How To Use Social Media Walls To Drive ROI At Your Next Live Event
Your attendees are an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to marketing your brand at your event. With almost every visitor carrying a smartphone, it’s never been easier for people to engage and involve themselves with your company, and a social media wall displayed on your stand or around the exhibition hall can quickly spark this connection.
But what exactly is a social media wall and how will it benefit your company? In this article, we explore how this tool is incredibly effective for boosting real-time engagement and reach to both new and existing customers.
What is a Social Media Wall?
A social media wall is a customisable grid displayed on one or multiple screens, which updates in real-time broadcasts and social interactions from and with your company’s social media accounts. One of the most popular social networks used is Twitter, and often social media walls are often called Twitter walls. However, with the right software, you can link any social media account to your interactive screens, such as Facebook or Instagram.
The way the wall typically works is the software will monitor specific keywords, hashtags or @mentions of your chosen word or handle, which links back to your company or event (such as @Identityglobal) or the event that you’re appearing at (such as #BrightonSEO or #Confex).
When anyone – either at the event or following online – shares content featuring your chosen hashtag or handle, it will automatically update the screen to appear for a certain amount of time. Administrator options are available for most wall software packages which let you moderate content before it goes out live on the wall. Additionally, some packages also let you whitelist specific users (for example: staff, important delegates or key clients) so their content is always pre-approved and bypasses this moderation step.
How Can It Work At Your Event?
There are multiple ways a social media wall can benefit you at your next event:
1. Bring Your Audience Into The Conversation
A social media wall is a fantastic way for your visitors to feel famous and valued by having their content shared on a big screen. This allows them to display their personal involvement through content such as tweets or Instagram photos in relation to your brand and how they are contributing to the event. It’s also very effective for their own self-promotion!
Fun items such as leaderboards that show who has sent the most tweets or received the most engagement can drive additional interest and participation.
2. Spread The Word Beyond The Event
To make sure your social media wall is a success it’s vital you promote your event hashtag or @handle in as many places as possible, both digitally and within your traditional marketing. This would include any information sent prior to the event, such as email newsletters and social media posts, and also during the show, both on the stand itself and printed materials such as flyers.
Encourage your attendees to share their experience to benefit not only from engagement at your exhibition display, but also online to your wider audience as well.
3. Incentivise Your Audience
Social media walls can also work effectively as a powerful incentivisation tool. If you have a promotion or campaign running, offer the exchange of a tweet or @mention as an incentive to allow visitors to gain an exclusive discount or as an entry mechanism to a competition.
This is an easy yet effective method of generating warm leads to your stand throughout the day, but can also encourage them to make future purchases beyond the show.
4. Power Up Speaker Sessions
If you are speaking or have speakers at the show, be sure to mention the hashtag and company @handle it in your presentation slides and throughout your session. Ensure that your company’s social feed is also featuring on the wall to spark interest and clearly demonstrate the company involvement.
Additionally, a social media wall used during a speaking session is an effective tool for encouraging people to send in questions. Not all attendees will feel comfortable speaking into a microphone or standing up, but contacting you through social media using your hashtag or @handle to receive interesting and relevant questions can often generate a lot of interest. If you’re live streaming your session, encourage people online watching to also send in questions via social media. It will then appear on the wall for all to see and in turn develop a wider audience reach.
5. Customise Your Wall To Stand Out From The Crowd
Most social media walls are fully customisable, including imagery, colours, style and layout. This can play a key factor in how they attract visitors to your stand. Spend some time with your design team on the look and feel of your display, and consider how it looks both close-up and from a distance.
While it can be tempting to include all of your social platforms on your wall, it’s good practice to focus on just one or two. Twitter is the number one social network when it comes to live events and should absolutely be included on your social media wall. For user-generated content (UGC), a good second choice is Instagram. As a photo and video-sharing app, Instagram is a popular option for visitors looking to share a more visual experience with the event. Both platforms embrace use of the hashtag which is critical for overall discoverability.
The use of social media for marketing is no longer optional: it’s mandatory, and this includes the world of live events. Social media walls have proven themselves to be a valuable tool for generating interest, engagement and leads with new and existing audiences, both in and outside the exhibition hall.