Social media is one of the greatest engagement drivers for events, offline, virtual, or hybrid. One of the best ways to gather your social media content in your event platform is to add a social media wall that pulls native and user-generated content (UGC) from multiple social networks. That is where Walls.io and vFairs integration comes in.
Walls.io is a social media aggregator that allows you to collect, curate, and display content from various social media platforms in a unified, easy-to-customize social wall. They also provide advanced features such as call-to-action buttons, sponsor posts, and spam filters to customize every wall to the customer’s needs.
The genius of using social media as an engagement tool lies in its simplicity. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to master communication with your attendees — they are already using familiar tools and their own accounts. Here are a few ideas on how to spice up your event to increase audience engagement using social media event marketing strategies.
1. Come up with a Hashtag
Creating a hashtag for your event is a vital part of encouraging engagement before, during, and after the event. Hashtags bundle conversations about your event, making it easy for people to access them. Hashtags help you reach users who haven’t heard about your services yet.
We recommend choosing a hashtag that represents something significant about the event and is easy for people to remember. If you host a yearly event, it makes sense to add the year at the end of the hashtag, e.g. #EventHashtag23.
At Tomorrowland, attendees were encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the event’s official hashtag #Tomorrowland2023 on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
2. Create a Social Wall
A social wall is a powerful tool to promote your event, boost audience engagement, and keep the conversation going after it’s over. Use live social displays or an embedded wall to show social media posts shared by your attendees, speakers, and sponsors and create a dedicated virtual audience.
We like to think of a social wall as a campfire that people flock to. It fosters conversation and connection, helps your attendees become a part of the event, and enables you to give them a spotlight to shine.
Social Media displays at DMEXCO, Europe’s biggest marketing event.
3. Custom Filters
Encourage people to share their selfies on social media with a custom Instagram/Facebook mask or filter. You can then collect all that content and display it on your social wall or digital display. Remember that it should include your logo and brand colors.
A social wall displays content with custom filters at Swat.io corner at DMEXCO 2019.
4. Photo Booth
Another way to encourage UGC creation is to set up a photo booth connected to a social wall. Make sure it automatically adds your hashtag to the posts and posts them to the live-updating album. That way, attendees could get their 15 minutes of fame by seeing their own pictures on the social wall.
The social wall from Swat.io event with the Walls.io Kiosk theme.
Sometimes you need to add a bit of motivation for people to share content about your event. Create some buzz by running a contest or a ticket giveaway. Use it as an opportunity to promote your hashtag and have fun announcing the winner; you could even reveal the winner during a live-stream or a post event video! This can also be a great way to incorporate video content for promotional reasons. You can create a video collecting all the content submissions, or share an up-close and personal video with the winner of the contest – the possibilities are endless!
6. Post Questions and Polls
With most events happening online today, engaging the audience by asking people to raise their hands or make some noise is not very practical. Instead, include live polls and questions to generate feedback, provoke discussion, and with a social wall, give your audience the recognition they deserve.
TEDx events around the world are using social media displays to engage attendees.
7. Think about Those Who Could Not Attend
To truly leverage your engagement rates, remember that your audience is not limited to the people who are attending your event. There are always those who couldn’t make it, and they would love to be a part of an event somehow.
Cisco used a live social media map to center its social media efforts for one of its biggest global leadership events. Twitter posts popped up from all over the world connecting people.
A great way to engage with both groups is by live-tweeting your event. That way you’ll be able to share your own content, quotes from talks, background information about speakers, and reshare content from attendees and speakers using the event hashtag. Use the opportunity to engage with your audience in real-time by reacting to their tweets. You can use AI-powered marketing tools such as ChatGPT to create event tweets, guest bios, and more within minutes so you can quickly share it on social media.
Creating a memorable experience for your attendees is the key to a successful event. The ideas listed above are a great way to make everyone at your event feel seen and heard. Find more tips and tricks on incorporating social media before, during, and after your events in Walls.io’s Social Media Guide for Hybrid and Virtual Events and creating an event marketing plan.
Get your free social media wall and make the most out of your upcoming events with vFairs and Walls.io!
This post was contributed by Aleksandra Petrash of Walls.io.