Julius Solaris (twitter, web) is the editor of the excellent Event Manager Blog and a social media strategist. In the video below both of his passions -events and social media- meet to give an important advice to conference organizers:
You don’t need more social media tools, you just need to use those that really matter [for your audience].
Many organizers try to be on every possible service available without verifying where their audience is already present (and active) and meeting them there. Sometimes organizers even open several accounts/pages (I’m thinking Twitter and Facebook mainly) but later don’t have enough [human] resources to manage them and keep them fresh and interactive. You’re not TED, who for example has several twitter accounts for different scopes (with quite an amount of followers on each like @TEDtalks, @TEDnews, TEDactive, TEDfellow, TEDchris…).
Some of the most abused tools by events are:
- Twitter (I’ve been to several “top management” events where less than 1% of the audience used Twitter)
- Facebook (are you just broadcasting or do your followers interact with your event?)
- Blog/Tumblr/Posterous/etc (are you willing to publish INTERESTING content frequently?)
- Instagram (yeah, you launched a creative-photo competition but most of your participants don’t know about it and besides they use mostly BlackBerries)
- Storify (do you have time to curate a great story of your event with tweets, photos and all?)
- Flickr (flickr is sliding down but apart from that, what’s the point in uploading 1,500 photos that no one will ever look at?)
- Slideshare (most often uploading just the slides is useless as they should be a visual aid to the presentation and not contain all the information)
- YouTube/Vimeo/etc (at least make the audio quality good!)
- FriendFeed (does someone still use that?)
- Google+ (ehm… yeah, nice… but is your audience there?)
- Linkedin groups (two words: spam + boooooring….)
- Livestream (you go through the hassle of live-streaming your event but you feed it with poor audio/video quality and you have only 3 viewers online)
Why waste time in all of the above if it’s really not working?
Julius suggests to:
- Make your Social Media Strategy clear (are you doing it for marketing, customer service, PR, traffic?)
- Avoid Social Media Overload by concentrating in what works for you
- Focus on the tools that really make a difference
- Use less fancy tools (faxes, sms, direct mail) if those nail your goals
- Integrate services (eg. print a QR code with a to your event’s Facebook page on your direct mail)
Bonus: most startups concentrate on services that are nice but not REALLY useful to conference organizers. Concentrate on the basics, look for the pain points. For some tips on how to disrupt the conference experience, checkout this video by Luke Williams, author of Disrupt.