Social Media Strategy IS the new Event Coordinator

    Sam Mutimer

    The much needed backbone to ROI and Measurement in the Events Industry!
    In events we talk incessantly about ROI and measurement, especially if we are producing an event for a brand – but is it realistic to say that you can honestly measure attendees thoughts and feelings, whether they hated the lighting, detested the catering staff or adore the creative invitations? Who produced this fantastic event and how can I get in touch?
    Short of asking people to fill out a questionnaire as they finish the last of their complimentary glass of Moet can you REALLY understand your guest’s thoughts and feelings about your brands live presence? Factors, which will surely decide whether the event is a failure or an outstanding success, lie within the hands of those invited.
    During a week long event I recently worked on I jumped on real time search engine Social Mention (a free monitoring tool) to check out what our guests had been saying about the event. I freelance in both Social Media and Event Management I was intensely interested to what people though of our teams work – some indication that the hours of work we had put in had paid off, whether they noticed the production, lighting and general atmosphere of the event.
    What is Social Mention? To me its almost like listening in on peoples conversations via their various personal social media platforms. During each day of our event I watched like a hawk from my spot at the sound desk and I made a mental note of all of the mobile phones that were out snapping photos, videos and making status updates about this event which I and many others had invested several months into creating. These people would be the decider of whether the event would run next year – So, I listened online.
    As it describes itself on the website, Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.
    It allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time. Social Mention monitors 100+ social media properties directly including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
    By looking on Social Mention I could see that most of the women made comments about the fashion and outfits, both male and female thought music was great, everyone thought the arctic wind was a bit shite but didn’t deter from the awesomeness that everyone seemed to be experiencing. The sentiment of these conversations was fairly neutral with a strong sway towards the positive end of the scale. I could just look at the twitter hash tag for the event the photos and videos from the guests were available with the click of a button. This content IS the brands voice during the event.
    Social Mention tells me when the last person mentioned the event, whether their post was reposted or original and what the top ten keywords were – I feel like the events friendly neighborhood stalker, but I tell you what – THIS is the feedback that the sponsors want. People who have poured money into their brands presence at this event has paid off.
    We no longer need to ask for this information; it is a matter of being on-board with Social Media, allowing it to assist us where we need it most in three areas.
    Before the event, during the event and mostly AFTER the event has finished! Time spent handing out debriefs is long gone. Having your ear to the social media ground is king for major events for brands.
    Remember, social mention is a free tool. Here at thinktank we use our inhouse highly trackable reporting platforms however, for those starting out, social mention is a fantastic tool,
    It’s free, its simple and its REAL. Get on it I say, mad if you don’t.
    Thoughts guys? Did you know this free platform existed? How will this assist you in measuring and monitoring your campaigns?