Your brand or company probably has a strict set of rules that you adhere to as an organization. As such, you probably have a code of conduct for communications, or a dress code – perhaps some rules for flow of information. Social media is no different. A commandment is defined as “a rule to be observed as strictly as one of the Ten Commandments” according to the dictionary. If you’re a person of faith, you likely abide by at least some of the teachings laid out in the big old book. Whether or not you believe, or don’t believe in anyone or anything in particular, we believe there is a set of rules that should be strictly followed during social media activities at events. These “rules” are advised to maximize your success.
1. Thou #shall #not #use #too #many #hashtags
In case you don’t know, it’s worth mentioning that a hashtag is a word or phrase written after the pound sign (#) that allows you to track and join in on various conversations about a specific topic. Branded hashtags are frequently used on social media at events to encourage online conversation about what’s happening in the real world. How many are allowed and how many is too many? We break it down for you.
- Instagram allows a max of 30 hashtags on a regular post but only 15 should be used, and up to 10 hashtags on an Insta Story; Insta hashtags with 21 characters perform best.
- It’s recommended that you use 1-4 hashtag on Twitter, and those hashtags using 18 characters perform the best.
- Facebook, it’s recommended to cap it at one hashtag of 6 characters.
- LinkedIn also is now utilizing hashtags more frequently. We, personally, recommend using at least one but not using more than three, only if it’s relevant.
Using too many can make conversations more searchable and make you show up more often, but they cloud the message and take away from the engagement.
2. Thou shall check thy splling
One of our social media at events best survival tips, is to always ensure you are writing professionally and without error. Avoiding spelling errors and maintaining flawless writing is critical online. Unfortunately, errors are perceived very negatively – your company is viewed as less professional, you are viewed as less intelligent, and sometimes you become the bud of jokes. You can maintain perfect spelling and grammar by downloading an app like Grammarly or something similar to your mobile device. And when you are unsure, ask someone. On the flip side, it’s important when monitoring the conversation online to determine other hashtags, some of which may not be spelled correctly, to look at and ensure you are seeing the entire picture and providing assistance, when necessary.
3. Thou shall provide @credit when due
There are lots of instances where you may post someone else’s content online. You may see something funny or educational that provides exceptional value to your audience. You could see someone else’s really great opinion about some of the programming at your event. Or you could capture some content of a vendor booth or an attendee while doing social media at events. It’s ok to post it, to share it or to have an opinion about it. It’s not okay to do that without appropriate credit.
Do a true retweet (showing the author’s handle), provide a #retweet or #regram tag or @ mention, or check-in or tag a businesses’ booth which you are capturing an image of. Avoid breaking a rule and earn some digital karma at the same time.
4. Thou shall document as much as possible on social media at events
You’ve gone to all the trouble of planning and executing an incredible event, why wouldn’t you want to share your creation online. For one, events, planning and decorating are super popular and trendy. You also likely want to sell tickets, or what’s the point? Multi-day events are an amazing opportunity to utilize social media at events to create FOMO and increase attendance the next day. Capture speaker quotes, images of people enjoying the event, booths or food – everything so the people at home can experience some of the essence of what you are trying to achieve.
You’ve heard the saying ‘pics or it didn’t happen?’ that definitely applies to this commandment.
5. Thou shall not ignore feedback
If you’re a follower of any big brands on social media, you’ve likely noticed that a lot of people take to social when something goes wrong. Social media has become an escalation for customer service assistance when traditional methods have failed and customers are on the verge of being irate. This can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s important to address it either way. That means when you are using social media at events, you need to deal with both the positive and negative comments you may receive. Maybe there’s an issue with security, or a food vendor has run out of something – it’s important both to know this information and provide a solution to your guests. There is nothing worse to your fans and followers than their conversation following on deaf ears.
6. Thou shall engage
In the same way that you shouldn’t ignore or put off the bad comments that may or may not happen, it’s important to converse. People may tag themselves in photos you post, or check themselves into your event on Facebook – you have an opportunity to engage with them. “Thanks for coming”, “we hope you’re having a great time” or “remember while you’re here to check out X”. This type of basic engagement builds a human personality to your brand and helps nurture possible brand advocates. When you’re monitoring the social media at events conversation at your particular venue, time is of the essence. The element of live-chat is so valuable because it is that – live and up-to-the-minute. It helps attendees feel like they are having a face-to-face conversation with you right there, rather than replying long after the event has ended.
7. Thou shall optimize posts for each social media network
Many already know that visual content should be optimized for each social network: 940 x 788 pixels for Facebook, the newer Twitter image size suggestion are 1200 x 675 pixels (for when you expand on desktop) and 1080 x 1080 pixels for Instagram, even though full-size images are also accepted (they just don’t look as clean on your Instagram grid page). You can also optimize written content when engaging on social media at events. Shorter messages with one hashtag are ideal for Twitter; longer and more information-heavy posts with a single hashtag works for Facebook; in-between captions and up to 30 hashtags (recommended: 15) are ideal for Instagram. Downloading an app like Canva or another image editor allow you to do quick captures and then size to the appropriate social network without investing too much time doing complicated editing.
Though we’re confident you won’t burn anywhere for not following these 7 commandments, they are strong recommendations based on a combined total of 12 years’ experience working in the social media space. Following these tips will help you tackle what could be an incredibly busy and stressful day, while coming out on top. If this seems like a huge undertaking or you just want to take your social media at events to the next level, trumpet your message to us here and let’s get social.
Ashley Saunders, Matriarch, Strategist, Live Social Coordinator