by Matt Alderton | March 22, 2019
Some 15 years after Facebook was founded and 13 years since Twitter marked its first tweet, many meeting planners still struggle with social media -- especially during events, when it's less about marketing and more about engagement.
"We all know that social media is a great tool for generating awareness around your meeting," author Jessi Minneci writes in an article for the Northstar Meetings Group. "Social gateways provide an effective outlet for empowering attendees to share their thoughts in such a way that magnifies the scope, reach and impact of your event." However, she cautions, "social efforts should not stop once your meeting is underway."
Minneci has several suggestions for increasing engagement during conferences and events. One idea is setting up branded social media "stations," where you can facilitate sharing amongst attendees who need some social-media handholding. Here, staff or volunteers can make attendees aware of social campaigns tied to the event and increase participation by way of offering motivation, assistance and instruction.

"Other tactics to examine?" Minneci asks. "Take photos of attendees and tag their handles in published social content. During presentations, you can also increase engagement by announcing that audience questions will be curated from Twitter. The designated social media representative at the event can also tweet out short-version answers for virtual followers to see."

What's important to realize, Minneci says, is that social media is not an if-you-build-it-they-will-come proposition. In order to fully leverage social platforms, meeting professionals must pivot from a passive position to an active one: from trying to harness social buzz to deliberately activating it.

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