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Social Media. How is the event industry using Social Networks? expert advice from amiando

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Social Media & Events Report 2013 How is the event industry using Social Networks? + expert advice from amiando Summary Summary... 2 Social Demographics... 2 Analysis... 3 How important are social networks
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Social Media & Events Report 2013 How is the event industry using Social Networks? + expert advice from amiando Summary Summary... 2 Social Demographics... 2 Analysis... 3 How important are social networks as marketing instruments for you as an event organiser?... 3 Which social media channels do you use?... 4 Which social media platforms would you like to know more about?... 5 Are you planning on changing your social media activities in the future?... 6 How much content do you publish weekly in social media channels?... 7 What are your social media goals?... 8 In which categories were improvements observed?... 9 What are the reasons that prevent you from using the potential of social media?...10 Do you make use of monitoring tools, in order to study social media channels and analyse the success of your activities? Which monitoring instruments do you use to monitor your social media activities?...12 The most important findings...13 How to: Social media tips for the event industry...14 Checklist of the usage of social media instruments...16 Network specific tips...17 Facebook...17 Twitter...19 XING...21 Pinterest Foursquare YouTube Google Last but not least The Authors About amiando Event Registration & Ticketing Our media partners... 30 Summary The number of users in the various social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube has grown by about 20% over the past year. Google+, for instance, has 500 million users and Facebook even has 1.1 billion. Nowadays social media and the event industry are inseparable: A prime example for this is this year s UEFA Champions-League-Final between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund during which over 4.8 million tweets were sent. Social media has a huge potential for marketing events and it is no longer possible to imagine event marketing without it. People are increasingly using the internet to read up about events, buying tickets on social networks and networking on social media platforms at events. Never has it been easier to build direct customer relations and accurately approach target groups. Social media marketing prior to, during and after your event is essential. But exactly how important are these networks for the event industry? have emerged. A comparison with the results from last year s reports is especially interesting, as it highlights several key shifts. This report will also provide you with numerous useful tips on how you can apply social media even more effectively to marketing your events Social Demographics Around 1500 event organisers were interviewed in an online survey. 57% of the interviewees were male and the majority was aged between 30 and % were from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 38% from the rest of Europe and 7% from North and South America. 22% of those interviewed are mainly involved in organising conferences and congresses, 24% organise seminars and training courses, 11% corporate events, 6% trade shows, 9% stated that their main focus is concerts, festivals and nightlife events, and the remaining 24% are spread out across networking events, private events and other events. Which networks are used? And what are the objectives for event organizers in using them? amiando, Europe s leading tool for online event registration and ticketing, once again this year took on the challenge of determining how event organizers use social media as marketing instruments, identifying the latest trends and investigating what problems 2 2 Analysis How important are social networks as marketing instruments for you as an event organiser? Very important Neutral Not important at all ¾ of event organisers consider social media a very important marketing instrument. Social media have permanently changed communication within the event industry. In order to analyse their significance for event organisers, we questioned them about the importance of this marketing instrument for their next campaigns and activities. It is obvious that the marketing of events by means of social media has a consistently high significance within the event industry. ¾ of the event organisers interviewed value social media as a very important tool. Merely 10% consider social networks totally unimportant and therefore unnecessary in their marketing concept. Conclusion: The marketing of events by means of social networks continues to be a very important communication instrument in the event industry. 3 Which social media channels do you use? None Other Foursquare Flickr or the like Pinterest XING Blogs Google+ YouTube or the like LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Facebook continues to be the most important social media channel Facebook (78%), Twitter (56%) and LinkedIn (49%) are the three most common social media channels used to promote events internationally; In Germany the picture is slightly different: here organisers predominantly trust Facebook (81%), XING (68%) and Twitter (50%). Clearly Facebook is still the most significant network for organisers, while in the German speaking countries XING is the most popular professional network. The popularity of social networks has thus not changed as compared to the data from the Social Media & Events Report Tip: To ensure the best results when using social media it is important to first analyse your target group in order to choose the most suitable media channel. The best results are reached when you concentrate your marketing activities in the target group s favourite social media channels. To successfully increase the reach of a business event for instance, XING and LinkedIn are the most effective marketing channels, whereas Facebook is best suited for organising private parties. To maximise the reach, a multi platform strategy is recommended. 4 Which social media platforms would you like to know more about? Foursquare Flickr None Blogs XING Pinterest YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Google+ Facebook Other The major interest still lies in Facebook, Google+ and Twitter It is interesting to note that it is the same networks as in 2012 that still generate the greatest interest. Most event organisers still want to learn more about Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Our study reveals that the most popular social network channels are Facebook and Twitter. It can be assumed that most event organisers see the greatest potential for event marketing in these networks and therefore have the most interest in them. 5 Are you planning on changing your social media activities in the future? Activity level will be increased Activity level to remain unchanged Activity level will be decreased Four out of five event organisers are planning to increase their activities in the future. In order to find out how event organisers intend to change their social media activities in the future. It is striking that 82% of those interviewed are planning on increasing their social media activities. 