Whether you’re hosting a conference, attending a trade show or holding a grand opening, social media can help generate buzz before, during and after your event. Here’s an action plan to boost your event marketing through social media channels like Facebook, and Foursquare.

Establish a plan before each event

1.  Create a timeline. Include event promotions and announcements; then plan your social media content accordingly.

2.  Follow your venue, event partners and vendors. Keep a list of these social profiles to share with your event volunteers or employees.

3.  Train employees and volunteers on posting and social media guidelines prior to events. Provide sample social media posts to your team.

4.  Share promotional materials, such as flyers or evites, on Facebook and Twitter.

5.  Create an event page on Facebook, and invite people you know.

6.  Claim the event location on Foursquare, and set up offers to attract attendees.

7.  Establish an event hashtag. Your hashtag should be short and sweet, memorable and unique.

8.  Include social links on your invitations and website.

Increase your social media activity 1-2 weeks prior to the event

9.  Do a countdown. Post daily updates on Facebook and Twitter leading up to the day of the event. Remember to tag your event venue, vendors and partners whenever possible. We help our client, Pardee Homes, build excitement before their neighborhood Grand Openings with a 10-day Facebook countdown.

10.  Consider designing a new Facebook cover photo for the event with event details in the description. Make sure to stay within Facebook’s text-to-image ratio requirements (20% or less text) if you plan to promote the image. Check photos with the Facebook grid tool at 20percentrule.info before posting.

11.  Take behind-the-scenes photos of event setup. Geotag your event location when sharing photos on Facebook.

12.  Build an event Twitter list including all important attendees, speakers and partners.

Promote your event with real-time coverage

13.  Send real-time updates from your event. Include photos whenever possible, and tag all posts with your event hashtag.

14.  Be sure to provide important details, such as driving directions and what time the event starts.

15.  Designate a member of your team to monitor your social channels during the event. Monitor your event hashtag and brand mentions easily using a third-party tool, such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

Engage with your attendees

16.  Repost and reply to interesting event coverage from attendees using your event hashtag.

17.  Continue to encourage employees and volunteers who are attending the event to engage by posting updates, photos and retweeting.

18.  Embed a Twitter feed on your event website to engage attendees who are not on Twitter.

Extend your impact

19.  Create a Facebook album with any remaining photos from the event that have not been shared yet.

20.  Connect with and thank partners and attendees on Facebook and Twitter.

21.  Use Keyhole to discover how often your event hashtag was used on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

22.  Comb through geotagged tweets and Facebook posts from event attendees to identify what people liked and disliked about the event.

23.  Promote follow-up materials, and share any media coverage that occurred as a result of the event.

24.  Write a recap blog post about your event.

25.  Analyze your own social media performance. Did Facebook increase your event’s attendance? Did Twitter boost your Q&A session?

Social media can have a great impact on your events. Following a few of the tips above will help you generate buzz, build excitement and extend engagement well beyond your event.

If you’re looking to rock your next event with social media, but aren’t quite sure where to start, connect with us here.

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