How Social Media and Online Platforms Can Be Used Effectively in Event Organisation and Promotion – Part 2 – Part Two

International Confex 2013Following on from part 1 of Robin Brattel’s talk at the 30th anniversary International Confex show, here we conclude how social media and online platforms can be used effectively in event organisation and promotion.

Our first installment finished off by discussing the six stages of online community development and how you can identify them. Now, it’s important to understand the impact that guiding someone from being a ‘lurker’ to a ‘brand advocate’ can have when trying to organise and promote your event.

There are three stages of any event – the before, during and after. When used correctly, social media is an excellent tool that can be used for promotion, engagement and even extending the life of an event.

BeforeThis is the time when you are no doubt going to want to promote and raise awareness of your event. Social media can help you to:

  • Engage your audience and create chatter
  • Encourage social introductions through likes and shares
  • Target influencers you wouldn’t normally have access to
  • Increase success – people are 71% more likely to buy from a company if they have been referred to via social media

DuringWhilst your event is taking place you want to engage with your attendees as much as possible. There are a number of ways you can use social media during this time to actively encourage participation from everyone there:

  • Create a Twitter hashtag and encourage anyone tweeting about the event to use it
  • Maintain interest – good quality and interesting content is quick and easy to post and keeps you at the forefront of people’s minds
  • Go viral – competitions are a great way to encourage people to like and retweet content that will then be seen by their connections
  • Live streaming of the event can be watched by those who couldn’t attend and uploading highlights onto a YouTube video can be used for future promotions

AfterJust because your event is over it doesn’t mean that the hype has to die down. Social media is a great way of extending the life of your event and there are a number of ways you can ensure that people carry on talking about it:

  • Videos – with 800 million users on YouTube you potential audience is massive
  • Blogging – posting a write-up of your event is a great way to remind people about it, inform those who couldn’t attend and even create excitement about the next one
  • Photos – people love seeing photos and they are easy to notice and share on social media platforms
  • Ask for feedback – as well as finding out what people thought of your recent event, asking what they would like to see next time is a sure fire way to guarantee getting people through the door

By now, most people are familiar with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. However, there are also a number of other platforms available that are well suited to a number of different uses:

Flickr – this is a great place to upload photos before, during and after your event

Presdo.com – a good networking tool prior to your event

Corkboard.me – can be used for collaboration and sharing content

Sentiment140.com – one of the many sentiment tools you can use during your event

Coveritlive.com – a good way to curate content during your event

Eventility.coma great way to organise or promote your club, group, community or event. For more information about Eventility, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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How to Promote Your Event, Club, Group or Community

Whether you’re organising an event, creating a community or putting together a club or group, once you’ve signed up to Eventility, there are lots of different ways to promote it. Below is a quick guide to some of the methods you can use to raise awareness, create excitement and encourage people to join your group.

Social Media

With billions of people using social media sites all over the world, they provide brilliant platforms for promoting and sharing your group or event. Here at Eventility, we’ve made it really simple to share on social media sites and you can even post updates directly to Facebook and Twitter from your Promote tab.

Your Website

Your own website is a great way to let people know about your activities and if someone has made the effort to visit your site in the first place, then chances are that they are more likely to be interested in joining any groups you have created. Adding an Eventility Events Plugin enables members and any visitors to your website to see a live feed of your up-to-date events. Use the Events Plugin builder in the Promote tab of your listing to easily create the features you want to show on your website. When you’ve finished, hit Get the Code, copy the code and just paste it into your website HTML. It’s that easy!

Emails

Email marketing has become an incredibly popular and effective way of reaching out to people. Since the introduction of smart phones, users now have the ability to check their inbox regardless of where they are or what time it is. Sending out emails is a great way to thank people for joining your group, keeping them updated with events and encouraging them to alert and invite others. Simply import your email list from Webmail or an Excel file and within minutes you can send out your notification to all your contacts directly from the Eventility site with a few clicks. You can see when emails are sent, opened and if any have bounced. With new member lists you can now separate your members into different lists e.g. beginners, intermediate, advanced, and email and SMS them separately with different messages.

SMS

A study by Nokia found that the average person checks their mobile phone 150 times per day. Sending out SMS messages to your group members is a sure fire way to promote your event and ensure that your community is kept up-to-date with all your latest news. Setting up auto-reminders means that Eventility will send out your SMS reminders at the time you have specified so it’s one less thing you have to worry about.

With everything you could possibly need to organise and promote your event or group in one easy to manage place, Eventility really couldn’t make it easier. If you need any help, why not use our support site which includes FAQs, access to our forums or email support@eventility.co.uk.

So, if you organise any event, club, group or community and aren’t using Eventility yet, why not give it a try, it’ll help make your give a little bit easier.

Eventility – Group Organisation and Promotion Made Easy.

