40 ways to use social media before, during and after the event to engage your audience

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Social media can help your speaking business in many ways. First and foremost, it helps you connect with your audience. This is essential for sharing your message and having a lasting impact on your listeners.

In addition, having a large network on social media can open a lot of doors for you— most importantly, more speaking opportunities.

So, how can you use the conference to build your audience? What are some of the tried-and-true methods and newest trends? We’ve got a big checklist that can help you navigate how to use social media to your advantage before, during, and after an event.

This list will help you:

  • Build relationships with organizers, influencers, attendees, and other speakers.

  • Fill seats for not only your presentation but the event itself.

  • Make your message memorable and impactful after you get off stage.

  • Increase your number of followers and influence.

  • Get more speaking opportunities.

There are 40 ideas on this list. You may be already practicing some of them, but there will be new ideas as well that will help you market yourself and grow your speaking business.

 
 

Before the event: build your content and make connections

  1. Share the event: using your own social media accounts, help raise visibility for the organizer. Always try to promote the event first, your presentation second.

  2. Send personal invitations: use Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, and LinkedIn messages to invite key, influential attendees, top speakers, and other event organizers to attend your presentation.

    Make sure to tell them the why, where, and when you’ll be presenting, and invite them to connect with you afterwards.

    When you get positive responses, save their names in a list for the day of the event.

  3. Use polls: ask questions and find out what your potential audience wants to know. Take a survey or poll in advance to find out what your audience is most curious about, then use your findings to adapt your content.

  4. Post teasers: for your presentation, take the slides that feature a few of your key statistics and quotes and share them in the days leading up to your presentation. Remind people where they can come and see you to learn more.

  5. Use event hashtags: start using the event hashtag before you even get to the event venue. Most events will have a hashtag, but if they don’t, work with the event organizer to create one. Request that they share it with all the attendees and other speakers. 

  6. Social media handles on slides: include your preferred social media handle and the event hashtag on presentation slides. (Note: some conferences have guidelines on this. Make sure you are within the guidelines)

  7. SlideShare: add your slides to SlideShare and create an easy-to-share Bit.ly link, so you can easily share this with your audience.

    Also, if for whatever reason your technology has a problem, this is an easy-to-access backup.

  8. Resource page: set up a resource page with all your social media handles, your contact details, slides, important links, free resources, videos, and books to make it easy for your audience to continue learning from you.

  9. Twitter List: create a Twitter list with the attendees and other speakers. This will help you start connecting with them early on, and see what they are posting about leading up to the event.

On the day of your talk: get excited!

  1. Live Video: use Facebook LiveVideo or SnapChat when you get to the event or the city and share your arrival.

    Your LiveVideo doesn’t have to be long (i.e. 5-10 minutes.)

    Outline what you are doing in the city, what the event is, the event hashtags, and then give one or two “sneak peeks” into what your content is going to include. Share a static or two and mention why people should come see your talk.

  2. Arriving in the city: when you get to the city or venue, post about it using the event hashtag.

        Ideas on what to post:

  • What your (positive) thoughts are on the city or venue.

  • What you are excited about sharing.

  • Who you are looking forward to seeing.

  • Photos of the city, venue, people you meet.

  1. Participate in the conference: attend the sessions of the other speakers, quote them, and share their content. Also, you can share unique insights about the conference itself.

  2. Always be making connections: when you’re networking with attendees and organizers, immediately connect with them on social media. You can also collect their business cards to email them afterward, but don’t negate one for the other.

  3. Post photos: whether you are sharing this on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or even LinkedIn, show that you are active at the event. Take selfies with people, a view from the backstage, or the entrance to the room where your presentation is going to be.

  4. Send reminders: remember that list you made with the positive responses from influencers? Pull that list backup and send them a quick reminder of the time and room, and how you are looking forward to talking with them afterward.

  5. Que up some posts to go up while you are on stage: you can use apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, or the help of a friend/colleague/assistant in the audience. If you know your presentation is 20 minutes long, and at the 7-minute mark you have a great slide with an impactful quote, schedule it to go live around the same time you say it in your talk.

  6. Post from backstage: channel any nervousness you have into motivating energy, and use this to excite your audience.

On stage: tell them how to connect with you.

  1. Give direction after your intro: directly after you give an impactful introduction to your talk, quickly share with the audience how they can connect with you on social media. Whether this is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, being clear and direct about how people can connect with you is essential.

