Kiosks & Stickybits: Event-Based Social Media

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conf_smallADOTAS – If you’re like me, you go to a lot of events. Maybe it’s a conference or meet-up for business purposes, or maybe it’s a concert or a fundraiser. Regardless of the venue, there is a place and a purpose for social media.

I see a massive implementation of social media at marketing events wherever I go — the last marketing conference I was at had a Twitter #hashtag, their Twitter address on the lanyard and they had contacted me about their Facebook Fan Page in response email when I signed up.

What I don’t see enough of is on-site social media calls-to-action or kiosks at business conferences or at festivals. Since it’s summer and the season of the festival, I wanted to share five effective strategies for event-based social media marketing that I have seen in action or used with my own projects. Please share your own experiences in the comments.

1. Facebook Kiosks. So you have a Facebook Fan Page for your event or for the organization throwing your event. Excellent. But once people arrive, is there a way for them to “Like” your page while they are there enjoying the festivities? Or are you expecting them to go home afterward and find you once the fun is over? Set up a kiosk at your Information booth so people can sign in, upload pictures they’ve just taken and “Like” your page.

2. Facebook Incentives. This is taking the kiosk idea to another level. Get a few brand ambassadors with smartphones to hang out at your beer tent or merchandise booth. Have them offer anyone in line (you know, that line that is 20 people long?) $1 off their beer or $5 off their T-shirt if they sign in to Facebook and “Like” your Fan Page. Now that is a distribution list.

3. Twitter Displays. It’s cheap and it’s fun. It’s a twist on the old trick of creating a stand-up display with a character whose face is cut out — you know, the one where the kids stand behind it and their parents take their picture.

For this display, create a banner or cut-out character with a digital display in a cartoon-like speaking bubble. Stream the twitter updates with your event’s #hashtag on the digital display so it looks like the character is saying it. Fun for everyone, and you just may end up trending on Twitter.

4. Stickybits. You probably haven’t hear of Stickybits. It’s a simple concept. They print stickers with personalized barcodes that you can put on anything. Anyone with a smartphone and the Stickybits app (free) can take a picture of the barcode and download whatever you’ve set up. This is a great way to be ahead of the curve and get customized information out there.

5. Foursquare. You may have heard of it, maybe not. It’s a location-based social network. It’s growing. They allow venues and events to offer special deals through their service, and you’ll be hip and ahead of the curve if you do that for yours. And you’ll get a lot of love on the rest of the social networks.

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