Tuesday, May 17, 2011

8 Ways to Improve Your Live Event With Social Media

Clay McDaniel is the principal and co-founder of social media marketing agency Spring Creek Group. Find him via@springcreekgrp on Twitter.

Do you remember life before Evite, Facebook Events, and Eventbrite? Handwritten paper invitations and RSVP phone calls seem like relics of a forgotten age. The web has dramatically changed the way people plan special occasions. Social media is making it easier than ever before to plan, promote, and execute a wide range of events from industry conferences, client events and partner symposiums, to large social gatherings and charity events. What’s more, social media allows you to solicit feedback and extend the life of your event by inviting attendees to connect via online communities before and afterward.

Whether you just want to generate a bit of buzz or instead have specific goals to increase ticket sales and attract top speakers and attendees, social media can make the planning process smoother by leveraging digital word-of-mouth. Here are eight tips for best results.

1. Establish Your Event-Related Channels

The months and weeks before your event is a critical promotional period. Use every social media channel at your disposal to get the word out about your event, and encourage people to share information on the event in return for small rewards. For example: “Share this event with 20 friends for 10% off your admission.” Start by creating an event page on Facebook and an event hashtag on Twitter, then create an event blog where you’ll post updates about it (new speakers, registration discounts, etc.). Make sure your Twitter hashtag is specific to your event or organization, without being too long.

Once you’ve created these pre-event social links, populate them with lots of content. If it’s a social event, post video or music clips, create a pre-event contest, or connect event-goers through socializing and games. For a social or community event, content should be engaging, fun, and shareable in order to drive word-of-mouth interest. If the event is more corporate in nature, offer fans and followers sneak peeks at topics to be discussed, or special pre-conference articles and presentations.

2. Provide Incentivized Word-Of-Mouth Promotions

Make sure that everyone who follows or likes your event on Twitter and Facebook is rewarded for their interest. Offer fans and followers special discounts or content. To incentivize people to register for the event, offer them early-bird discounts, invites to pre-event parties, or other rewards. If you really want to boost the power of word-of-mouth, you can use tools like Meteor Solutions to identify your key influencers, then actively motivate and reward them for sharing information about your contest.

3. Make Registration Social

Don’t forget to use a social registration service like EventBrite, which not only makes registration easier and more streamlined, but allows attendees to share their event activity with friends. Other popular social event invitation platforms include Plancast and Twtvite. Most of these services are highly integrated with social networking platforms and can be configured with user caps and privacy options.

4. Use Location-Based Services and Checkin Rewards

Geo-location sites let you set up a page with rewards including badges, coupons, specials, or gifts. These location based services are easily integrated with other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, so checkins will be shared with larger networks. When attendees come to your event, you can reward them for checking in at different stations, panels, or activities. Rewards such as free ice cream, a gift card, or other small incentives can be redeemed after the show.

5. Bring your Event to Life With Twitter

Using social media during an event can mean the difference between a flat, boring affair and one where attendees are engaged and excited. But too much real-time social interaction can also derail the main presentations or talks.

First and foremost, encourage attendees to tweet during the event using the established hashtag. An active Twitter stream during your event not only engages participants in real time but also allows people who could not attend to get a feel for the sessions and topics being discussed. Some event organizers set up a huge screen behind speakers to display hashtagged tweets in real time. But again, this “backchannel” can backfire if the tweets become negative or go off-topic. All that interaction can derail speakers as they try to respond in real-time to all the “interference.”

6. Include Non-Attendees

Don’t forget to set up a livestream during the event using Facebook or UStream so fans can follow along online. Facebook enables you to store this stream so that people can watch it after the event proper. You can also create a YouTube channel for the event to post videos before, during, and after. Encourage non-attendees to ask questions through Twitter or Facebook during the event and answer them live.

7. Post-Mortem: Extend the Shelf Life of Your Event

Your event doesn’t have to end the day it’s over. Social media can keep the momentum going for many weeks and months afterwards. On your blog, post a “wrap up” of all the key highlights. You can add links to presentations, key learnings, and other downloadable documents. Of course, you’ll want to post photos on the blog and on Facebook, and continue tweeting about the event even after it’s over. You can post thoughts, ideas, or links to longer articles that might be of interest to those who attended.

Another great way to keep your event from fading fast from people’s memories is to create ways for attendees and other interested parties to continue socializing, discussing, or debating topics covered there. Do whatever you can to keep the conversation alive.

8. Use Social Media Metrics to Measure Success

Consider using online surveys to ask attendees for feedback on panels, venue, speakers, topics, and other facets of the event. Facebook polls are fun, easy ways to get quick responses and feedback from attendees. Be prepared for honesty. If someone has a negative comment to share, make sure to address their comment or concern and store the information to improve next year’s event. Lastly, pull total social media stats from sites like Search.Twitter.com and Social Mention, or set up Google Alerts ahead of time. If the results are positive, don’t be shy about publicizing some of these metrics to highlight the reach and impact your event had.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book on action sports marketing

My book on Action Sports marketing & branding was published last month. Interviews with over 50 company founders, CEO's & pro athletes.