The Power of Online Communities for Local Businesses Infographic

Social networks have long been seen as a ‘leveller’, enabling local businesses to compete with big brands for a decent share of customer attention. In many respects local businesses are better placed to take advantage of social media than big brands. They find it easier to create meaningful relationships with their customers – they might even be on first name terms – and, since the majority of their customers’ social media connections will also live locally, are well placed to benefit from recommendations.

As well using social networks to engage with existing customers online, businesses are also attracting new ones. The fact that there are over 1 billion smart-phone users and that 40% of mobile searches are for local businesses gives an indication of the importance of having a strong web presence and making your business easy to find.

Yet lots of small businesses are still not tapping into their online communities.

To help fix this situation – we’ve produced this handy infographic which highlights the importance of online communities and how local businesses can make the most of them.

One of the key things the infographic highlights is the sheer number of small businesses that are already using social networks and gaining new customers as a result. Almost three quarters of small businesses use Facebook and over half are using LinkedIn and Twitter. Added to that, research by Manta suggests that 78% of small businesses are gaining a significant proportion of new customers through social media.

Generation Y in particular are using social networks to inform purchase decisions, with 61% turning to social media to decide where to go when going out. Online reviews also play a significant role in this, with 52% saying that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

Promotions offer a great way to reward existing customers and to attract new ones, with 73% of consumers saying they search for discounts and promotions online. They are also a great way of increasing footfall, with research showing that 59% of consumers have gone into a store or business premises as a result of finding an offer or coupon online.

Of course, social media can’t stand on its own: email marketing is another hugely valuable tool for local businesses. There are roughly 3 billion email users in the world and 19% of all time spent online is devoted to reading and responding to emails. As a marketing tool it is clearly has value – 77% of small businesses have reported email marketing increases their revenues and as a result, 85% plan to increase their use of email in 2013.

It’s also important to consider the role that SMS marketing can play. It’s estimated that 8,000,000,000,000 text messages were sent last year (yes, try saying that number!) and 90% of them were read within 3 minutes. With such a high open rate, it’s a great way to advertise promotions to your community or to send reminders – so long as you’ve got their permission to text them.

Of course, all of this takes time and that’s why we created Eventility. If you haven’t tried us out yet – Eventility brings all of this into one easy-to-use online platform, offering an effective way to manage and promote your business.

You can manage your contacts, organise and advertise events, run targeted promotions, manage your social media engagement, collect customer reviews, add your location to online maps, deliver SMS marketing and send emails with in-built tracking – all using one powerful tool – plus we can power your website too.

www.eventility.com/tour#place

Online Customer Communities

Honourable Intentions – New Year Resolutions and How to Keep Them

New Year resolutions have been made since the beginning of time.  The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. In the Medieval times, the knights took the ‘peacock vow’ at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry.

It’s now getting close to the end of January, and the New Year and any resolutions we may have made seem like such a long time ago. We might have promised ourselves go to the gym more often, get up-to-date with the DIY, drink less, join a club, learn a new language or even fall in love.

So, did you make a resolution and keep it, or did you, like so many other people give up after a couple of weeks?

It’s pretty common at this time of year to find people breaking their New Year resolutions.  A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman at the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people found that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions failed, despite the fact that 52% were confident of success at the beginning.

Last year, an Interflora New Year resolution survey found that just 33% said they expected to keep their resolutions for the whole year, 56% were unsure and 11% said that they expected not to keep their resolution. Those sceptical ones were proven right, of the 39% who said they made a resolution in 2011, just 5% managed to keep theirs for 9-12 months. Over a third of last year’s resolvers lasted less than three months with their New Year aims.

What kind of resolutions do people make and break?

Year on year, the top resolutions don’t really change very much and according to the University of Scranton, USA, the top resolutions for 2012 were:

  • Lose weight
  • Getting organized
  • Spend less, save more
  • Enjoy life to the fullest
  • Staying fit and healthy
  • Learn something exciting
  • Quit smoking
  • Help others
  • Fall in love
  • Spend more time with family

Why are we so bad at keeping resolutions?

According to Forbes.com, some of the reasons New Year resolutions didn’t stick were:

1. Didn’t make a plan for itA lot of people forget that a resolution is really just a goal and it requires structure, otherwise, it’s just a wish.

2. Forgot the reasons why you were doing itMotivation matters and if you don’t know why the goal is important, it’s easy to drop.

3. Didn’t plan for setbacksNo one is perfect, we all fall off the wagon at some point. You need a plan for what to do when this happens and how you’ll get back on that horse.

4. Didn’t have a strong support network – Support is important with any goal, it’s important to surround yourself with people who believe in what you’re doing and want to see you succeed.

5. Took on too much too fastMany of us get a little over-keen around the New Year, we want to make huge leaps of progress overnight, but real growth is a slow and steady journey.

6. Weren’t accountable to anyoneit’s easy to get persuaded by that nagging negative voice inside your head that says you’re not cut out for this. An accountability partner helps keep you focused and on track, even when you think you’re ready to throw in the towel.

