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The Secret Formula for Getting Social Media Walls “Right”

Social Media Event Walls

Most of us are familiar with the way Social Media has affected our lives, our businesses and the way we’ve come to communicate. Brands, big and small, are taking advantage of the reach and credibility that a simple Tweet or Instagram post has when people see a branded message from someone they know in their own network. It is what unifies us to stand behind (or in some cases avoid) a cause.

In any event, Social Media gets us pumped up and causes us to form sincere attitudes and opinions.  (One picture of a sad puppy in need of a home and I’m ready to sign the adoption papers!)

In the world of events, the signs, swag, presenters, performers, and all the media present become part of a much larger “Branded Experience.” It is at this point that the most opportunity to improve the Branded Experience presents itself in the form of a carefully crafted and thoughtful presentation of Social Media.

Anyone and everyone at the event has likely already been sharing their attendance experience with their social networks. They talk about the flight, the hotel, the taxi ride there, the food, the music, and every other little thing that matters to them. The sum of all of this becomes, in essence, “The Voice” of the event itself.

Here is where it becomes imperative that this “Voice” can be heard throughout the event, and why getting Social Media Walls “right” is so important.  (If you’ve been to enough events, you know there are plenty of ways to be a #socialmediafail.)

There are many hardware options that can facilitate this, from mobile applications, to huge LED screens. These choices are best made based on 1) the venue and 2) the audience. Outdoor events that cover huge spaces demand a large screen or projector. Events where attendees participate remotely need to have an application or a site that not only streams video of the event, but also has other platforms to engage with their peers.

Regardless of the size and shape of your Social Media Display, there are a few characteristics that are always necessary for it to be effective and leave a positive impression with attendees. Below if my list of the Top 4 Event Social Media Wall Must Haves:

  1. It needs to be consistent and perform well at the peak of the event.  Take precautions to ensure there are no issues with your Wi-fi or causes for interruptions in your live stream – especially during peak event moments!
  2. It needs to bring media that is important to the audience and attendees and present it in an interesting and unique way.  Let attendees join the social conversation in the way that they prefer with photos, video, tweets, Facebook, etc.
  3. It needs to make attendees feel like their posts and tweets are being seen, therefore, making the attendees feel genuinely involved in the event-level conversation.  Use live feeds to let them see their content SUPER SIZED on a big screen in real-time.
  4. Most of all, it needs to look great and be on Brand with the event.  Yes.  Appearances do matter.

In my experience of designing such Social Displays, I’ve had many personal victories in achieving all of the above.

I’ve had countless opportunities to delight clients with awesome looking Social Media Walls that eventually get filled with pictures of people standing next to them showing off their own social media contributions from the event.

I’ve seen people sit in front of our Social Media Leaderboards battling it out for top ranks throughout the night of an event. LeaderboardHappy

I’ve even seen our displays become the subject of renowned presenters’ and speakers’ talks at events. It is these experiences that tell me that we’ve contributed to getting social media displays “right”.

As with anything, each event experience is different. Work with teams that know Social Media, and that know events. The stock displays they offer should already look awesome, but also be flexible enough to be effectively branded and executed for your event’s needs. Choose the right hardware and displays, not just those that fit into an arbitrary “ social media budget”. Most of all, these Displays are fun to have at events, they are great for brand messaging, and it’s an awesome way to get event-goers truly engaged with your event and your brand.

We like to think we are pretty good at getting Social Media Walls and Live Twitter Feeds “right.”  If you want some guidance for your next event, Contact Us and one of SocialPoint’s Social Media Specialists will be happy to share the secret formula for success with you!

Creating “Warm & Fuzzy” Brand Advocates with Photo Sharing

Event Photo Sharing

You do it.  I do it.  We all do it.  There’s really no shame in it, so why deny it?

We are obsessed with taking photos and videos!  (Why is it that saying that always sounds just a little creepy?)  Maybe even more than the actual act of taking them, we are obsessed with sharing them with others Online.

Where does this incessant need to capture and share the events of our day-to-day lives come from?

I’m not naïve enough to believe that my life is so interesting that people sit around all day waiting for me to upload my next Facebook pic or YouTube video.

All I know is, sharing feels good.

I feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I hit that upload button or see the happy little “thumbs up” number next to my post rise.  And apparently I’m not the only one who gets that “self-disclosure high.”

According to a 2012 Harvard study, up to 40% of everyday speech is used to relay information to others about our personal experiences and over 80% of posts to social media sites “consist simply of our announcements about our personal encounters.”

Are we really just that self-absorbed?  Not entirely.  (Thank god because that would be 200 million active monthly Instagram ego-maniacs running around.)

The study went on to explain that self-disclosure causes increased activation in the brain regions that form the dopamine system (the “feel good” hormone that is released when we get rewards from things like food and sex).  We are compelled to share because it literally feels good.

If food or sex don’t speak to you, consider this:  Participants in the study were even willing to give up cash rewards for answering fact based questions in order to give their personal opinions instead.

Throw in there the always present need to feel “a part of the group,” have people validate our thoughts and feelings and relate to our experiences, and it all starts to make sense.   We are hard-wired to enjoy sharing.

What does this mean for your events?

(1) People are going to be posting pictures to Facebook and Instagram, tweeting, blogging and shooting videos during your event, whether you like it or not. So, suck it up and create a plan to capture this lightening in a bottle.

(2) Create a visual anchor for any expo or event lounge space with a large social media wall.  Curate LIVE Tweets, photos and videos from Twitter, Instagram and your event photographer in real-time.

(3) The only thing people love more than seeing themselves on a screen is seeing themselves REALLY BIG on a screen. Find the biggest screen that will fit into your space (and can afford) to display this content.

(4) If you are going to rock the photo booth then be sure that your booth has a social media component to it. Don’t get a stand alone only booth.

(5) Make on-site photo capture, sharing and printing easy.  Photos are a powerful way to tell your event story.  Pull photos from photo booths, mobile apps, hashtags and event photographers and either push them to social media displays or make them available for printing and sharing via e-mail.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Now multiply that by every person in your attendee’s contact list!

The Social Point!

Sharing makes people warm and fuzzy inside. So do likes and seeing themselves on a (really) big screen. Happy attendees = engaged attendees = brand advocates and free promotion!

Get your head around your photos.

For more ideas on how to take your next event to the next level visit us at www.SocialPointforevents.com or contact us to create a customized interactive event plan.

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