As brands continue to pour more dollars into social media, one of the most effective opportunities for targeted messaging, engagement, and intelligence continues to be live events. At Earshot, we have seen engagement rates and share rates more than triple for brands that are able to effectively message event attendees “in the moment” or retarget them post-event.
Whether it’s a concert, sporting event, or business conference, marketers have a unique opportunity to extend their reach and create a more lasting impression with attendees through social media. Event-goers are a captive audience, most are active on social, and as a result, it opens up a natural communication channel between brands and relevant attendees when done properly.
If you are not doing event-based social media marketing already, here are 4 ways to consider getting immediate value from live events through social:
1.Surprise & Delight
One of the tried and true ways to capture earned media is to find relevant influencers who will share a unique brand experience to their audience of followers. The key is finding the right person – the “needle in the haystack” at these events – and providing the right “delight” so they are inspired to share. Upgraded seats, free gear, or backstage access all create instant brand affinity and amplify the reach of the brand beyond the event to those following this person on social media. By using the proper tools to surface and engage quickly, marketers can now surprise & delight in seconds at hundreds of events every year.
2. Intelligence and Insights
Diving deeper into the profiles and opinions of attendees can reveal invaluable clues for marketers. From creating lookalike audiences for paid campaigns to understanding key insights and sentiment about the brand from attendees, the data that is accessible through attendees is incredibly powerful. Moreover, it doesn’t always require sponsorship to deliver valuable intelligence. Brands can now listen effectively through social to any events relevant to them and their target demographic as it will reveal needs, wants, and interests that might be otherwise missed. Connecting the clues that can only be found on social media (e.g. most common handles followed by attendees) can provide important insights and make other marketing investments more valuable.
3. Influencer Discovery
As brands connect themselves to the experience at events through signage, give-ways, and other promotions, the ability to find and connect with new influencers is a powerful way to extend reach. These are attendees with strong, positive emotions who are likely to think of the brand in a positive light in the moment. Using clues like logo detection and share probability can help brands leverage these influencers both during the event and well after it has concluded.
By capturing new audiences and re-targeting them with paid content relevant to the event itself (e.g. playlist, results, photos, etc.) brands can drive much higher engagement and allow for more genuine content. For scale, marketers can use the insights found with these audiences to create unique lookalikes that take new data into account such as geographic, bio, or demographic data of that audience.
Live events create a natural environment for brands to strengthen their relationship with consumers through social media. Beyond traditional sponsorship, signage, and promotion, the ability to become part of the conversation at events humanizes the brand and creates trust and a deeper connection with the audience. This translates into brand loyalty and ultimately, better ROI from these event-based use cases.
David Rush (@davidmrush) is the Founder and CEO of Earshot, a social media marketing platform that enables brands to discover, prioritize, and engage customers in real-time. Learn more about Earshot at earshotinc.com and follow us on Twitter @earshotinc.