  2. Tell them to post: encourage the audience and organizers to share and post. Remind them about the event’s hashtag and that the conversation will continue after you get off the stage if they want further insights.  

  3. Share your slides via SlideShare: this way the audience can follow along as you go. It will make your presentation more interactive, and after your presentation, the audience will already have your message on their device.
  4. Live poll your audience: you can use Twitter or Facebook Polls or even something like Polleverywhere.com which works even with non-smartphone mobiles through text messages.

  5. Remind people to share: got a quick statistic or great quote? Tell people to share. Say something like,

    “This is a very tweetable statistic...did you know that there are 500 million tweets sent each day? That’s 6,000 tweets per second.”

    Level-up this by having a clear and concise slide that can accompany the statistic.

  6. Have your talk filmed: this will serve as great content later. It can become a video or audio track that you use in speaker reels, podcasts, YouTube videos, or to share as a social media post.

  7. Be clear about your contact info: make sure there are multiple ways for people to engage your content, where they can learn more about your topic and message, and connect with you personally.

    Whether this is on your social media, SlideShare, YouTube, SpeakerHub, or your speaker website, be very clear how people can get in touch with you and continue learning.

  8. Offer incentives for your audience to connect with you: tell them that by following your Facebook fan page, connecting with you on LinkedIn, or following you on Twitter, they could win something such as an eBook or contest. Get creative while matching the tone of the conference.

Off the stage at the event: interact and get testimonials.

  1. Interact, interact, interact: if people have liked your post, quoted you, or shared an insight about your presentation, reply to them.

    Talk with people.

    Like their status, and make sure to share how they can keep in contact with you.

  2. Collect social media posted testimonials: review the posts about your presentation and save them, or grab screenshots so that you can use them later.

  3. Collect video testimonials: if someone has come up to you and said they enjoyed your talk, take your smartphone and ask them if you can make a 30-second video of them saying so. Make sure they include their name and industry.

  4. Use LinkedIn: when possible, connect with people on LinkedIn and ask them to leave you a LinkedIn recommendation for your presentation.

  5. Keep participating in the conference: remember that the conference doesn’t end when you step off the stage.

    Stay in the conversation by attending other sessions and connecting with the influencers, speakers, and organizers on your list.

    Building face-to-face connections will help you when it comes to connecting online.

Post event: keep sharing your message.

  1. Post the photos from the event: share them on Facebook and Twitter, and tag the names of the people in the photos. If you have photos of the people on your list, influential attendees, speakers, or organizers, tag them in the photo and mention how great it was to meet them in person, furthering any projects or ideas you discussed.

  2. Set up a TweetWall: with a collection of the top tweets about your presentation. Include a few of your own tweets and some that are about the conference in general. These are fantastic to share with future event organizers.

  3. Make a quick video about how the conference went: this could include 1-2 testimonials, laced with your personal thoughts, reiterating your key message. Share this on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

  4. Use business cards to build your audience: did you get business cards? When you are emailing them, make sure you share your social media handles, and ask them to connect with you on your preferred platform.

  5. Say thank you: share an authentic thank you post to the event organizer for having you. While you can do this privately through email or by letter afterward, a public post showing gratitude increases the chances of you being invited back to speak.

  6. Be relevant: continue posting about subjects that are relevant to your topic.

    You might have just given a mind-blowing talk about global digital trends, but if your social media feed is filled with photos of your dog and your brunch buddies getting cheerful on mimosas, you might lose the following you just worked so hard to earn.

    While you want to be authentic (and the occasional picture of your dog might be appropriate) remember who your audience is and what they want.

  7. Build an email list: offer an incentive on social media to start building an email list, such as a white paper, eBook, or guide that people who found value in your talk will find useful.

    Once you have an email list, aim to email them once a month with content that might be interesting to them and where you will be speaking next.

  8. Create shareable media: use the video of your talk to make lots of kinds of shareable media. This could include: “audio blurbs” with a section of your talk, small and large videos, add to your speaker reel, or create a podcast from your video.

    The video from a single talk can be made into multiple forms of media appropriate for sharing on social media and sharing individually to event organizers.

  9. Cross-pollinate: use your the social media platforms to strengthen one another. For instance, using LinkedIn to get more Twitter followers or Facebook likes. This will give your Twitter/Facebook marketing efforts more power.

What are some of the lessons you learned as a speaker about social media? We’d love to hear your stories. Contact us here (or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn)

Looking for more speaking opportunities? We are one of the fastest growing networks of speakers, trainers, and event organizers. Sign up here.

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