Last week, I spoke at an ISES Calgary chapter event about Social Media. One of the comments that an audience member made on why he was wary about using this media for his business was, “The moment I post something on my blog or Facebook page, my idea will be copied by my competitors.”
There’s no doubt that ideas are spread and adopted at record speeds. One only needs to look at the popularity of moustaches on a stick (an über popular trend for weddings I simply can’t wrap my mind around) to see this phenomenon in action. It takes but one person to plant an idea and only a few more to share it and ignite a trend that influences thousands.
Rather than see this as a negative, I hope to convince you that this is, in fact, a positive:
So, what do you think? Should ideas be shared? Should they be held back?
There’s an article by Jay Baer that’s getting quite a bit of circulation – in large part because it references some new statistics on social media usage and because it’s titled: “Is Twitter Massively Overrated”, a question sure to provoke and ruffle. Seeing social media statistics make their rounds with fervor is not a rarity. Statistics are impactful because they sound a heck of a lot more impressive than making a statement without them, they make us feel validated in our choices and they help to make sense of information that is hard to understand. Unfortunately though, research can also be misused. Just yesterday, I came across a few event professionals sharing Jay’s article and surmising from it that Twitter is not the powerful tool it’s heralded to be.
It can be dangerous to use external research to support decisions for a niche business because the research respondents likely don’t reflect your target market. Let’s say you’re planning an event for New York-based CFOs who work in the consumer packaged goods industry. Unless the respondents of a survey you are referencing are your market, the results are not reflective of your target’s usage and behaviors.
It can be time consuming to do your own research, but the results will be much more valuable to your business. If you have access to your market, ask them questions. And, if you don’t, you can use social listening tools like socialmention.com to do online market research.
We live in a time where statistics are shared at record speeds (not to mention sensationalized and misconstrued). It’s more important now than ever to understand how they truly impact your business.
In case you missed the free Event Marketing 2.0 webinar last week, MeetingsNet has posted the archive here. (Please note that if you were not previously registered, you will need to register before you can launch the webinar.) I encourage anyone interested in using social media for your event marketing to listen.
It was truly a fantastic session. Lots of great questions and my co-presenters: Kate Slonaker of Cvent and Julius Solaris of The Event Manager Blog were fab to work with. You can also view the conversation around the webinar or by track it yourself using the #event2pt0 hashtag.
Enjoy! And, if you have any questions, I welcome you to email me.
PS – For further reading, check out Meetings Blog‘s recap of the webinar.
Join me on April 14, 2011 at 2pm EST online for a practical overview on how to use Social Media for Event Marketing. The webinar is 100% free to registered attendees (thanks to MeetingsNet and sponsor, Cvent). So, be sure to reserve your spot here.
The world of event marketing has changed and planners need to understand not only how social media can help you maximize reach but also how to use it both strategically and effectively.
It will be perfect for those new to social media as well as those looking to get better results.
Yours truly will be starting the webinar off by discussing the new attendee and their impact on our events, the common pitfalls of social media integration, how to find where your market lives online and how to develop content that resonates with them.
Kate Slonaker, Director of Marketing for Cvent, will be expanding on the variety of tools available to Event Planners today and how to use them effectively.
Julius Solaris, founder of the Event Manager Blog and the immensely popular Event Management LinkedIn Group, will be sharing how to grow your Facebook Page, Twitter account, blog or Youtube channel with measurable tools focusing on conversion and engagement.
And Sue Pelletier, the fab editor of Medical Meetings, will be moderating the webinar.
You’ll be seeing quite a few changes at READY2SPARK this Spring. A number of you have asked for some special features. You asked, you got. Here’s a recap of what has been changed to date and what’s coming soon!…
1) READY2SPARK now has a spanky iPad interface. Go to http://www.ready2spark.com on your iPad and enjoy swiping through our content in a digital magazine-style design.
2) I recently launched TINY SPARKS, a Tumblr blog that is focused on small ideas (design inspiration, food inspiration, anecdotes and quotes) for event planners & pros that aren’t big enough to make it to this blog, but too good not to post.
3) We’ll be revamping our Facebook page very soon. And, I’m looking to add some really cool new features. So, if you’re not already a fan, click ‘like’ and be the first to see our changes.
4) Did you know we have a LinkedIn group dedicated to talking about Marketing Communications for the Event Industry?
5) In the coming months, you’ll also see quite a few changes to the READY2SPARK blog that make navigating and finding the content you love easy & fun.
6) Last year I launched a series of social media, marketing and branding webinars that were extremely well received. Due to a hectic speaking and client schedule, they were put on hold, but based on demand they’ll be back soon. Sign up to the Newsletter to be notified when the next webinar is launched.
Do you have any ideas and suggestions for READY2SPARK? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly.
Over the past 6 years of blogging I’ve learned that people love to learn about new tools that help them do business better, faster and more efficiently. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I asked my Facebook Fans what they’d like to see on the blog next and they said Online Tools for Event Planners.
Just a few weeks ago, I posted the Event Planning Tools Megalist (part i), which also appeared in my monthly Event Solutions column. Today, I’ll follow this post up with a few more tools I love…
VISUALIZE YOUR HASHTAG STATS
I love what Hashable did for SXSW. If you’re using hashtags for your events, Hashable lets you track & discover important stats about usage, users and conversations.
GET ATTENDEES TO SHARE AND DISCOVER MEMORIES AROUND YOUR EVENT
Color is getting a ton of buzz. Not only have they received some pretty substantial seed funding, but I can see some great applications for events.
If you use Skype for video conferencing, you may just want to check out ooVoo. They claim that 8 out of 10 Skype users prefer ooVoo.
GroupMe lets you set up your own chatroom with select contacts – share photos, your location and set up a conference call on the fly. MiniGroup lets you set up a private group online to share updates, photos, videos, links and documents. If you use a tool like GoToMeeting, Presence claims to have a sleeker interface with all the high quality video you’d get elsewhere. Fast Society and Hurricane Party let you create impromptu face to face events.
NEED HELP REMEMBERING SOMETHING?
FollowUpThen is a simple to use reminder tool that lets you send reminders to yourself and others via email.
GET CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
uservoice helps you collect and manage customer feedback. It also has a solution for events that lets you crowdsource ideas, suggestions and feedback for your conference, meeting, corporate or special event.
SHOWCASE YOUR WARES IN YOUR OWN ONLINE MAGAZINE
issuu lets you publish your own online magazine for free. They also have a paid version that lets you remove advertising, customize your magazine and access stats.
GET THOSE CONTRACTS SIGNED FASTER
RightSignature is an online document signing software that lets your customers sign important documents anywhere, without having to print out and scan paper.
GET BOOKED FOR APPOINTMENTS RIGHT FROM YOUR WEBSITE
BookFresh is an online scheduling and appointment software that lets your customers book time with you right from your website.
EVENT PLANNING SOFTWARE
Posy is a simple-to-use and collaborative event planning software.
Yes, there are millions of visually inspiring blogs. But why not go where those bloggers go to find inspiration? Pinterest is a site where bloggers and blog readers can go to share photo eye candy.
GET REWARDED FOR TRAVELING
Loyalty program meets location-based networking. Topguest lets you earn points for checking in to their partner locations via Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla or Foursquare. If you’re a venue, you might want to consider becoming one of their partners.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT
MarketMeSuite appears to be a pretty comprehensive and cost-effective social media management tool. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to sign up for an account soon.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADD?