10 Social Media Tips for Professional Speakers
In my last post, I discussed how to Grow Your Business Through Professional Speaking. In this post, I’m here to share ways to enhance your speaking engagements through Social Media! If used strategically, Social Media is a powerful tool for Professional Speakers. It will drive attendance, create positive buzz, build trust and strengthen relationships with your audience even before you take the stage.
BEFORE THE EVENT
1. Offer a promotional code: Ask the event coordinator to provide you with a promotional discount code. This allows you to offer value to your network through a discount when inviting them to the event. This code may be shared by your friends to others outside of you network, therefore allowing your speaking engagement to gain publicity to new audiences.
2. Create buzz through a contest: Ask the event coordinator to provide you with a complimentary entry to give away. Whenever I ask, the event coordinator is more than happy to do this after I explain the benefits of hosting a contest. Follow my 6 Tips for Hosting Successful Contests on Social Media and you’ll be well on your way to not only gaining more visibility, but growing your network to those interested in your topic. You will supply a demand to those who want to attend, increase the value of your business by creating a relevant promotion and showcase benefits of attending your speaking engagement. Here’s an example of a contest I created for DOMAINfest, a speaking engagement I participated in January: Marketing Melodie Socializes DOMAINfest 2010. Another example is a contest I created for Cool Twitter Conferences where I spoke last year: Cool Twitter Conferences World Tour in Full Swing.
3. Post Tips as teasers for your presentation: Take all of the main points of your presentation and turn these into short “Tips of the Day”. Preferably 120 characters or less they can be tweeted and easily retweeted on Twitter. Start posting these around 2 weeks out before your speaking engagement. These tips are designed to educate your following and also serve as teasers to hook them into wanting more information.
4. Write your own blog entry about your speaking engagement: This doesn’t need to be a long post, but it’s an opportunity to direct people to your own website when posting about your speaking engagement on your different networks. Give a brief background about the event and organization. Link back to the event website where people can register to attend. If you’re offering a promotional code include this in your post. Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote for my speaking engagement coming up for AIGA: Melodie Speaks at AIGA: Social Media Design Techniques
DURING THE EVENT
5. Promote your Twitter handle in the beginning: During your introduction, let people know they can follow you on Twitter. Many people will tweet facts, quotes and valuable information they learn during presentations so their followers who aren’t at the event can gain insight. By providing the audience with your handle, you’re empowering them to cite you in their tweet. This provides more credibility to those reading the tweets and will prompt others to follow you if they’re interested in your topic.
6. Create a Hashtag: Create a specific hashtag for your speaking engagement. Promote this in the beginning along with your Twitter handle. This allows you to track buzz, tone and sentiment during your talk. If you’re speaking at a large conference with many other speakers, this also allows the updates from your specific session to stand out to people following the general conference hashtag.
7. Tweet Questions: Encourage user participation by asking your audience to tweet questions during your presentation with the hashtag you created. This allows your audience to ask questions on the fly as they come to mind. Q & A is often reserved for the end of presentations. Many times, people have questions but forget to ask by the time Q & A comes up. By allowing them to tweet questions you get more people inquiring which allows you understand patterns of interest and areas where your audiences would like more explanation. Some conferences broadcast the tweet stream to their audience through services such as TweetWall.
AFTER THE EVENT
8. Offer incentives to connect: Provide incentives for people to join your Facebook fan page, connect with you on LinkedIn or follow you on Twitter with a valuable offer. Examples of offerings include: “Send me a Tweet after the event and I’ll email you my presentation”. “Add me on LinkedIn after the event and you’ll find a link to my SlideShare account where the presentation is posted”.
9. Immediate follow up: Many people will come up to you after the event to ask additional questions and leave you their card because they are interested in your service or product. Collect everyone’s contact information and send an immediate follow up thanking them for attending. This personalizes your audience’s experience and allows you to be top of mind.
10. Collect testimonials: Review the tweets that occurred during your presentation (which can be easily tracked by your hashtag) and take screen shots of posts that can serve as positive testimonials. Testimonials are a great tool to help you get hired for future speaking engagements.
It may not be necessary for you to use every single tip I’ve listed, but I trust you can apply at least a few to enhance your speaking engagements. Stay tuned for even more posts that related to professional speaking!