When attending important industry conferences, you don’t have to be the keynote speaker, or even be a panelist, to show your company’s presence and benefit your firm and your clients. While speaking gigs are great, there are other powerful ways in which you can influence thought leadership from the periphery.
Employing social media as a key strategy to make your mark as a conference attendee gives you the power to connect with your audience, disseminate your messaging, and showcase your knowledge and effectiveness in the issues you represent.
As communicators and storytellers, we’ve gathered some key tips about how you can leverage social media channels to increase your profile and engage your target audience at conferences.
Do Your Due Diligence
Identify how the conference organizers, attendees, and your target audience utilize social media. What specific channels are they most active on? What was engagement like for past conferences on this topic? Who is engaging with such posts? These insights will help you outline your engagement plan to make the most impact on your audience.
#Use the #Conference #Hashtag
Hashtags, which can be utilized on all social media channels, serve as a great way to narrow down your audience, become a part of the broader conversation, and increase the chances of someone engaging with your post. Hashtags can often be found on the conference website, or the social media channels of the corresponding organization.
Let People Know You’re Attending
Not only does this help you connect with other attendees, but it also raises your visibility to the organizers. This can be as formulaic as:
“I am thrilled the be attending (insert organization name, conference hashtag), I look forward to learning about (insert what appeals to you most about the sessions). Stay tuned for insights from the event!”
Craft Your Content Beforehand
Think strategically about the types of posts and messaging that may be most effective for this specific audience and how you plan on adding to the conversation. How are you going to weave your core messaging in with that of the conference organizers? What visuals and links will best complement your posts? While brainstorming ideas, it is always beneficial to create a broad framework of certain logistics such as how many posts you plan to send out per channel, as well as the cadence and timing of posts. And, having some ready-to-go posts will come in handy when time is crunched onsite.
Utilize Photos, Videos, and Quotes
Photos and videos are an impactful way to grab your audiences’ attention, and it also sets you apart from those who may not be putting in the time to do that. Share images of your team, the venue, presentations, and behind-the-scenes clips. While visuals do not have to be top-notch quality, they should serve a purpose and they also should not be blurry, shaky, or out-of-focus.
Quotes from presentations are an essential component that can help you showcase your interests and insights and contextualize your reason for attending the conference. While you can post just the quote, you also have the power to give your takeaway and reflections.
Pro Tip: Tag the subject(s) of your visuals or quotes; that could be a great opportunity to increase your visibility amongst speakers and organizers.
Sum It All Up
Blog posts or LinkedIn articles are a great way to elaborate on how your takeaways are going to inspire your work. These can be repurposed on other social media channels and have the potential to entice the organizers to use your work as a testimonial for their future attendees and speakers.
Putting some thought into your attendance at a conference can be a great investment toward your own thought leadership platform! This what strategic and effective communication is all about.
About the Author: Celina Spielman is an Account Coordinator at The Reis Group, she brings a combination of organizational and communications experience, including in-depth research, media outreach, and social media strategy, to provide overall support for clients.