zerista.com/
Core-Apps (Follow Me): http://www.core-
BlogWorld & New Media Expo
MOJO and the Gameification of Events:
Grease, Gears, and Geo-location | IMTS Gets its Social Media Groove On:
Buyerâ€™s Guide to Mobile Apps: http://www.vdocshop.com/doc/tarsus-advon/meetingtechonline-buyers-guide-to-mobile-apps/2010120201/?referrer=http %3A//www.meetingtechonline.com#0
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blogworldexpo/ Posterous: https://posterous.com/
International CES Website: http://www.cesweb.org/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/International-
CES 2011 SOUTHWEST SHOWCASE | AUSTIN, TEXAS | JANUARY 27, 2011
Michelle Bruno, CMP, CEM Tel: (801) 520-0797 email@example.com | www.brunogroup.com