Social Media for Events: Your 2024 Guide

A Guide on How to Use Social Media for Events to Create Unforgettable Experiences

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A conference room with an audience focused on a presentation, featuring a speaker on a large screen with the text #MTF2023, and multiple smaller screens set up as social walls showing social media posts.

Social media for events isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity nowadays. Harnessing social media for events means more than just posting updates. You should aim to create a digital experience that parallels the live event. By tapping into the various platforms, you can turn any event into a social phenomenon, ensuring attendees and online audiences are part of the conversation.

Focus on creating a cohesive narrative that informs and excites your target audience. Here are several tips on using social media for events that will help you create unforgettable experiences.

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  • 🌟 Event Ideas: From gamification to social media strategies.
  • 🔑 AI Toolkit: ChatGPT prompts and AI tools for event profs.
  • ✅ Checklists: Comprehensive guides for planning and execution.
  • 📊 Event KPIs & Statistics: Measure success accurately.
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  • 📝 Ready-to-Use Templates: Simplify your planning.
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Pre-event excitement: Using social media to build anticipation

The buzz before the event is crucial in building anticipation through social media for events. Release teasers, countdowns, and exclusive insights, making your social media channels the go-to source for exciting event news. This pre-event content strategy is designed to build excitement and drive conversations.

Use hashtags for event promotion

Come up with a hashtag for your event and tell everyone about it. Promote it on your social media channels, in your newsletter, on posters at the venue, and on all your event materials. Make sure your attendees know about the hashtag and encourage them to use it when posting about and from your event. Learn everything you need to know about event hashtags from our hashtag campaign guide.

Effective use of hashtags is critical when doing social media for events. An event-specific hashtag isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a beacon that guides attendees through the social media noise. It’s a strategic tool that enhances visibility and fosters a sense of community around your event.

A person standing in front of a large blue and white "#NAMMSHOW" sign outdoors, with palm trees and a building entrance in the background.
National Association of Music Merchants hashtag at the entrance of the trade show venue.

⭐Related: Hashtag Tracking: The Ultimate Guide

Use a social wall to collect the content posted with your event hashtag and display it on unlimuted screens and websites.

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Keep your social media profiles up to date

For many people who first find out about your event, your social media profiles will be the first stop to get more information. So, keep all your social media profiles up to date. 

Let people know that your event is accessible and inclusive. Let wheelchair users, people with disabilities, people with food tolerances, etc. know that your event will provide for them and mention your code of conduct and link to it. 

Being open about these things and available on social media will also make it easier for people to reach out to you with questions.

Make sure to add the hashtag to your profile description too.

Social media works great for building up hype before an event. This means that you have to post consistently about the event to make sure it stays top of mind and drives registrations. 

Use micro-influencers to amplify your event on social media

Micro-influencers can be powerful allies in leveraging social media for events. Their networks can introduce your event to new audiences, and their content can lend authenticity to your promotional efforts. Partner with micro-influencers who resonate with your event’s vision to extend your reach on social media.

Since long before the advent of social media, word-of-mouth has been influencing decisions both offline and online. Customers trust recommendations from other “real people” much more than anything coming directly from a brand. 

Content creators recommending an event are just an extended version of a “personal” recommendation, one that reaches a wider audience. They can help you reach either a broader audience or a very specific audience segment that you usually might not have access to.

Don’t just choose any person with a following. Content creators must really fit with your brand, either by having an audience already relevant to your brand or by being able to open up a new audience segment for you. So-called micro-influencers, who may have a relatively small following but one they are very engaged with, can really do wonders for your brand.

Reach out in a meaningful way and build a relationship. Don’t just barge in with a one-sided offer but rather build a mutually beneficial relationship. And remember:  You need to offer incentives, but money isn’t the only incentive to make a deal work.

Involve your speakers

Give your speakers all the information they need to get involved as soon as possible, including the event‘s official hashtag, and ask them to share and engage with the event and potential attendees online. 

If you want, you can also create a promotion guide for them, explaining what kind of posts you are looking for and how to best use the hashtag.

Vice versa, promote your speakers on social media as well. Introduce them to the audience prior to the event using various methods. The possibilities depend on time, money, and effort available but are pretty much endless.

Here are a few ideas for introducing and promoting speakers before your event:

  • Post images that include a photo of the speaker, their field of expertise, the topic of their talk and perhaps a short quote. Don’t forget to include the details of the event as well.
  • If you have the time, skills, and leisure, create and post short video clips that transport the same information, perhaps showing a short excerpt from the speaker has previous talk or an interview with them where they talk about their topic.
  • Record and post podcasts in which you interview speakers about their field of expertise. Do the same in short live video streams on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Hold webinars if it fits with your event and topic.
  • Interview speakers and write them as blog posts, then post quotes and links to the blog on social media.

Add social media sharing to your ticket sales

Turn your ticket sales into more ticket sales! Once someone has bought a ticket for your event, prompt them to tell their friends and followers about it. Give them options to share the news directly from the success page after they have acquired their ticket. You can even prepare an automatic sharing message that already includes your event hashtag, making it even easier for people to drum up more promotion for your event.

Showtime: Social media for real-time event amplification

The event day is where your social media strategy should truly shine. Employ a robust live-posting schedule, ensuring no moment is missed. An on-the-spot social media coverage creates a live narrative that engages attendees and those following along online.

