Social media is changing the world of marketing and how companies interact with their customers. It is also facilitating and creating new ways of communication and more interesting methods of attracting audiences. One of its most useful trends, is changing the concepts of event planning, implementing and managing on its different networks. It doesn’t matter how big or small the event is, with a good plan and the right marketing strategy, every event can achieve great success.
Crowd Analyzer monitored the social media buzz of two different events that Red Bull hosted in the UAE. Using its dashboard, it analyzed their points of success and weakness to extract the following recommendations for a successful planning on social media. The first event“Car Park Drift Final,” took place in Dubai on the 20th of November, 2015, while the second event, the “Red Bull Flugtag,” happened in Dubai on the 27th of November, 2015.
This post presents the top recommendations event planners need to consider, as well as the top mistakes they must avoid, to efficiently create and manage a successful event on social media.
Event Planning Dos
- Create a unique hashtag:
A hashtag is not a word that refers to a certain event or topic. As a part of the event planning process, a hashtag opens a unique channel of interaction. This channel links the event participants, or people in general, to the event's updates, promotions and campaigns. That’s why it needs to be catchy, short and easy to spell and remember. In both Red Bull events, the hashtags used to represent the events were simple and straightforward: #CPDrift and #FlugtagUAE. That eased the participation process, as people didn't have to memorize a certain word to join the social media buzz.
— Red Bull UAE (@RedBullUAE) September 14, 2015
— Relax In Dubai (@RelaxInDubai) November 20, 2015
Post videos and photos and consider live streaming:
When working on the event planning process, it is important to keep in mind posting updates in the social media. Even before the event, it is helpful when event planners devote some time to post photos from previous similar events. This will attract and urge people to participate. More importantly, it will add more enthusiasm to the online buzz. Furthermore, posting videos during and after the event encourages people to share, follow-up and interact, which increase the buzz online. Red Bull’s Car Park Drift event, had an increase in its buzz on social media over the 6 days after the launch day, because they posted videos of the events.
Be responsive to social media posts even during the event:
People don’t like to be left-out, even when they can’t attend, they want to feel that they are participating. On the other hand, generally, it is important to keep a connected channel with the target audience. In that channel, answer their questions, reply to their concerns, guide them through the event, help them with any problem. It will help also in addressing their negative feedback, and in discussing the possibility of having another similar event soon.
On another side, during the process of event planning, organizers should monitor their posts and try to engage more people. The analysis made by Crowd Analyzer found out that 51% of the posts of Red Bull’s Car Park Drift event, received at least one interaction (like, retweet, comment, share,… etc.). This confirms that people like to interact with events when they have posts and updates on social media.
Always keep target audience in mind:
Content is an important part of the social media campaign. How the planner words the event posts, can determine the success of attracting the intended audience to the event. Event planners can try to expand their target audience, and attract other categories whom they might think won't be interested. For example, in the Flugtag event, the female participation was 30%, comparing to 20% of females who were interested in the Car Park Drift. Although both were sporting events, these percentages could have reflected more female participants. That would've happened, however, if the planner designated some of the marketing strategies and promotion efforts to attract them.
Moreover, Crowd Analyzer also recommended that Red Bull should communicate more with families. That's because children and families were interested and actually did participate in the Flugtag event. It is definitely a must, to specify a certain group of audience to target for an event. Nevertheless, companies should try to include more groups and categories and attract them to participate.
Event Planning Don’ts
Don’t ignore addressing interactions and mentions:
Organizing an event on social media doesn’t end when planners post it on different social networks. In fact, this is just the beginning. So, event planners must consider that they need to follow-up with participants, in every interaction or mention being made. On social media, a single negative feedback can turn into a major PR crisis, if not addressed properly. On the other hand, people like to join conversations and to feel important and respected by the organizers. This means that they expect to receive a reply, or to participate in a discussion. A successful process of event planning requires attracting and maintaining the target audience and making them satisfied all the time.
Don’t ignore following up after the event:
Naturally the previously-created buzz online will decrease when the event ends. Nevertheless, event planners can extend this period to last a little longer. That happens when they follow-up with videos, photos and testimonials of the participants. The Red Bull’s Car Park Drift event got an increase in the online buzz six days after it was over. Unlike the Flugtag event, the organizers of the Car Park Drift posted videos for the event. That, as a result, refreshed people’s excitement and extended their engagement and interactions until after the event.
Don’t force speakers or influencers to report the event in a certain way:
When event planners force the influencer to follow a certain method, or write a specific number of posts, he might be asking for less than what he usually does. More importantly, the planner is affecting how the influencer is working. This might result in less success than the expected. In Red Bull’s Car Park Drift event, one of the influencers was supporting Lebanon. He only reported Lebanese driver performance, which made him receive 20 interactions. If the event planner forced him to report the whole event, he might not have done the job. Or he would probably have received less interactions. If a company will include using an influencer in its process of event planning, it must respect his/ her contributions. It should also accept their opinion and/ or suggestions to efficiently implement and achieve success in the planned marketing strategies.
Don’t ignore how people are interacting, and join them:
Follow the audience in whatever way they are using to interact and post about the event. This includes what they write about, the tone through which they interact, and even the language they are using. A successful process for event planning, requires the organizers to follow-up with participants.
— برهوم (@ibrahimalbloshi) November 19, 2015
More importantly, however, is to engage others who couldn’t make it to the event. Based on Crowd Analyzer’s language analysis for Red Bull events, there was a noticeable number of participants writing in Arabic. However, Red Bull didn’t respond in Arabic. Although it might not be in significant numbers, but this might have decreased the number of participation. These people might not be able to understand English, or weren’t interested in writing in English.
In the end, an event is as memorable and successful as its planners make it to be. With social media, it is not hard to plan and execute events that will create huge buzz and positive feedback for companies, and promote for their brands, products and services.
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