Understanding Social Attendees

While the event industry might be constantly growing and evolving, one thing is certain: social media is here to stay. Event profs are working in an age where social attendees are the major target. Understanding the psychology behind this phenomenon enables people to plan better events.
Social media has an effect on the way events are planned, marketed, and hosted. It has such a huge impact on the event as a whole that it simply cannot be overlooked. Traditional marketing may not be dead but it certainly has taken the backseat.

Learning to Embrace Social

The complexities in our social lives are what make our existence so exciting. Social media provides access into the thoughts, experiences, and insights of other people in a way that is entirely new. Before the Digital Age we had to rely on information provided – edited information. Now we have access to information in its raw unedited form. It makes a huge difference.

Event profs now have access important tidbits regarding social attendees regarding the two “big C’s” in human nature: competition and cooperation. Social media enables people to connect and observe from afar. It’s a remarkable tool.

Who They Know and Who They Want to Know

When attending an event, one of the first things people do is check their network to see if they know any other attendees. Cleverly designed event apps enable people to connect with their peers in a safe online environment. Hosting live pre-event discussions is one of the best ways to get people talking.

On the other hand, people also want to know who they can meet or get to know better at an upcoming event. For attendees with this particular networking goal, social media provides the perfect medium for breaking the ice. Live Q&A sessions are a great tool and should be used as much as possible.

Snapchat Finds its Footing in the Event World

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Social media continues to take the world by storm. Despite the fact that it may feel as though the current “big bosses” in social media are the only ones that matter, the fact is that social media really is in its infancy. It will continue to grow and evolve at a remarkable rate – after all, that’s the nature of the concept in its entirety.

Whenever a new social media platform is established, it is adopted by younger, more techno-savvy users. As the user base expands to include previous generations, these new brands begin to dip their toes into the realms of highly competitive B2C marketing. At this point, influencers, celebs, and advertisers throw themselves into the mix; and then its just a matter of time before event organisers find a way to get in on the ground floor of the action.

This is where Snapchat is at the moment. At the precipice of popularity.

What is Snapchat? Is it Just for Kids?

Until recently, teens have been the epicentre of the user-adoption rate for Snapchat. The messenger aspect of the app seems to be its biggest selling point. It’s all about image-sharing kicked up to a new level. The instant messaging aspect of the app is also what attracts teens, like AIM did a generation ago.

Snapchat messages disappear after 24 hours. This ghost-message effect is what put marketers off the app initially, and it is probably responsible for the app’s slow growth over the last few years. Quite obviously, marketers want their messages to stick around for a good while – after all, that’s the entire point of engaging with your audience, right? Well, perhaps marketers could find a way to spin this ghostly feature in their favour.

Don’t Fall Behind

Employing the FOMO (fear of missing out) tactic is something that event organisers have been doing for decades. In essence, Snapchat uses FOMO to create somewhat of an addiction. Users crave the knowledge of trending news and posts that won’t be around forever. There’s a delightful edginess to it that other social media apps are lacking.

Most social media platforms are a constant stream of identical calls-to-action. Users are beginning to find these constant ads fairly tiresome – there’s nothing new to keep their curiosity piqued. There is a growing cynicism that prevents users from developing an interest in event posts that they have seen a hundred times and will continue to see a hundred more.

Event professionals need to market the most exciting aspect of their industry: the fact that it’s all temporary. If you only have one chance to view content before it disappears or attend an event before it’s all over, chances are you’re going to invest more of your time and interest. This is the magic that apps like Snapchat are able to capture.

Ever-Changing Event Social Media Strategies

Social media is constantly in motion. It’s an ever-growing, ever-evolving communicative medium that has a mind of its own. Due to its sometimes unpredictable nature, event organisers should be aware of the fact that their social media strategies require regular adjustments, deeper insights, and frequent research.
Over the last few months, even social media kingpins like Twitter and Facebook have announced a new array of features and changes in algorithms that will affect the way these platforms are used by individuals and businesses alike.

Eliminate the “Anti-Social” Aspect of Social Media

Due to the enormity of social media as a whole, it can feel a little impersonal when interacting with brands online. Many social media users have reported feeling as though they’re dealing with a big machine, rather than actual human beings.

“There is increased interest from our membership regarding interacting via Facebook and Twitter, so we definitely want to build on that momentum. I’m still working on goals and execution, but I would like to use social media to create more buzz around our events, not only with members but prospective members and attendees,” says Adrienne Bryan, database manager for the Association of Florida Colleges.

One of the best strategies is to find volunteers to collaborate with creatively on social media. Something that has turned out to be quite popular is the ‘Instagram takeover’ during which the company in question surrenders their event page to the volunteer for the entirety of the event. It adds some unexpected spice to the brand – you would be surprised at the difference a change in tone and pace can make.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

One of the most important things to consider when working on your social media strategy, is realising that this is no place to establish a comfort zone. In terms of social media, you always need to be on your toes.

Don’t stick to the same old platforms you’ve gotten used to over the years. Keep yourself open to the possibility of using new tools and applications as and when they become available to you. New social media platforms pop up all the time, and each one creates its own community as it grows. In order to become a successful social media strategist, you need to get in on the ground floor of every new opportunity when it comes along.