Insight from Volcom, Quiksilver, DC Shoes, Vans, Osiris, Metal Mulisha, Wahoo's, Monster Energy, FUEL TV, Osiris, Hart & Huntington, Hurley, Dragon, Zumiez, Tilly's, IASC, La Jolla Group, X Games, Blitz Distribution, Rockstar, Haro Designs, Mirraco, WMG and more.http://bit.ly/dTep7m

Also at www.x-playnation.com

5 Secrets to Gain Market Traction

5 Secrets to Gain Market Traction

The analyst game: What it is and why it's so important.
get here:

42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business'

42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business'

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

27 Indespensible Resources for Graphic Designers

27 Indespensible Resources for Graphic Designers

Graphic designers are always in a battle to create the best looking results in the least amount of time. Constantly trying to make these gorgeous, polished designs without spending an eternity creating them usually requires using some pre-built elements — things like photoshop brushes, illustrator patterns, textures, etc…

In this list, we’ve compiled some of the best brushes, patterns, textures, fonts, and vectors that will help make your graphic design life a bit easier. Read on for more.

60 Most Wanted Photoshop Tutorials, Brushes, .PSDs and Resources
Another collection of collections, but there are some great brushes listed in the brushes section… you’ll find some other great Photoshop resources as well.

350+ Retro and Vintage Photoshop Brushes
All vintage and retro designs in this post, but it links to DesignM.ag’s other brush resources, including flowers, space brushes, and more!

20+ Photoshop Painted Inspiration and Brush Resources
Includes a section of great Photoshop Brushes as well as other Photoshop resources.

80 Best-Of Adobe Illustrator Tutorials, Brushes, .EPSs and Resources
This is noupe’s illustrator counterpart to their “60 Most Wanted Photoshop Tutorials, Brushes, .PSDs and Resources.” Once again, a long list of useful information.

45 Excellent Sets of Adobe Illustrator Brushes
A ton of paintbrush-like brushes, with some floral and geometric brushes as well.

28 Free Illustrator Brushes for making Swooshes and Swirls
The title says it all. More BittBox illustrator brushes, photoshop brushes, patterns, textures and more can be found here: (http://www.bittbox.com/category/freebies/)

81 Amazing Argyle Illustrator Brushes
If you’re looking for argyle brushes, this is definitely the right resource - COLORBURNED also has a ton of other illustrator brushes here: (http://colorburned.com/illustrator-brushes/)

50+ High Resolution Textures, Tutorials and Resources
This post showcases some great textures, including some grunge, paisley, geometric designs, natural textures, and more.

101 Free Rock and Stone Textures
Includes textures for both natural and colorful rocks and stones. A great place if you’re looking for either.

Design Resources Pack #1: The Grunge Pack, Brushes, Fonts, Textures etc…
Includes textures, fonts and brushes — all in the grunge style.

Arbenting’s Texture Freebies
This lists all of the site’s free textures, including stones, grunge, fabrics, wood, and abstracts.

The Showcase of Brilliant Pattern Designs
A great showcase to get your creative juices flowing.

450+ Abobe Illustrator Patterns
A lot of beautiful patterns for any design need.

The ultimate photoshop resource list part 2: patterns + textures
Links to lots of different patterns and textures, plus some tutorials.

80 Beautiful Typefaces for Professional Design
The title says it all: lots of different typefaces with a preview of each so that you can easily see if the font is a perfect match.

40+ Excellent Free Fonts for Professional Design
This is a follow up to SmashingMag’s other extremely large font presentation, except these are all free!

50+ Fonts for Big, Bold Headlines
If you’re looking for some bold fonts, here’s the place to go. Includes font previews and links.

30 Fonts That ALL Designers Must Know & Should Own
It’s always good to get back to basics - here are Just Creative Design’s suggestions.

35 (Really) Incredible Free Icon Sets
Dinosaurs, sunny-side up eggs, and elephants are just some of the great free icon sets showcased here.

Tools Icons, Horror Icons and Twitter Icons
Three great icon sets provided free of charge by Smashing Magazine.

VECTORTUTS Freebie: 17 Exclusive Web Icons
A great set of general icons.

Free Icons: Function Icon Set, 128 Completely Free Icons
You may have seen this collection before, but it had to be included in this list of icon resources!

Freebies: A Social Media Icon Set Just For You!
Arbenting’s icon set for social media - also includes 15 Photoshop brushes.

Free Hand Drawn Doodle Icon Set for Bloggers
Some really neat, hand drawn icons.

The Ultimate Collection of Free Vector Packs
This features 60 free vector packs, from ribbons and circles to dinosaurs and birds. There’s just a load of good stuff here.

Logo Tools 1 (remix)
A great, free set of vectors with lots of different silhouettes.

Free Vector Swirls and Twirls Pack
Just Creative Design’s free vector pack.




Most followed people on Twitter, Youtube etc.

Most followed people on Twitter, Youtube etc.

Interesting info to help Find who to be most like in social media

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Need to know stuff for Social Media