Event Manager Blog’s Social Media for Events Guide (2018 Edition)

Thank you so much to the Event Manager Blog for including my insight and experiences within the newly launched 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

The guide shares 42 strategies, ideas, tips and tactics on using social media to promote events.  Levering social media at live events is crucial for generating engagement before, during and after the conference. However with social media rapidly evolving it’s not something that’s always easy to develop a strategy around especially since KPI’s around live events are sometimes challenging to measure.

I’ve been fortunate to have an extensive event marketing background which has helped me to develop innovative social media campaigns to enhance a variety of live events.   It’s crucial to always take chances and push the limit.  Failure is important to enable you to measure successes over the long term.  Always think outside the box and take chances, that’s how you and you brand can excel and stand out!quote-1-768x510.jpg

So, what are you waiting for, check out the 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

What do you think of the guide, anything you would add? Leave me a comment below or shoot me a Tweet!

A trip down Event Memory Lane…

Ahead of the close of 2017 I was thrilled to see my name included as one of the Top 29 Event Industry Influencers to Follow from a newly released article from Tom Pick/G2 Planet.  I have extensive experience working within the Event Industry and am thrilled to be included with so many colleagues from one of my old employers BizBash Media.

My father Richard Aaron was the President of BizBash for many years ahead of his recent retirement and took a chance hiring me as the economy was tanking in 2007 to work within his event team.  I had just completed my Master of Public Administration and couldn’t find a job that fit my background and he encouraged me to join him and get some experience outside of my traditional interests.  Working at BizBash as an Event Marketing Manager I traveled the United States supporting nine  core markets learning first hand from him and others how to execute the onsite event managements for all of the trade shows and events the company put together.  I developed content for email, social media, direct mail and other channels to convert and engage audiences.

As social media emerged as a dominant channel driving both engagement and revenue for many of our events my interests quickly migrated into learning about digital and social strategy.  Within BizBash Events we developed a social media lounge a core part of our large scale tradeshows deepening relationships with Event Influencers within core markets and showcasing what real time event success looked like with giveaways, live twitter feeds and more. We were one of the first to develop this type of strategy and it was fascinating and exciting.

It was love at first sight for me. Seeing social media so deeply integrated into the success of our overall event success really hit home.  I knew I had to work to deepen my digital marketing background and move forward in future roles with more focus on social media and the strategies of implementation for ongoing success.  I worked alongside a fantastic team and mentor (my father) who took a chance on a young twenty something and deeply impacted my long term career success.  Since BizBash I’ve worked at several events and publishing companies (Crain Communications, IQPC, Euromoney Institutional Investor) and have implemented tactics I learned from my event days.

Within my role at CFA Institute I work to support some of our larger global events developing social media strategies for ongoing success.  At one of our annual conferences I developed a social media lounge featuring a social media vending machine where a tweet with a unique hashtag dispensed a prize to the participating delegate. Not something you traditionally see at financial events but a real wow-factor and attention grabber for many of our attendees. I’ve also lead our internal team annual kickoff meeting for the last two years bringing some of my old BizBash “outside the box” event skills to make work meetings more engaging including a live graphic artist, digital caricatures and hashtag cookies and chocolates to tie the theme together.

I’m so grateful to Tom Pick and G2 Planet for the Inclusion and to my father for taking a chance on me.  It’s important to have a mentor that supports you and helps you refine your skills as the years go on.  He’s always been a sounding board for many of my ideas helping me to think outside the box and refine for success and I’m grateful beyond words.

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My Three Rules to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

In an age where we are readily able to access our work 24/7 many people are putting in extra hours, and using their smartphones to continue to be “on-call” outside of traditional work hours. I’m guilty as charged and often reach for my phone and answer work emails early in the morning and late at night before getting out of bed. I’ve found a few ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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Here are three ways which have helped me find a little more daily balance within my routine:

Rule 1: Learn to Unplug

Because we are so plugged in and connected it can be a challenge to step away and leave work behind. When I take my vacation days I now unplug and turn off my alerts completely. I leave my team my personal email and cell phone, and they’ll find me if it’s urgent, but by unplugging and not reading emails & listening to voicemails has helped me to enjoy my paid time off.

As long as your clients and vendors are informed of your plans in advance (i.e. through previous correspondence, voicemail or out-of-office messaging) they typically respect your privacy and need to disconnect.
Rule 2: Use Your Vacation Time

While we are on the topic of taking time off and unplugging, it’s important to schedule vacations and personal days to step away from work and relax. Vacations allow us to re-energize and return to our job well rested, and too often we don’t use our time off!

Americans throw away $52.4 billion every year because we won’t take time off from work. (Source: Oxford Economics) Click to Tweet.

Overall, Americans are taking less vacation than they did a decade ago. In 2013, the average worker took 16 vacation days, down from 20.9 in 2000, according to an analysis by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off, an initiative to encourage more workplace vacation.

It’s important to schedule time off, and use your vacation time.  I’ll admit sometimes I take a “mental health” day and do nothing but lay in bed and relax, and for me, it makes such a difference. However you use your time off is your decision, a lot of people prefer “staycations” but whatever you do, use your time off, don’t throw away hard earned time off, use it and enjoy!

Rule 3: Communicate with Family, Friends, and Coworkers

Having an open line of communication with family, friends, and coworkers can help play a part with your overall happiness and balance. I always let my husband know key events and projects i’m working on so he understands when I’m going to be busy at my office. We’ve synched up our google calendars, and anything important and dates I need to be in early or stay late goes into the calendar. Since we’ve had the baby our time management skills have become thoroughly more efficient as we’ve had to make our days more productive to get home and pick our son up at daycare. We both typically bring home work, but after a certain time try to cut it off and be together as a family and enjoy dinner and a little downtime.

