Friday, November 30, 2012

Get More Traction (pre-event marketing)


Attending an event and looking for ways to maximize the experience both online and offline? Building Blocks Social Media created a tweet-sharing program for IMEX America 2012 that resulted in more online exposure for all of the brands involved. Most people are not using Twitter on a daily basis, but they see the value in using it at a large event to see who is there, see what people are talking about and participate in the conversations themselves. Are you leveraging this opportunity in the right way?

From September 17th through October 11th, 261 tweets were created for 8 different twitter accounts. Most of this content was also shared via personal Facebook profiles, company Facebook pages, personal LinkedIn profiles, company LinkedIn pages, personal Google+ profiles, and company Google+ pages, but the focus was on Twitter and the hashtag: #IMEX12 because that is where the greatest opportunity for reach existed. Leading up to an event, the official hashtag will get increasingly more traffic as the event nears and our twitter content schedule reflected that increase as well.

The partners involved in this program were not only exhibitors, but speakers as well. Anyone who attends a conference typically has an interest in maximizing the networking potential from that event. Do you typically just show up and hope for the best or do you go in with a strategy? Before the event (specifically an appointment based show), exhibitors need traffic directed to their websites, blog posts and appointment pages so buyers sign up to see them before other vendors. At a traditional trade show, an exhibitor wants to drive traffic to their booth. Speakers want attendees to show up at their sessions (especially if they are competing with other speakers during the same time slot).

HootSuite was used to pre-schedule the content (on Twitter and other platforms) so the partners did not have to actively tweet during the show. The ones that added tweets and re-tweets during the show did see higher traffic.

#IMEX12 October 8th through October 11th - Compiled by Refynr

13.3 Million Impressions
6,154 Tweets
Nearly 4,000 total links
Over 700 photos
1,396 Twitter users

Return on Investment

Three of this program’s participants were in the top ten users, by impressions.
Four of this program’s participants were in the top ten users, by number of tweets.

Refynr Dashboard – http://refynr.com/IMEX12
·         392 Total page views from October 1st through October 17th
·         109 (33%) came from Twitter.com or Twitter apps because it was shared & clicked frequently
·         Link was tweeted 84 times
·         64 clicks came directly from the twitter sharing program (traceable through the ow.ly links used to shorten the URL)

·         The direct link to the official podcast page was shared on Twitter 61 times.
·         24 additional clicks came from this program through the ow.ly link.

Appointment Page Traffic – 113 clicks for all partner sites combined
Website Traffic – 131 clicks for all partner sites combined


Learning Curve

The content took awhile to curate by combing through the event website. General Sessions and other events that most people would attend provided good content to share. Specific sessions that related to the partner’s product, service or interests were strategically selected for appropriate sharing. The bulk of the content was focused on the partners directing traffic to the other partners’ appointment pages, websites, sessions and trade show booths. Social media is less effective if you only talk about yourself, so the purpose of this program was to share good information about the conference and other attendees. The partners received the benefit of other people sharing information about them.

Some partners scheduled content on their own and some asked Building Blocks Social Media to do it for them. Bulk scheduling was a bit more difficult than expected because we were sharing documents across operating platforms and each partner had a different familiarity level with programs like HootSuite.  A lot of troubleshooting and communication was necessary during these phases of the project.

Summary

The traffic generated from this project was higher than any individual person or company would have been able to create on their own. With the right mix of partners and a dedicated strategist to create the content and put it together, I would recommend a program like this for any large event or trade show in your future.

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