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Using Social Media to Boost Your Conference Promotions

You shouldn’t have to put the rest of your life on hold to build a strong social media presence for your next conference.

Some social media tools take more time than others, and using them all would be a full-time job (for someone else, since you’ve already got one). But with a smart social media plan that is tailored to your audience, you can hone your approach and get the results you need.

Your first step is to develop an editorial calendar that lays out the messages you want to deliver, the content and media (social or conventional) that you plan to use at different points in your campaign, and the in-house or outsourced support that you’ll need to meet your deadlines. The calendar can be as simple or complicated as you need it to be—but consider starting small, meeting your goals, then expanding the campaign as time permits.

To make the plan achievable, use simple online resources to pre-schedule your content and keep campaign administration to 20 or 30 minutes per day.

·         Twitter tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck make it easy to pre-write a cluster of tweets and preschedule them through the day.

·         WordPress, a popular blog platform, has an editorial calendar plug-in to help you manage multiple posts.

·         A Twitter hashtag is one of the easiest ways to begin building a community around your conference message. Once people begin using the hashtag to post or retweet content, they end up bringing their followers to your conversation.

·         A YouTube channel takes a little more time—to prepare good content, and to manage the uploads. But a compelling video message can add a powerful new dimension to a campaign built mainly on online text.

Like almost any other marketing tool, social media will bring better results if you plan to gradually build profile and credibility, rather than pushing for quick results. The transition from push to pull marketing makes just as much sense online as it does in any other medium.