The “next big thing” in social media can quickly transform into “that was so yesterday” before we even figure out how to use it effectively. That said, the following are some trends event organizers should pay attention to.
These trends will be around long enough that you will want to incorporate them into your events, or suffer the consequences of appearing out of touch.
In The Moment Social
On Christmas Eve, the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team posted a holiday greeting with an image that featured Santa and his reindeer flying over the stadium as the snow was falling. It didn’t quite resonate because it was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Philadelphia on Christmas Eve and the sidewalk cafes were packed with people enjoying the summer-like weather.
This year put the scheduled tweets and posts aside as much as possible and focus on living in the moment. This is where the real connections are made, and it is an excellent opportunity to show your organization is not just an automaton.
Speaking of connecting, when did we stop having conversations on Social Media? Scott Stratten, president of Un-Marketing, writes, “If all we do is look for people talking to us, the entire eco-system eventually implodes to a sea of scheduled tweets, and no one talking/listening.”
This year, make it a point to start a conversation with your social media connections. Don’t just talk to the people who mention you, or who use your hashtag. Join in on the conversations they are having about what is relevant to them. Laugh at their jokes if you find them funny. Show some empathy when they are struggling. Start with one conversation a day, and build up from there.
Buy Now Buttons
Buy now buttons are still fairly new, and there are no real statistics to share whether or not they are effective, but just about every major social media platform is investing in the technology.
The upside to a “buy now” button is that it eliminates all the steps that get in your attendees way of making an actual purchase. You may have lost a sale because your website is not mobile-friendly. Maybe you missed out on a potential attendee because there are too many steps they had to take to register. Whether you decide to look into a buy now button strategy or not, there are things you can learn from this trend.
Your site must be mobile friendly because more and more purchases are being made from mobile devices. Eliminate as many steps as possible between hitting that register button and entering a credit card.
Pay to Play
If your organization wants people to see what you are posting on social media, you’re going to have to start paying for it. Whether you just want to stand out from all the noise, or because the platform penalizes you if you do not, it is going to cost you.
If Social Media is a big part of your marketing strategy, start budgeting to advertise, promote or sponsor on social media platforms. It is the only way you are going to find yourself in your followers' feeds.
This is a trend I am watching the closest. Last year tools like Periscope and Meerkat were in their infancy, and early adopters were fumbling their way through. This year event organizers will want to pay closer attention and start experimenting on their own.
If your event content is not something that needs to be hidden from public view, encourage your attendees to live-stream away. Make it a part of your event strategy to reach all those people who are interested in what is going on at your event, but cannot attend.
Try out Blab.im to live-stream interviews with your speakers sharing session highlights and key takeaways with your visual audience. Nothing is more in the moment than a live-stream.
What are some of the Social Media trends you expect will be hot this year?