Everyone in the meetings industry recognizes the power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the wide range of social media channels. However, building a loyal following on those channels can be challenging.
Keisha Carr, Manager, Event Management Services, IEEE Meetings, Conferences and Events and 2013 Chair of the PCMA Social Media Advisory Group, recognizes that her organization has been able to capitalize on the possibilities of social media. The IEEE Facebook page has more than 288,000 fans, and the organization’s Twitter handle has more than 26,000 followers.
IEEE is made up of electrical engineers and technical enthusiasts, and Carr says that all the staff and volunteers involved in the organization’s social media work to curate relevant content that highlights new technologies and stories of noteworthy engineering accomplishments.
“Naturally, that content is interesting to them, and they want to engage with it,” Carr says.
Of course, Carr highlights that engagement is a two-way street.
“Once they do engage with it, we make sure to reengage with those participating where and when we can,” Carr adds.
The Key to Your Social Success
As conference attendees continue to turn to social media as a news source, Carr stresses that organizations should allocate appropriate resources to accommodate the hunger for interactive content.
“Managing an active and engaging community is a time and resource commitment,” Carr says. “Making sure your social channels have community managers ensures that content stays fresh and social media isn’t dropped from the priority list.”
For meeting planners who are struggling to inspire conversations among their audience members, the remedy may lie with taking a step back to consider a new style of social engagement.
“If your community isn’t growing or responding, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do more,” Carr says. “It may mean you need to do something differently.”