Industry events became quite common over the last couple of years. They’re not just an opportunity to meet great people and learn amazing things – but they’re also an opportunity to get a decent social media following, influence and build great relationships.
Mastering social media marketing during industry events can be crucial for your growth.
Fortunately, today, industry events are so often that if we go to all of them, we wouldn’t work even one day in a year.
For example, if you’re in a SaaS Product Marketing or Growth industry, you can find great conferences and events on almost every corner – not to mention that there a couple of really big and amazing conferences like WebSummit, SaaStock, SaaStr, and others.
Thus, leveraging the power of social media during industry events can be a great growth hack and guerilla marketing tactic you can use to:
- boost your followers base
- acquire new customers for lead generation
- become influential in your market
- build great and meaningful relationships
Doing social media marketing during industry events can be divided into three parts:
- Pre-event marketing
- Marketing during the event
- Post-event marketing
Let’s see how to do a proper social media marketing.
Doing Pre-Event Social Media Marketing
Doing pre-event social media marketing is equally important as doing the other two segments of marketing during industry events.
The main goal of pre-event marketing is to announce to the world that you’re coming to the event and they can expect both you and your expertise there.
Another goal you can achieve with pre-event marketing is acquiring the bigger followers base.
From the moment when we started our pre-event marketing campaign to the moment when SaaStock actually started, we got around 50 – 100 followers on our Twitter accounts.
It’s not a big number – but it’s not small either (considering that they’re our most ideal target audience).
It’s great for building tension and some “starting” noise around you, your brand and the event itself.
Look at it like on some “teaser” marketing campaign as a lead magnet. Its purpose is to warm-up your audience for your arrival.
Here are the best ways to do pre-event social media marketing:
Sharing excitement serves as a teaser. It’s great for finding some potential and initial introductions and meetings.
When you share excitement about you going to some industry events on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or communities, a lot of people would like to meet with you.
That’s the way of building relationships and partnerships.
You can even post the images of your team, parties, or plane photos. Since we’re talking a lot about onboarding UX, we took advantage of that to create a funny and compelling social media posts where we’re onboarding ourselves.
Possibilities are extremely big – but you just need to have a little bit of imagination.
Sometimes, as a result of your aggressive pre-event marketing campaigns, even the event’s community department can feature you on their social media:
Another great way of building your personal brand for industry events is showing publicly that you will be happy to meet certain people.Let’s see how to do that.
Tell Everyone That You Want to Build Great Relationships
This Pre-event marketing technique will not just help you to land great introductions and meet amazing people, but it will also help you to build your personal brand.
In the end, you will end up with tons of people looking forward to meeting with you.
Not just before the event, but during the event as well.
The first thing you need is an in-depth research on who will attend the conference.
You can do that by monitoring the event’s social media pages or by checking their hashtags.
For example, before the SaaStock officially happened, there were thousands of different Twitter posts with the #saastock hashtag.
Once you see who’s attending the conference, identify the people you would like to meet the most. Perhaps, add a specific landing page or online forms to provide some kind of discount like this below:
After that, share your ideas with the world on your social media channels.
For us, it was important to meet with other people from the product-led growth marketing sphere – such as Wes Bush for example.
Now when we saw how to do a pre-event social media marketing, it’s time to see how to do social media marketing during the industry events.
Social Media Marketing During Industry Events
Social media marketing during industry events is probably the most important part of your overall “event marketing” strategy.
On top of that, it’s the moment when you’ll have the most resources and things to share with your audience.
So let’s see how to do it:
Share the people you met
Sharing the photos of you and the people you met is an amazing way of gaining social proof. Not to mention that, if they’re some influencers, they will probably retweet your posts.
That way, you won’t just get some social acceptance, but your posts will also get a nice reach bonus, visibility, and you will also get some followers.
Here’s how it looks like:
Or, here’s another example:
Remember that on posts like these, you should be positive, relaxed and you shouldn’t brag or be promotional.
Be real. Be you.
Another great hack you can do is take pictures with speakers or influencers so you can be on their list.
This doesn’t just help you to build a great relationship and partnership with them, but it also helps you in building your own personal and company brand.
Share the speaker’s notes
Sharing the presentations, images of speakers and your notes is a great way of building your brand awareness, relationships with speakers and influence.
You can do that in various ways.
For example, you can take a picture of the speaker during the presentation, and write down your notes and key takeaways, or, you can also retweet someone else’s posts.
It’s worth mentioning that speakers will likely retweet posts like these.
Don’t forget about the marketing of your company pages
For social media marketing during the events, you can also use your company pages.
They’re a great channel for featuring your stuff or for sharing the pictures of your team with other people.
Keep in mind that doing this on your company pages will help you to leverage the power of the human element.
When brands are showcasing the people in their marketing campaigns, they’re using the power of human elements to show their target audience that they’re humans as well as them.
It’s great for building personal relationships with your ideal buyer personas.
At SaaStock, we were talking a lot and helping other people with their in-app marketing. So we leveraged that to create some social media posts as well.
Also, if you’re exhibiting, make sure to put your exhibitions and contests on your social media as well.
Another great example comes from Ahrefs. On the BrightonSEO event, Ahrefs branded coffee cups.
Other SEO guys started sharing the images of coffee cups:
Post-Event Social Media Marketing
Now when the event is finished, it’s time to summarize your key learnings and share your thoughts with the world.
You can do that in various ways.
One of them is writing an article on your blog:
I also wrote a blog about it: SaaS Conferences as a Growth Channel
Or writing, sharing and retweeting posts on social media about it:
The Bottom Line
The ultimate goal of your social media marketing for industry events was to create meaningful relationships and improve your brand awareness.
Since the event is finished, your goal should be to move your offline relationships to online relationships.
Think about the potential partnerships you can build with your new friends.
Perhaps you can create some content collaboration, backlink swap, guest blog post partnerships, and many other things.