Brafton social media strategist Rayna Gamble explains how a influencer outreach strategy proved successful when paired with her client's tradeshow schedule.

How social media event coverage builds relationships with industry influencers

sep
4
min.
to read
sep

Industry: Data software
Content: Social media  
Highlights: Event coverage boosts engagement, brings in qualified followers

As they say, every brand has a personality – and it’s a marketer’s job to promote it. Social media, in particular,  works best when it features the human element of your brand. But many businesses – particularly in the B2B space – struggle to balance professional with personable.

For one Brafton client in big data, live conference coverage unlocked opportunities to showcase personality, while also driving better engagement and industry recognition.

Problem

  • Social media posts were industry-related, but didn’t showcase anything about the company’s culture or teams.
  • The social strategy lacked an influencer outreach strategy – the business wanted to get on the radar of industry leaders.

Strategy

  • Brafton’s social media team worked with the company’s internal marketing team to create an event gameplan – including dedicated hashtags and speaker research.

rayna gambleConferences and events give brands the ability to build relationships with industry innovators in person and then on social media,” Brafton Social Strategist Rayna Gamble said. “By building these relationships, you build trust with other industry leaders, which could possibly turn into other amazing business opportunities.”

Results

  • 9 percent increase in overall followers in one quarter
  • 665 percent increase in followers with “social authority”

Do your research (before you get to the conference)

Rayna launched the strategy with an indepth analysis of the event’s hashtags. From here, she was able to:

  • Determine the event’s biggest influencers
  • Find the most popular events and presentations to attend
  • Dive into the topics receiving the most attention
  • Reach out to fellow attendees
  • Find and connect with the event’s biggest influencers
  • Set a coverage calendar based on which presentations generated buzz
  • Create pre-event content around the popular topics
  • Engage in social conversations with event attendees

“Using each event’s hashtag I was able to conduct research before each event,” Rayna said. “To promote each event to our current followers, I would publish daily Tweets (at minimum) about the events my client was attending.”

Make it a team effort: More perspectives = more personal

The social strategy during the trade show season was a collaborative effort between Rayna and the internal team. Brafton’s primary role was to draft and publish Tweets that promoted the company’s presence at each event and to create a follower and engagement strategy once the event was live. Rayna also had a strategy meeting to help the team on the ground plan their day-of activities.

During the event, the company’s employees Tweeted photos and live coverage using appropriate hashtags.

“The team did a fantastic job of Tweeting pictures from the event and other live updates! It really gave their brand a personality on social, it made them real!” Rayna said.

Bring in the right followers: How to measure follower quality

Rayna provided a full report on the company’s new followers with a Social Authority score, a free tool created for social strategists by followerwonk.com.

“This scale measures each follower’s influence and engagement on Twitter, with the higher the score the better,” Rayna said. “The trade shows have put them on the map in the world of big data, and they’ve built relationships with the big dogs!”

Consider: Before this campaign, 1 in 700 followers for this brand had the highest social authority score. Now, 1 in 100 followers falls into this influencer category.

The next steps…

Documenting the live event coverage was a great start. Another step to increase referral traffic is translating live coverage during into content on the site (as Brafton.com does with various shows, like SMX or AdTech). Quote roundups, interviews with conference speakers and attendees and expanded blog posts, could take social media coverage to the next level by encouraging readers to move from social to the website.

“The team was super busy during each event and didn’t have the time to expand on all the important discussions,” Rayna said. “It’s so important during industry events to share content, especially the creative and unique stuff!”

The calendar: Planning your social media event coverage

BEFORE:

  • 2 weeks before: Begin promoting an event on social media, using the event’s hashtag. These promotional Tweets can include:
    • Your booth’s location
    • Your team’s speaking schedule
    • Events you’re planning to attend
    • Quotes from other speakers or teasers from your team’s presentation
  • Bonus: Interact with other businesses and personal accounts using the event hashtag. When you’ve interacted with someone for a week before a conference on social media, they’re more likely to recognize your brand when you meet face-to-face.

DURING:

  • Throughout the day: Post at least 6 Tweets per day about conference happenings
    • Details on where your team will be located or an employee’s speaking session
    • Live tweets with quotes or insights shared during keynotes or team-sponsored sessions
    • Social events you’re attending
    • Fun pictures of your team
  • Bonus: Interact with other attendees – follow them, engage with their posts and start conversations. Ask if you can quote them for your event coverage (if you quote their handle, they’ll be likely to share it with their followers as well.)

AFTER:

  • Once your coverage is over: Measure the impact it’s had on overall marketing. Check:
    • Follower growth
    • Engagement growth
    • Referral traffic
    • Social conversions.

Bonus: Reach out to other conference attendees and create collateral from the event to host on your website. When you include it on social media, you can @mention the brands who you included in your website’s posts.

Molly Buccini
Molly Buccini is Brafton's community manager. She joined the team with a background in digital journalism and social media. She's a theatre nerd, pop culture junkie and lover of summertime.

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