Live events like Dreamforce are a hugely important component of a B2B marketing strategy for one major reason: in-person interactions. There’s no real replacement for having a face-to-face conversation with someone about your business.
But there’s another aspect to events that can greatly enhance and supplement this in-person networking, and that’s social media. Using social media for B2B marketing events has a wealth of benefits for event hosts, sponsors, and attendees alike. You can (and should) use social to:
- Create a buzz around your upcoming events
- Increase brand exposure by using an event hashtag
- Share insights, quotes, and photos with people who are unable to attend
- Build relationships with other attendees, including sponsors, prospects, and thought leaders.
And finally, you can use social after the event in two extremely important ways: to make sure the connections you made become lasting relationships, and to keep the buzz going around your brand. Let’s take a closer look.
Use events to build lasting relationships.
A shocking 80% of businesses don’t follow up with leads generated at trade shows (CEIR). That’s an enormous amount of lost opportunities — not to mention a huge waste of the time and resources that went into gathering those leads in the first place. It doesn’t matter how many hands you shake in the expo hall if you’re not truly connecting — and making sure that relationship lives on once everyone packs their bags and heads home.
Use social networks to extend your connections from in-person to online. Shoot a LinkedIn request to attendees you connected with and include a quick note that you enjoyed meeting them, or check out their brand on Twitter and give them a quick shout-out for being a great part of your conference experience. This ensures that you have a lasting way to keep in touch (plus, they’ll likely return the social media love).
Treat events like content.
“Events are not just a moment in time; they are content that can be used in lots of ways.” — Liz Bigham, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing for Jack Morton Worldwide
It’s true; events are a treasure trove of content to share with your social networks, so recycle what you learned and share it with other attendees on the event hashtag — and across all your social channels.
Need some more ideas? Check out our post-event social checklist below, and make sure that — whether you’re hosting a conference, manning a booth at a trade show, or attending an event as a guest — you’re using social media to make the most of any B2B marketing event.