by Matt Alderton | June 14, 2019
By now, most major social networks are at least a decade old. Facebook was established in 2004, Twitter was founded in 2006 and Instagram, the baby of the bunch, will turn 10 next year. Just because it's aging, however, doesn't mean that social media has lost its touch. In fact, studies suggest that social networks are just as influential as ever.

"Seventy-seven percent of all Americans have at least one social media profile," event marketing software company G2Planet notes in a recent post on its blog. "User numbers are steadily rising year-over-year across all platforms, and this upward trend shows no sign of stopping: A staggering 67 percent of online adults now have a Facebook account."

For meeting professionals, that means social media remains a critical platform through which to promote live events. But with so much noise on social networks, how can meetings and events stand out in prospective attendees' social feeds?

One idea, according to G2Planet, is to gamify your social media engagement with quizzes. "Encouraging followers to 'get quizz-y with it' for the chance to bag premium tickets," the company advises, calling it a "novel way to build buzz for your event and drive long-term interaction on your posts in the run-up to the big day. This could be anything from a short quiz hosted on your Instagram 'stories' to a weeklong puzzle with one question or clue revealed in each post. The possibilities are endless."

In order to be successful, quizzes should be short and easy. "The goal here is to keep fans engaged long enough to complete it," G2Planet continues. "British festival veterans 'Bestival' got creative with their headliner announcements in 2017, inviting followers to guess the act depicted in an abstract photo -- a great example of how gamification can attract potential attendees and build buzz for an event."

Another idea is to organize a contest. "Social media contests are a cost-effective and proven way of maintaining connections with current and potential event-goers, retaining follower engagement and boosting interaction on your social pages," G2Planet says. "For example, there's the simple yet very effective 'like-to-win' contest … [which] requires followers to like your profile, post or photo for the chance to win an attractive prize. Its simple format makes it perfect for hosting competitions across multiple platforms, and it's an easy way to grow your social following and drive event attendance. To pick a winner, simply choose a user at random from the 'likes' and contact the lucky recipient. Remember to include your event hashtag on any giveaway post alongside other relevant hashtags to further increase exposure."

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