Encourage user-generated content

Encouraging event user-generated content is a smart social media strategy. Attendees become your brand ambassadors, sharing their excitement and experiences. This organic content amplifies your message and provides authentic social proof.

Related: User-generated content examples by attendees

Have a QR code that leads attendees to your social wall, where they can post a message or a photo by uploading it directly or using your official hashtag on the social media channels you use on the wall. It’s an easy and engaging way to collect user-generated content from your attendees. 

A person scanning a QR code from a social wall displayed on a screen.

Collect and display engaging content created by your attendees.

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Create interactive social media wall displays

Utilizing social media walls during the event showcases the power of social media for events in a tangible way. It’s a live testament to engagement, encouraging attendees to contribute and interact with the event on a personal level. This interactive feature becomes a focal point of attendee-generated content.

Collect attendee-generated content from social media and direct posts on a social wall and display them on live screens at your venue or alongside the live streamEncourage your audience to share their experience using your hashtag and watch their posts pop up on the screen. An event wall is a fantastic icebreaker because it sparks conversations.

Social media feed display on the stage during Google's Chrome Dev Summit
Google using a social wall by during the Chrome Dev Summit

Create a live social media display for your event!

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Bring your event to life on social media

Nothing beats the excitement of live engagement on social media on the event day. Keep the digital community buzzing with live updates, bringing the event’s energy to social media. This real-time strategy keeps your event trending and your audience hooked.

Set up a live stream like Google did here to make your event available to a broader audience. Share the link to the live stream on social media and encourage audience participation for your hashtag. You can even embed your social wall in your live stream.

Set up a virtual photo booth

One of the main challenges that event organizers have is to engage attendees. That’s an equally difficult task for in-person, hybrid, and virtual events. And while networking and matchmaking sessions are great for making valuable connections, you still need something more — a bit of fun. 

Social walls and virtual photo booths are two of the most significant engagement drivers for virtual events simply because people enjoy creating and sharing content. So why not combine both tools to get an ultimate interactive solution?

A screenshot of a social media platform interface with various user posts featuring selfies, many with digital stickers and overlays, and a central image of a person adding a sticker to their photo. There's a hashtag visible indicating a Twitter post related to "#wsecuallstar23".
A social wall with photo booth integration at #wsecuallstar23.

Creating custom photo content and displaying it on a social wall fosters community and helps speakers and sponsors connect with the audience. Moreover, by showing selfies from attendees, you help your speakers fight the feeling that they’re talking in a vacuum. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

Add a virtual photo booth to your social wall and boost engagement at events with branded selfies.

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Post-event strategy: Maintaining momentum on social media

The end of the event is just the beginning of a new chapter on social media for events. Capitalize on post-event excitement, sharing highlights, and engaging with attendees to gather feedback. This approach to social media for events keeps the dialogue going, ensuring your event has a lasting impact.

Don’t forget to thank everyone

A happy attendee will likely share their experience with their colleagues or their social media network after the event. Make sure that you ask for their feedback and, most importantly, thank everyone for their participation.

Recap the event

A good thing to do after each event is to write a recap of it. You can do this as a blog post and then share it on social media using your hashtag. This way, everyone who was already following the hashtag and your event will see it, and it will also show up on your social wall.

Your recap is where all the statements you collected during the event come in super handy. Weave the best video clips, attendee statements, and social media posts into your blog post using a social media wall embed. And, of course, add the most atmospheric photos from your event as well.

Another great way to recap an event is to simply reshare the best posts people posted on your social wall. It shows some appreciation for your attendees and followers and gives others an impression of what people are saying about your event.

Start thinking about your next event

When you’re ready to start planning your next event, a review of your last event can be very helpful. You can check what went well and what didn’t and optimize accordingly for the future.

And, of course, you can easily reuse your social media wall for the next event. All you have to do is update your hashtag and start promoting it again. Consider whether you want to keep using the same hashtag for each event or if you’d rather use a new one.

Both options can make sense, depending on your brand. For some events, it’s great if you can scroll through a hashtag and find consecutive years of the same event collected in one place. For others, it makes more sense to add a number for each year at the end of the hashtag and change it every year: #eventhashtag23, #eventhashtag24, and so on.

⭐Related: Event Planning Checklist Collection

You can also use images from previous events to create teasers on social media using your hashtag. Seeing how great your last event has been will incite previous and potential attendees to book their tickets.

Over to you

The success of social media for events is measured by the ongoing engagement and conversations it sparks. By analyzing performance metrics, you can refine your strategies to ensure that your future events continue to thrive in the digital realm. Social media for events is not just a promotional tool—it’s the catalyst that transforms attendees into a vibrant community.

FAQs about social media for events

  1. How can I leverage social media to increase event attendance? Implementing a targeted social media campaign for events can create buzz and drive registrations by engaging potential attendees with compelling content and interactive dialogue.
  2. What are some creative ways to use social media for event marketing? Beyond traditional posts, using live streaming, interactive live polling, and social media-exclusive contests can elevate your event’s social media presence and foster active participation.
  3. How do I measure the ROI of using social media for events? Track user-generated content, engagement metrics, conversion rates, and audience growth across your social media channels to gauge the return on investment for your event’s social media marketing efforts.