When we have big events at work I try to communicate to my co-workers to ensure all hands are on deck to help ease the workload and understand when longer hours are going to be expected. Ive found that many times issues arise in my work-life balance when I’m not properly communicating. Finding the methods and communication tactics that work best for you will help increase your productivity and overall well-being.

I hope these three tips have helped, what rules do you use to maintain a healthy work-life balance? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @MarissaPick.

The Eight Traits Successful People Have In Common

Lecturer Richard St. John met a young girl on a plane on his way to speak at a TED conference in California who asked him a simple question, are you successful? This sparked him to travel the world for years where he conducted face-to-face interviews with a wide array of people to find the common factors with success.  He met people in all fields including comedians, parents, surgeons, nobel prize winners, celebrities such as Bill Gates, Russell Crowe, Peter Max, Seth Godin, and MORE!

He analyzed his 500+ interviews and sorted them line by line mapping out and reviewing over 300+ success factors. After analyzing everything he’d learned, he came up with these eight traits:

  1. Passion: Love what you do.
  2. Work: Really hard.
  3. Focus: On one thing, not everything.
  4. Push: And keep on pushing yourself.
  5. Ideas: Come up with some good ones.
  6. Improve: Keep improving yourself and what you do.
  7. Serve: Serve others something of value.
  8. Persist: Because there is no overnight success.

Success doesn’t happen overnight and Richard St. John found that these eight traits are at the heart of success and within the foundation across any career & field.  You can add in people skills, computer skills, and a wide array of other skills to help you succeed with your specific area of interest, but regardless of what you do, the eight traits above will always be within the heart and key to success.

Social Media is About Reach and Engagement, see past the Dollar-Value Returns — Here’s What Marketers Should Measure Instead

A fantastic article published by John Heggestuen in Business Insider reinforces the idea that Social Media Marketing isn’t always about the dollar value returns, but should be focused toward new metrics that evaluate social media strategies in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations. It’s important to have clearly defined business objectives and realistic expectations before launching a social media strategy, and the points below really emphasize the larger picture of what marketers should be measuring.

The recent Business Insider report, In-Depth Research On What Matters In Digital reviews how social media strategies are involving:

  • The decline of ROI metrics: Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media dropped from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. The percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
  • Even as the vogue for ROI indicators fades, social media budgets are ballooning. On average, top marketers expect to devote 9% of their budgets to social media spend in 2014, and 16% by 2018, according to the same survey.
  • Exceptions: Of course there are exceptions to the move away from ROI. Some social commerce applications and direct response campaigns will achieve measurable results on Facebook, or other social networks. And the end of the ROI-fever definitely doesn’t mean that all metrics can be thrown out the window.
  • The metrics to watch are audience reach, engagement, and sentiment. On Facebook, it’s always important to remember that due to algorithmic filtering, brand or business posts will only be seen by an average 16% of their fans.
  • Facebook shares are particularly valuable, because normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ news feeds (compared to posts by brand pages); between 29 and 35% according to one study.
  • Improving the most common metrics: Insights, Facebook’s built-in analytics tool, offers great basic data for measuring reach and engagement. We show you how to transform those numbers into richer and more valuable metrics.
  • Post reach is the most fundamental indicator of reach on Facebook, but it’s important to track it relative to number of page fans and enrich it with complementary indicators. We show you how, and include screenshots.

The report also emphasizes the importance of reach and engagement as well as other benefits of social media below.  It’s a great report to reinforce that in order to embrace social media you must see past the immediate revenue and dollar value returns, and see the larger picture!

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Please leave a comment below, or tweet me @Marissapick with feedback, enjoy!

Do You Have a Strategy for Responding to Negative Social Media Posts?

Earlier this month eMarketer posted a great article, Are You Still Missing a Strategy for Negative Social Posts? where they shared that most marketers respond within a day to negative posts.  A staggering 88% of employees will use social media for marketing in 2014 however many still have trouble identifying ROI, but also responding to the negative buzz from the posts. At my current company we’ve had several instances where negative buzz has surfaced online, and we’ve had to quickly escalate to the proper internal resources to mitigate the situation.  In responding quickly, we’ve turned online “ranters” to evangelists within a matter of days by promptly and effectively listening and responding to the issue at hand.

So what about the rest of you, are you responding online to negative posts? the Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) found that fewer than half of US marketing professionals had an effective plan for dealing with negative posts.  The slide below shows the breakdown of where the marketing professionals align when asked in February 2014.

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On top of having a strategy it’s impressive that 52% of marketers respond to a customer complaint on social media within 24 hours, and 18% respond within 1 hour. Click to Tweet this stat. A staggering 1 in 5 respondents said they rarely or never respond to negative social buzz altogether.

Do you have a strategy for responding to negative social media promotions online? If you don’t have a plan in place, I suggest you brainstorm and discuss one immediately.  Connecting and engaging with clients and fans is a great way to deepen trust and loyalty while showing the human side of your brand. No one’s perfect, and mistakes happen and often customers can get upset and complain.  With the growth and ease of social media networks customers now expect to log, share, and get resolutions through social media.

I’m curious to know how your brand deals with negative comments, and if you’ve got a strategy in place.  Please comment below, log your vote in the poll,  or tweet me @MarissaPick.