16% don t plan on changing their efforts while only 2% are thinking about reducing them. Conclusion: In 2013 the event industry is focusing even more on social media event marketing. This indicates that many organisers have already implemented their social media marketing goals and were satisfied with the results. It is reasonable to expect that this trend will continue over the next few years. Compared to last year s data, a clear trend is visible. Last year s report already showed that organisers were building on social media as a marketing instrument for their events and even in % planned to increase their social media activities. 6 How much content do you publish weekly in social media channels? None Up to 3 Up to 10 Up to 25 More than 25 More than half of all organisers publish between three and ten posts per week. Consistent publishing of relevant information in social networks contributes to the success of social media campaigns. It is noticeable that most event organisers publish up to 3 posts per week; at the top end of the scale 7% publish more than 25 posts per week. 15% of those interviewed do not post any information on social media sites and do not actively use these channels. This is 4% more than the previous year. However 85% of all event organisers publish at least one post per week. Tip: Plan your social media activities in advance and decide which channel is best suited for each content. Coordinating the individual campaigns will guarantee you the best results. 7 What are your social media goals? Increasing ticket sales Generation of leads Reducing marketing expenditures Opening up a new customer support channel Increasing customer loyalty Creating a new information channel (to replace , etc) Increasing the awareness of the brand Increasing awareness of the event Increasing event awareness continues to be the main goal? Social media campaigns can pursue different objectives. Determine your goals before engaging in social media activities. The survey clearly shows the main goal is increasing awareness of individual events (58%). 49% hope to increase brand recognition through social media activities. 41% utilize social media to distribute information and 37% hope to increase customer loyalty. It is noticeable that, at the time of the survey in 2012, 70% wanted to increase event and brand awareness whilst 65% hoped to improve custo- mer loyalty. This shows the continuing priority in these areas but also reveals a shift of significance amongst them: this year the importance of event marketing has increased significantly compared to brand awareness. Conclusion: The main social media objective for organisers is to increase awareness. It is important to ensure that target group-specific information is spread through the appropriate channels. 8 In which categories were improvements observed? Other Increasing ticket sales Opening up a new customer support channel Reducing marketing expenditures Generation of leads Creating a new information channel (to replace , etc) Increasing customer loyalty Increasing the awareness of the brand Increasing awareness of the event The majority of organisers were able to reach their goals. Conclusion: The survey shows that the main goal was to increase awareness. With 44% of the organisers reaching this goal, it is evident that over 76% of organisers who had set themselves this goal were successful. 42% stated that they were able to increase awareness of their brand by means of social media and 28% were able to improve customer loyalty. Both major goals formulated by event organisers were also those with the highest percentage of goal achievement. It is likely that this is due to increased measures taken by the organiser in order to reach these goals. 9 What are the reasons that prevent you from using the potential of social media? Other Risk of a social media disaster Inability to measure effectively Content restrictions (risk of legal problems, such as copyrights, etc) Lack of social media budget Lack of personnel Lack of know-how Lack of time Lack of time is the most frequent problem. Conclusion: What prevents event organisers from reaching their social media goals? The biggest problem in this area is a lack of time, know-how and staff. It is interesting to note that, in 2012, lack of time was already the greatest obstacle to reaching social media goals. It is evident that event organisers, despite realizing the great potential of social media, are still unwilling to assign the required time and personnel resources. 10 Do you make use of monitoring tools, in order to study social media channels and analyse the success of your activities? Yes Don t know No Only 20% make use of monitoring tools. Tip: Monitoring of social media campaigns is essential for any successful social media strategy. It is noticeable that 39% do not monitor their social media measures and 41% of organisers don t even know if they are using monitoring tools at all. No more than 20% check their social media goals by means of monitoring tools. The use of monitoring tools is crucial for the successful implementation of marketing strategies. This is the only way to verify specific marketing measures and, if necessary, adapt them accordingly. 11 Which monitoring instruments do you use to monitor your social media activities? Free commercial Paid commercial External 83% use no-cost monitoring tools Conclusion: The 20% of event organisers who said they employed monitoring tools were asked to specify which kind of tools they were using. As in the previous year s analysis, most event organisers (83%) are using cost-free monitoring tools. It is interesting to note that there has been a 4% increase in those using fee-based tools compared to last year. Compared to the last two reports these values show a considerable increase of almost 10% in two years. The biggest change has been in the use of external tools. Whilst 14% were using these external tools last year, only 1% are still monitoring their goals in this way today. Cost-free solutions are predominantly used for social media monitoring. 12 The most important findings The data collected from event organisers and its comparison with the data from the Social Media Events Report 2012 reveals several important insights. 