Are you attending an event soon? As a lawyer, you may feel inundated with invitations, from charity and CSR related events such as the London Legal Walk, to smaller upskilling seminars and working breakfasts, to vast multi-national networking conferences such as the IBA annual conference. However, not only are these great for professional learning, lead generation and networking, but they’re also an opportunity to create interesting content for social media. Here’s why.
Although this isn’t always the case, events are usually lively, or contain thought-provoking material, which makes them an interesting source of content for your social media. Whether you’re sharing a quick photo from a weekly networking event or you’re live tweeting a national conference, events create plenty of opportunities for engaging content.
Sharing event coverage on social media gives you a unique opportunity to be part of the conversation, both with other event attendees and those who couldn’t make it. For people following your feed, you become their unofficial live feed of what’s happening. This can lead to a higher level of engagement than usual, as people are drawn to join in the conversation.
You also have the chance to be one of the first to share exclusives from the event. This includes new launches, top tips from a seminar, high-level speakers or well-known individuals within the marketplace, or news of a collaboration. Sharing content from local, national and international events gives your followers lots of reasons to continue following you and recommending you to others.
Here are our top tips on using social media when you’ve got an event coming up that you want to make the most of.
Make sure you know what you’d like to get out of the day. Before the event rolls around, create a plan of what you’d like to capture, create or share with others. This will help you feel calmer on the day and you won’t miss anything out. It’s helpful to look at the agenda and plan which sessions you’d like to attend, and whether you’ll be focusing on live tweeting, taking photos, or just putting out a summary afterwards. Research the speakers and influential attendees so you know what their Twitter handles or LinkedIn profiles are if you’re going to tag them in posts, and ensure you know what the event hashtag is. Have a look at the event organiser’s social channels – they will be highlighting key sessions and speakers.
If you need to bring equipment with you, make sure this is all charged and ready to go. This includes your phone, camera, microphone or any other equipment. It’s a good idea to pack a battery pack and spare memory card if it’s going to be a long day. Bear in mind that, if you’ll be sitting down, you may find it easier to live tweet using a laptop with a keyboard, rather than tapping out tweets into your mobile device.
One of the best and most simple ways to use social media at an event is to document your day. Keep your phone or camera with you and take photos as the day goes on. Share your snaps and thoughts on social media platforms like Twitter, or Facebook and Instagram Stories.
People will be interested to see what’s happening at the event. Even if something sounds boring to you, it could spark a conversation. Things which usually get people talking include takeaways from seminars, discussions about lunches, funny or unexpected moments and your thoughts on the event or exhibition. For example, we found that among our posts of the London Legal Walk, the light-hearted gifs we created using the Boomerang app during the street party afterwards were the most popular.
As you document your day, you’ll find that people start engaging with the content you post. They might be at the same event or following along from home or the office.
Events encourage conversations about the content of the talks, seminars or sessions. Let your social media feed become a place for these discussions to take place. Ask your followers for their thoughts on what’s going on around you or their suggestions on what they’d like to see you capture and share.
Most of us use social media as a way to have conversations with people that aren’t nearby. At events though, social media can be a great way to network with others who are at the same event.
Follow the event hashtag to find people who are attending the same seminar or talk as you. If you see an opportunity for the two of you to connect and collaborate or discuss something interesting, ask if they’re free on a break or at lunch to chat. This can be a great way to build relationships with people who could be influential in your network in the future.
Events may only last for a day or two, but you can extend your coverage of them beyond that for maximum impact. You never know when an image or a quote may come in handy.
Give yourself plenty of footage and content for the future by planning ahead. Take lots of photos at the event – capture everything from arrivals to seminars, close ups of badges to wide shots of the venue. Grab a selfie with you and the speakers or other influencers if you can. You could use these images in future social media posts or a blog about the event. The same goes for video footage and notes from sessions.
After the event, you may like to write a summary which can be hosted on your firm’s website (or your own, if you have one), outlining the key takeaways and highlighting any notable speakers or attendees. Share a link to this on your social media, and if they find it useful, the event organisers may share this with their followers, which will help to build your brand.
When you’re sharing content from the day, make sure you tag the right people in your tweets, stories and posts. This helps give your content the best chance of reaching the widest possible audience. On Twitter especially, it’s important to check usernames, as most people don’t simply have @firstname-lastname as their username, so it’s easy to tag the wrong person.
Tagging people doesn’t just help your reach though, it can be an easy way to get on someone’s radar. Whether you’re thanking the event sponsors or tagging a speaker to share your appreciation for their talk, you’re introducing yourself to people who could become future partners, clients or friends.
Event coverage is always popular on social media. Whether you’re reaching people who wanted to attend and couldn’t, or who simply want to follow what you do, it’s a powerful way to create conversation and build trust.
Try these tips out at your next live event and see what happens. Create and join in conversations with your followers, share photos and become a voice of influence in your community. Tell the story from your next event and invite your audience to follow along with you.