What happens to the Social buzz after an event like SXSW?
The answer is that the buzz just continues of course! Long after the stands have gone down and been packed away and shipped off. People are still interested in chatting about what they have seen. I have looked at the activity that follows major events for the last few weeks. I was impressed with the amount of activity that still continues weeks afterwards even for much smaller B2B events than SXSW. It is a very fertile period, and you can make the most of it using Social media.
Expand your coverage.
Consider extending your coverage to include this “after phase” - budget permitting of course! Maybe there are business opportunities to still exploit in this period? As well as the “did you miss this” type of messages, throw in the odd closure “call to action” so that you can exploit those that are taking some while to decide on what they want to do following the event or campaign. Some people may need a few days or a couple of weeks to recover from the information overload. Events can be very intensive, especially if you include the stress and strain from traveling. It is understandable that many people are likely to make decisions in the days and weeks following an event.
An example - #SXSW
Let’s look at a recent example, the SXSW event, which took place between 9th and 18th of March 2012. The hashtag was #SXSW. The event finished 19 days ago, but as of today, the 6th April 2012, the reach of the tweets containing the #SXSW hashtag was still 273,547 in a random selected time period this morning. The time period selected was not the last 3 days, nor the last 24 hours. The reach of 273,547 was for a random selected 3 hour time period this morning. That is an impressive figure for a 3 hour period 19 days after an event. I used tweetreach.com to generate that report. Interesting to see that they have improved their reporting outputs so that the site is much more useful to use, #kudos!
Include other channels.
The example I gave above is just based on Twitter activity, and using the newly formatted reports available from Tweetreach.com. The reach and exposure would no doubt be bigger if Linkedin and other closed specialist community groups were added in as well, particularly if the event was centered on a B2B theme, or a regulated industry like finance.
This is the way Social Media should be used!
Make sure that your event strategy includes the activity that happens in the “after phase”. Try to plan for activities that would follow events that could involve your newly acquired engaged audience. Think further than just continuing the dialogue. Why not use them in follow up actions to the event as a crowdsource? You could also consider the long tail effect, using an event to strike up relationships that continue on for months. That is indeed, the intention of relationship building via Social media!