1. Social media is still an important marketing tool Event organisers still rely heavily on social media activities when promoting their events. This can be deducted from the fact that over 80% of event organisers are planning to increase their social media marketing measures this year. The most widely used channels in this area remain Facebook, Twitter, XING and LinkedIn. 3. Increasing event awareness is still the primary goal The most important objectives of social media activities are still to increase awareness of individual events as well as of the brand. Nearly half (44%) were able to achieve this, the equivalent of 76% of the event organisers who had set themselves these goals. This is the same success rate as event organisers had in Great confidence in Social Media Marketing Confidence in the potential of social media marketing has grown again this year. While in 2012 only three quarters of the event organisers were planning to increase their activities in the future, this year over 80% intend on enhance their efforts in this area. The majority of those event organisers who made use of social media measures the previous year is pleased with the results. 4. Lack of time remains to be biggest problem As already established last year, the greatest obstacles to the implementation of social media measures are lack of time and staff. It is interesting to note that the lack of know-how has now become just as large a problem as the lack of staff. Event organisers show great confidence in social media marketing and most of them reach their goals, but the majority is still not willing to provide the necessary resources. 13 How to: Social media tips for the event industry 14 Posts based on a strategy and plan To successfully implement a social media strategy, it s important to incorporate the time and personnel into your business plans and to compose a social media plan that lays out what will be posted and when over a specific period of time. This ensures that new content is posted on a regular basis. The plan should be oriented toward your other marketing activities and event planning, but nevertheless retain flexibility: if you discover a current, relevant blog article, you shouldn t wait too long before sharing it with your channel. Define clear social media objectives: which target audience are you seeking to address? How do you want to present your company? How do you react to criticism and other feedback? Monitoring tools are recommended to measure the success of your efforts. Some are free (such as Socialmention, TweetDeck, Wildfire, Klout) and others are paid commercial products (such as Meltwater Buzz, HootSuite Pro, Trackur). Depending on your specific needs, it may be worthwhile to invest in a more full-featured tool with greater options for investigating the success of your social media strategy. Post relevant, topical content To keep the attention of your customers focused on your social media presence for the long run, it is crucial that you always have current, relevant content posted. This can be interesting blog posts, industry or company news, heads-up about upcoming events, photos from past events, or even infographics the key thing is that your target audience feels personally addressed. It s essential that the content be kept up to date. Especially when it involves external content such as blog posts from the industry, it s quite likely that other companies from the industry with an overlapping pool of fans will already have posted a link if you wait too long. Be sure to post different types of content to stay interesting. Yet a happy medium should also be sought in terms of the frequency of posting: always keep the dialog moving, but do not overwhelm with information. Give your company a face and show your customers how things look, behind the scenes by posting photos from everyday life in the office. This will give you company character and bring a sense of an open door policy and make you more sympathetic. Kipp Bodnar, a marketing strategist at Hubspot, postulated a rule. Don t just promote your own events, but also those outside your company as well as industry-related content so that your users find your page interesting and ultimately subscribe. You should link 10 times to external content, such as interesting articles from industry bloggers, 4 times to your own content and one time to your own homepage. Involve fans Your social media strategy will be at its most effective when you involve as many people as possible with your entries through comments, Likes, Re-tweets and +1 s. The articles then also appear in the newsfeed of friends of your fans, drawing further attention to your brand. You should thus animate your fans as often as possible to take part: post questions, ask for feedback have visitors to one of your event share their photos afterward, for example. This shows other fans not just the success of the most recent event, but also awakens interest in future events. 15 Checklist of the usage of social media instruments network planning phase during the event after the event create fanpage, Facebook event and places with Facebook Places publish all information about the event plan due date publications publish pictures and all relevant information of the event evaluate your results with the page statistics and adapt your social media strategy publish pictures, videos, press commentaries and animate attendees to tag themselves on the event pictures. publish a thankyou note for your attendees create a Twitter account and a hashtag for the event Broadcast hashtag over all communication channels introduce the event on TweetMyEvents create a Twitter wall Twitter themes: Presentations, topics, schedule changes, general information, impressions publication of pictures and videos Twittergrader create event and post in appropriate groups XING AdCreator network during the event connect XING profiles after event and network via XING create a Google+ Business account implement +1 button on homepage Video conferences Google+ Hangouts create collections and upload videos measure the success of your event create a Pinterest account and create boards review own homepage for adequate picture and video quality publish significant pictures and videos link pictures with keywords publish significant pictures and videos link pictures with keywords create an event on foursquare and link it with your Facebook and Twitter accounts hang up posters and stand-up-display to let people know about check in possibility delete event create a YouTube channel stream live videos from the event upload highlights in revised video 16 Network specific tips Facebook Facebook is the social network with by far the greatest outreach worldwide. More than 1.1 billion monthly active users, 25 million in Germany alone, put
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