Joselin Mane joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, social media and inbound marketing podcast!
Joselin is the author of the upcoming book, The Ultimate Guide to Networking 2.0: The Benefits of Tweetups for Both Major Brands, Individual Networkers, Venues, and Sponsors. He’s also the founder and lead consultant at LITBeL Consulting. He runs BostonTweetups.com and is the meetup mastermind.
In this episode, we chat about:
- The Ultimate Guide to Networking 2.0: The Benefits of Tweetups for Both Major Brands, Individual Networkers, Venues, and Sponsors
- Why companies should host in-person gatherings of their online connections
- Tips for event attendees
- What makes an event successful
- Spreading the word at events via social media
- Event management systems
- 5 phases of event planning and promotion with new media
”The book came after literally years of me analyzing events.”
Joselin wrote this book to illuminate the formula on how to put together a good event (tweetup or non-tweetup). The book is for the networker (how to leverage your personal/corporate brand at an event), the organizer (how to put together these events), the venue (how to leverage social media and host these events), the sponsor (how to sponsor something so your brand gets visibility), and also the speaker and the partner.
“So because people are talking about the event on Twitter, before, during, and after, if your brand is being mentioned, here’s an easy opportunity for your brand to engage in the conversation and find out more of what your consumers want to know.”
With tweetups, it’s easy to set up a social media command center for events (via a hashtag). People will be talking about the event and it’s a chance for your brand to connect closer with people. It’s also the way some people might learn about your brand for the first time. And conversations aren’t limited to the event’s location - you may get participation from all over the world.
“Prepare for a particular networking event. It’s good that you’re found. It’s good that you put your best foot forward.”
Make sure your online profiles are current. Make sure you have your Twitter bio filled out and you’ve included a link to your website. A bonus would be to have a custom Twitter background. Also take some time to update your LinkedIn profile, your blog, your Facebook profile, and any other important properties.
If people are meeting you for the first time, they’ll likely go online and get more information about you, so make sure everything they see is updated.
If there’s a list of attendees, do some research. Find people online. Look at their Twitter account and see what they’re tweeting. See who they’re connected with on LinkedIn. This will help you figure out who to network with initially.
After the event, follow people online right away. Acknowledge via Twitter immediately after the event that you’ve met them. After that, do a traditional follow-up and send an email, etc - whatever makes sense.
“Success is really determined at the initial stages.”
It depends on what the brand’s goals are. If you want to bring awareness to a certain community, then the overall volume of discussions about the brand is important. If you want to increase email sign-ups or memberships, then you allow them to do that at the event.
“I would say leveraging Foursquare, leveraging Twitter, the mobile phone. So those should get you started. There’s a lot more that I elaborate on in the book, but those should be good to get started.”
Create a venue and community on Foursquare for the event. Leave tips, links, and references that people can see when they check-in.
QR codes make it easy for people to connect.
Leverage Twitter and use it to direct people to your hub.
“Depending on the size of the event and the knowledge of the individual organizer or organization that’s putting together the event, I tend to recommend two primary sources to register.”
The number one choice is Eventbrite. Eventbrite is very good at handling the registration process, integrating with CRMs and email systems, and it’s become the standard to use. It’s also free.
The next option is Twtvite. It’s a more casual system, better for one-off events.
“Most people think of just the three phases, which is before the event, during the event, and after the event. But I took it a step further and added two more at the beginning that I found were very important.”
The five phases are pre-planning, planning, pre-event, during the event, and post-event.
- Pre-planning: The pre-planning is when you start thinking about the theme (see this video for more information). Then you determine the venue based on the theme. Now is also when you figure out what the goal of the event is.
- Planning: Then you start getting into the planning stages. You have the venue, you set up the registration page, you optimize your registration page (set up branding, ticket levels, and so on), you set up a way to capture all the information (tweets, pictures, and whatnot), etc.
- Pre-event: This is when you send out the email before the event. This is when you do the last minute things the day before, the day of, etc. If you do things right, you could be trending on Twitter before your event even happens.
- During the event: This is where you start aggregating and put the content aggregation system into play. This is when you see everyone tweeting and such.
- Post-event: Now it’s time to keep the conversation going. Do a follow-up blog post.
You can follow Joselin on Twitter @JoselinMane and @BostonTweetup. If you’re thinking about starting your own tweetup, head over to BostonTweetup.com. They have services for the networker, the venue, the organizer, and the sponsor. And don’t forget to check out Joselin’s new book.