Community PR Strategies: 9 ways to keep events alive with social media

Ever go to an event, have a fantastic time and wish you could keep the experience going?

When you move the experience online, the event takes on an afterlife of its own.

Community PR Strategies: 9 Ways to Keep Events Alive Online - Even After They're Over 

1. Assign a twitter hashtag for the event.

A “hashtag” is a simply a word or group of words with the # character in front of them in any twitter update. Assigning this code organizes conversations and collects all of the updates in a twitter search.

2. Tell people what tags to use.

Sites like technorati, a blog search engine, and flickr, a photo-sharing site, give you a place to “tag” your content. Suggested tags: location, group name, your name, subject and keyword terms.

3. Take pictures - lots of pictures and post them right away.

This is one time when it’s okay to be a poser, both in pictures and as a photographer. Just make sure that people are okay with being photographed, they like the pictures you take and you let them know where you’ll post them online. If someone objects, be respectful and don’t include them in any group shots. Then, post your pictures on Facebook and tag people. No matter how small your event is, ask someone to take pictures if you don’t want to do it yourself.

IMG_2509

This image is from Social Media Club Chicago’s "Social Media Meets Chicago Media” event.

4. Search for your tags and connect with the people how posted the information.

For an example, go to flickr and search for smccchicago. You’ll see a few photographers. Find someone’s work you like? Be sure to contact them and let them know you’d like them to snap your next event.

5. Turn on two video cameras: one live and one recording.

If you’re broadcasting live your camera may not be able to record so set up another one to capture and store the video. A service like ustream lets you set up your own channel and it stores your shows. If you don’t want to broadcast the event live, consider sharing a best of highlights short video or interview people on their way out about the event. You could almost post a mini-series of shows from different perspectives. Here’s the video from last night’s Social Media Club Chicago chapter’s meeting. It was really noisy and hot at 312 Chicago, but you’d never know it from watching the video.

Live Video streaming by Ustream

6. Give people a place to get back together online.

A dedicated event URL can be redirected to a Facebook site, a blog post or become a sort of landing page that consolidates all of the links, both in and out.

7. Recognize ambassadors.

When you see people raving about how much fun they had online, gather their comments and thank them, either individually or collectively on your event site. This works really well for repeat events.

8. Track the talkers.

Listen into the conversation with Google alerts, twitter search [see #1] and check out these tools for reputation management.

9. Be a news breaker.

Send out a press release that announces your success, findings or news that came about as a result of your event. Include a link to your press page that includes event audio, video and photographs.

What keeps an event alive for you?

 

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