Your number of social media followers has increased, your user engagement is up and your content messaging is on track: what’s next? How can planners better integrate social media into meeting activities while they are taking place? Perhaps you need to build greater interest in and foot traffic on your tradeshow floor: how will you create a hub of social media activity?
One solution to consider is a social media wall. By definition, a social media wall is a screen or a series of screens used to display social media conversations during an event. Many media wall technology providers support most of the major social networking platforms: Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Twitter. What these particular social sites share in common is the hashtag. Hashtags, represented by the # sign, are symbols used to generate and gather conversations around a specific topic. If you haven’t already identified a specific hashtag for your meeting, it is important to create a unique hashtag sooner rather than later.
Promoting your meeting-specific hashtag well in advance of the meeting itself is critical to the success of its implementation. Meeting attendees need to be aware of your hashtag so that they can include it in their social media posts. Without the use of a common and well-publicized hashtag, generating and following social conversations about your meeting will be a far more tedious and difficult process.
Following are some strategies to contemplate as you consider or prepare to launch your social media wall:
- Select a service provider:
Build the infrastructure that will support your social media feeds. Determine which platforms – Instagram and Twitter, for example – you’ll feature on your wall. Promote your event-specific hashtag to followers using your social media networks on a regular basis, on your event website, in on-site signage and throughout your on site publications.
- Identify a location:
Determine where your wall will best drive interest and foot traffic. High-traffic areas such as registration, the general session and on the exhibit hall floor are solid options. If your attendees are active social media networkers who will take great interest in the social media wall, consider placing the wall near the back of the tradeshow floor or in sponsor aisles.
- Assemble your social media wall team:
Depending on how active your social media platforms are, assign at least one staff member to monitor the social media traffic that appears on your wall. Bear in mind, however, that social media traffic will likely increase significantly as your event takes place. If your event is large and attracts a social media-savvy crowd, multiple monitors will be a prudent choice. Social media monitors should be proficient in the platforms you’ll feature and conversant in your brand and event happenings.
We’ll look at the opportunities, risks and limitations associated with these strategies in our next post!