Using social media is a great way to increase the attendance and engagement of students at your events. When I consult with colleges and universities, event promotion is one of the top ways in which social media is used. Unfortunately, however, many institutions are still using social media as just a replacement for the flier. Social media can do so much more. At its best, it becomes an integrated feature of events and allows for a broader impact beyond those who are physically in attendance.
The following infographic provides an excellent overview about how you can go beyond just using social media as a replacement for the flier and how to build engagement before, during and after the event. It was originally produced by the now defunct Eventility, but the concepts remain solid whether you were to use their event solution or another. (Look to Evite and Eventbrite for similar features.) The key take away here is how to use video, hashtags, and social sharing as a means of enhancing the event experience.
Of course, I recognize that executing all of these steps requires time. You may not need to add all of these bells and whistles to every event, but for the high-profile ones, it may make sense. When planning your social media engagement, reflect on the nature and goals of the event in deciding what you wish to do. Social media engagement should be always be goal driven.
Also recognize that this will take time the first time you do something like this. As you learn, however, this will get easier and easier. It will become integrated into your workflow to the extent that you will barely notice it anymore. You are culture building amounts your staff but you are also culture building with your students. Don’t be discouraged if there is less engagement than you’d like the first time out of the gate. As students learn that this type of engagement is expected, and they understand the ways in which they can engage in it, it will increasingly become second nature.