7. It wasn’t that important in the first placePerhaps you set a goal that others wanted you to set or one you felt you ‘should’ set. It’s easy to give up on something that never really mattered that much to you in the first place.

So, what are the hints for keeping your New Year resolutions?

1. Choose a goal that matters – Don’t do it for anyone else but you. If it’s not something you truly believe in, you’ll never succeed. Take some time out and reflect upon what you really want to achieve.

2. Avoid previous resolutions – Often re-visiting a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment. Choose something new or approach an old problem in a new way. For example, instead of trying to lose 3 stone in weight, try exercising more.

3. Plan aheadLook for possible obstacles and prepare for how you’ll deal with them.

4. Take it one step at a time – Often people make the mistake of trying to achieve too much. The chances of success are greater when people channel their energy into changing just one aspect of their behaviour.

5. Recognize that things will get hard  – Unexpected obstacles will get the better of you but that’s no reason to give up completely, find ways to forgive yourself and keep motivated.

6. Gather your supporters  – Let them know what you’re doing and why and ask if you can count on them to help you reach your goal. Joining a club or group is a great way to get support from like-minded people and help spur you on when you feel like giving up.

So, if you want to improve your health consider doing classes – Aerobics, Zumba, Sh’bam and Pilates are popular ways to get fit and help lose weight. There’s also the group mentality, which is perfect for that extra ounce of moral support.

Want to meet new people and try something new? Then joining an existing activity group or club could be what you need.

Why not use Eventility.com, to set up your own sports or activity club or join an existing one – you can search for what’s on in your area. Eventility is free and really, really easy to use.

https://www.eventility.com/

Social Media for Sports Clubs Infographic

Of the 6000 plus clubs, groups and communities that use Eventility.com to organise and promote their fixtures and events, sport is one of the most popular areas.  Local clubs and teams, as well as sports organisations such as the Sport and Recreation Alliance and spogo are turning to the web to help reach potential new members, communicate with existing members and organise their activities.

As our CEO, Robin Brattel, says: “Organising a team or club has always been a tricky business, frequently involving the time consuming process of emails and last minute text messages. But social media platforms like Eventility have the power to change all that by providing a free one-stop-shop for team or club organisation and promotion”.

With that in mind, we put together this infographic (below) to look at how sports clubs of all sizes are using social media platforms successfully – and some rather less successfully.

As you’d expect, the London 2012 Olympics were a huge social media triumph. There were over 150m tweets about the Games and 67% of British adults used social media to follow the action live. Spice Girls aside, Usain Bolt attracted the most mentions with tweets peaking at 80,000 per-minute following his victory in the 200m.

Of course, here at Eventility we’re especially interested in how local sporting events make use of the web. It’s encouraging to see that 76% of sports event organisers use social platforms to promote their events, but this figure is only 50% when looking at smaller events.

I’m sure this will improve throughout 2013 – and we feel we’re playing our part by offering an amazing free platform to help clubs stay organised. Just in case you missed our pitch: Eventility helps teams and groups to save time, effort and resources, and to communicate easily with members and reach out to new members.

Sport and Social Media - Eventility Infographic

Sport and Social Media – Eventility Infographic

Real world social networking – we need them more than ever

Real world social networking is no longer perhaps the fashionable thing, since the rise of social media. But the benefits of face-to-face contact with people means, that it can never really be replaced. Twitter and Facebook are becoming ever more important tools for businesses to communicate with their target markets and keep on top of competitors, but can these mediums ever really rival human contact?

Business clusters, or business parks – where companies working in the same field are situated in the same area – show the importance of real world social networking. The most famous example of this is perhaps Silicon Valley, which is home to many of the world’s largest and most influential technology centres. Working in an environment dedicated to the field has helped entrepreneurs thrive in the area and has led to the creation of many new businesses.

In the UK we have the lesser known Silicon Roundabout, an area just off Old Street in London, whose cheap rents and fashionable underground lifestyle originally attracted a young tech crowd in the early 2000s. Now, it is the technology hub of the moment.

Real world social networking in these business clusters is said to have three major benefits:

 it increases productivity;
 it drives innovation due to the heightened competitive environment;
 it creates new business in the area,

Although modern society has embraced social media, we still need to realise the importance of real world networking, and make a conscious effort to build face-to-face relationships with as many of our fellow human beings as possible. Simple things like hearing someone’s voice and looking them in the eye, gives us a sense of who they are and allow for relationships to develop based on trust and mutual understanding, which is much more difficult to achieve through more impersonal mediums.

Email and social networking sites, although great for reaching a wide audience, are not as influential or effective as face-to-face meetings. Emails can be considered spam and business cards discarded, but a face is much more difficult to forget.

Real world social networking gives one the opportunity to showcase what humans are naturally good at, relationships.