If there is one trend that has had a significant impact on the event planning industry during 2011 and 2012, then it is the increasing influence of social media. With social conversations and real time interaction providing the ideal tools through which to publicize an event and maximize the number of attendees it attracts, resources such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have emerged as key players in an ever competitive market place. So which 3 social media resources are the most suited to event planning, and why should businesses be incorporating them into their strategies?
The Top 3: Social Media Sites for Event Planning
Facebook: The Central Cog in the Social Media Wheel: Facebook's appeal as an event planning tool is immense, and not simply because of the level of exposure that it gives to brands and organizers alike. With more than 845 million users at the close of 2011, the site provides access to a huge audience of potential attendees and collaborators, but this is only of the many advantages that it affords to event planners. Also providing a deep and purposeful integration with similar sites such as YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter, Facebook can play a central role in the marketing, promotion and organization of even the largest of commercial events.
Twitter: The Leader of Real Time Interactions: Actions speak louder than words, and Twitter has played a leading role in the organization of many commercial and nonprofit events. Just last year, leading UK events planner Chilli Sauce partnered with women’s health nonprofit Breast Cancer Campaigns, and constructed the World's Largest Bra alongside the River Thames as a way of raising awareness and driving donations. Twitter was not only the primary resource through which people shared their thoughts and reactions, however, but also a key tool in collating donations and engaging interest within a single online space.
LinkedIn: The Ideal for Organizing Professional Events: While having a significantly smaller user base than Facebook, LinkedIn's community of more than 100 million users provides a far more targeted and professional network with which to communicate. With like-minded professionals located across every conceivable market sector, LinkedIn has made it easier than ever to plan large scale company or industry events online. With the potential to engage interest and also organize the logistics of an event, LinkedIn offers the functionality of Facebook within an entirely corporate setting, and this at least improves the relevance of conversations that take place prior to and after an event.
The Bottom Line
The introduction of the Timeline on Facebook has made social media even more invaluable to event planners, as it further promotes frictionless sharing and real time interactions while also allowing the creation of apps that bring brands, clients and consumers closer than ever. As more independent applications are introduced throughout the year, and with the user base of social media set to experience further growth during 2012, offline event planning techniques may soon become little more than a distant memory.