Event Marketing and Social Media

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All of the major social media channels are utilized by the International Spa Association. The ISPA posted a range of content on its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and blog platform prior to the International SPA Association 2013 Conference & Expo, during the event and a bit after the event. I could see the semblance of a strategy being utilized prior to the event to get people excited about attending. Blogs were written and photos were posted that focused on packing, arriving and setting up the event.

During the event, only Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were utilized. This is typical behavior because they are the platforms that can be posted to easily while on the expo floor. After the expo ended, there was little in the way of wrap up content.

FACEBOOK

Prior to the show, the ISPA made a lot of Facebook posts. It started even prior to the month of October. It was promoting booth numbers, conference guide, expo app etc. Within a week of the event blog posts were being promoted, Instagram photos were being shared, registration information highlighted and of course ticket promotions. There was only one sponsor message that I saw and it was made weeks prior to the event.

The ISPA shared a ton of information during the expo and I almost felt it was too much. A lot of its updates could’ve been consolidated or been used only on Twitter. Facebook isn’t a platform where people want to see a lot of posts in one day and it went overboard. There were 13 posts the first day. I think there was a lack of strategy for Facebook and the ISPA felt it had to post everything on this platform. The type of posts it was making centered on events they were hosting at the expo, silent auction information and award recipients.

Spa-6After the expo ended, the ISPA used Facebook to post a few wrap up messages. A few different tactics were utilized. One message focused on wishing people safe travels and it received the most comments post event. Another great post encouraged attendees to continue talking about the expo on Instagram using the event hashtag. Asking for engagement usually provides better results. It also thanked its sponsors with a general message.

My biggest complaint would be the lack of images. The only images being used were those fed in through Instagram. All of the other posts were texts and links and that is all very boring. That doesn’t spark engagement or draw attention. Photo galleries could’ve been created from events and booths that were participating in the expo. Those photos would’ve been shared by the companies featured for additional promotion. Hashtags were also only used through half of the posts. It wasn’t very consistent with the messaging.

TWITTER

Spa-7The messages being pushed out on Twitter were the same as Facebook. ISPA must’ve linked the two. The only addition to Twitter was retweets throughout each day. It did a great job of interacting that way. The posts consisted of event information, asking questions and promoting award winners. The only way a booth was promoted was through a retweet.

Prior to the expo, there were ticket messages, photos from Instagram and a lot of see your soon messages. I think reaching out to attendees was a real strength to get them excited to attend the expo and encourage them to spread the message.

The ISPA kept up the same tactic during the event. It utilized the hashtag consistently and asked questions. I wish there would’ve been more product and booth promotion. I’m not sure the companies that had booths got much out of the ISPA’s promotions, other than a few retweets.

After the event a few tweets were sent out by the ISPA. They were consistent with the messages also going up on Facebook. Hashtags were prominent to help continue to drive impressions around the event as it wrapped up.

INSTAGRAM

The ISPA utilized Instagram well. Prior to the show it focused on event planning, packing and set up. The pre-show photos received a lot more interaction than anything during the show. It was a great way to get attendees excited for what lied ahead. A big positive was it utilized the conference hashtag in each post and set it up so the photos automatically posted to Facebook and Twitter.

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I don’t think this platform was utilized very well during the show. Booths and products could’ve been highlighted in a way to send traffic to that booth. Most of what it focused on during the show was the silent auction, exercising and a final night party. Its offerings were slim and the content it had at its fingertips during the conference wasn’t utilized. A big opportunity was missed to urge others to use the same hashtag and share attendee photos. Also nothing has been posted since the show.

BLOG

Spa-3I felt the ISPA utilized its blog in a fun way before the show. It created two posts that focused on what to pack for the expo. This was great content that was promoted through most of its other social platforms. A week before the event, no other content was posted. I understand it would be hard to write a blog while busy at the event but posts could’ve been preplanned or it could’ve asked for guest bloggers to contribute.

PINTEREST

spa-5The ISPA’s Pinterest page hasn’t received much attention in regard to the Expo that was taking place. Two videos and two blogs were pinned to its page prior to the event but that was it. I don’t know that Pinterest is an easy platform to utilize for a live event but there could’ve been a few more ideas utilized. They could’ve pinned images of the resort where the expo was taking place or pinned the products being showcased at the expo. A bit more attention should be paid to this space moving forward.

YOUTUBE

When it comes to YouTube, ISPA isn’t doing much of anything. There was one video prior to the show that could be considered event promotion. It was a chairman’s update. It would’ve been very hard for ISPA to film videos at the conference, edit them and get them posted to YouTube. Maybe it utilized this year’s expo to gather new video feature content that it can use heading into 2014 and promoting the next expo.

IMC

In regard to integrated marketing communications, the ISPA carried consistent images and messaging across its social media platforms, website and blog. I found the magazine it creates called Pulse and an Exposure Guide that was an extension of its expo campaigns, contributing to IMC.

It maintained consistent images and messaging through social media by tying the platforms together. All Instagram images were pushed to Twitter and Facebook. The posts made to Facebook and Twitter were the same and most likely were only being made once but pushed to both platforms.

It also doesn’t do a great job of promoting other social media platforms from each other. The only platform I saw promoted from another area of social media was Instagram.

HIGHLIGHT

The highlight for me from all the posts was the way the ISPA promoted its initial planning blog posts throughout its social media platforms. It took its blog content and utilized it on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. It was content that attendees could benefit from.

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