Social media has increasingly become a part of Australian lives. Its uptake has risen year on year, with 2015 seeing more Australians than ever embracing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Whereas once social media was simply a way of sharing thoughts and photos with friends, it is now a multi-billion dollar industry, which every day affects the way millions of Australians work and play.
Events aren't immune to these changes. Because today, for many organisers and event goers, social media isn't an optional extra, it's an essential component.
Here's how using social media at live events is reshaping the event landscape in Australia, as well as some social media ideas for events.
1. Live updates keep attendees in-the-know
Australians are already getting their news from social media. Why should event news be any different?
Event Twitter feeds can be updated in real time, in order to provide event goers with up to the minute news and updates. Whether it's announcement of winners, photos of the festivities or notification of upcoming activities, event goers can find everything they need to know about the event in their social media feeds.
Twitter updates or 'tweets' can also be added as a ticker tape along the bottom of event screens. So even those without social media equipped devices can get the latest news quickly and easily using social media at live events.
2. Social innovations enhance the event experience
Social media combined with innovative technology is changing the way people experience events. One of many social media ideas for events is the 'digital signage totem' which we at Microhire implemented for the 2015 Fitness and Health Expo.
The digital signage totem combines six high definition LCD screens to create a totem of digital displays. The totem connects to social media properties and displays content such as event photos from Instagram, event tweets from Twitter, and event tagged posts from Facebook.
By utilising the digital signage totem and using social media at live events, event goers can see how their thoughts and photos fit into the event as a whole. It connects event goers and helps them to form a wider social context.
3. Broadcasts expand the reach of events
Facebook has a presence in just about every country on earth. It also has over 1 billion daily users. Twitter and Instagram are no slouches either with more than 310 million, and 400 million users respectively.
Broadcast your event using social media and you could tap into one of the largest audience bases on earth. Use industry hashtags and you could dramatically improve your event's reach within your relevant industry or profession. Start your own hashtag and you can collate your content using key industry terms.
Alternatively, you can create a 'closed' group, so your event information can only be accessed by selected users online. This is a good option for events that feature confidential or sensitive information.
Find more social media ideas for events. See how we used social at the 2015 Pivot Summit.
4. Social media enhances PR and brand opportunities
Enterprises which rely heavily on public relations and brand building exercises to drive exposure and leads are using social media to great effect. Many not-for-profit organisations, for example, are using social media at live events to tie back to their existing online presences and to promote engagement.
Organisers can also engage with guest speakers and attendees via their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. By using social media at live events, organisers can leverage people's existing social media followings in order to raise the profile of the event. Additionally, social media ideas for events can include both paid and organic reach.
5. Social helps to engage audiences
Social media gives event organisers an unrivalled opportunity to engage with event goers.
Using tools such as Facebook and Twitter organisers can pose questions, polls and requests to event going audiences. These requests will appear in individuals' personal feeds (provided they are connected to the event). Responses can then be easily provided via text messages, photos or video.
These personalised interactions help event staff to connect with event goers. Using social media at live events they can help to create memorable moments which can be shared and collated to form a lasting impression.
The social media platforms we supply at Microhire have optimised moderating capabilities. Content that is deemed offensive, inappropriate or 'spammy' can be automatically removed or manually reviewed and then either approved or rejected.