Ditch the Booth – Event Marketing ROI is on Twitter

This is written by Stephanie Dobyns. Stephanie Dobyns is the Director of Digital Marketing for Dynamic Signal and has over 10 years of marketing experience.  She’s an advocate for startups having supported the marketing efforts of a business incubator and advised early-stage founders on strategy and execution.  She was included in “30 Marketing Technology Experts to Watch” by Kapost and is highly engaged in San Francisco’s startup culture

I’ve worked within event marketing my entire career.  However, it was only recently that I was able to create a lead generation hack that produced more opportunities and closed deals than traditional event follow-up strategies.  By taking the logic of event marketing and moving it onto social media, I was able to create a new marketing methodology that combined Twitter hashtags and Socedo integration with social selling.

As marketers, when we think about event marketing we focus on a raw list of attendees and booth visitors.  This list is full of leads that will prove the ROI of the event and give us some insight into whether or not to “rinse and repeat.”  The best prospects at events are those we have conversations with.  Discussing a problem and offering a solution brings a prospect further down the buyer’s journey and more likely to take a phone call the following week.  So we think to ourselves, “How can we create more of these conversations?”  The answer is social media.

During a conference, it’s common to see hundreds of attendees tweeting pictures of slides, sharing quotes, or discussing strategy.  All of these tweets contain the same hashtag creating the perfect opportunity for engagement.  Enter the Social Media Manager.  As the social lead for Dynamic Signal, I would follow the hashtag for every event we were at.  It was my goal to target prospects and engage in conversation in hopes that I could steer them to our booth or introduce them (via Twitter) to my teammates who were in attendance.  For the most part, my experiment would fail because of time constraints.  People tend to fill up their agenda with panels, dinners, happy hours, or networking leaving little time to swing by our booth or meet for a demo.

There’s a better solution and it lies within post-event outreach.  Here’s how it works.

Step 1: Find the event hashtag

Nearly all conferences or seminars have a hashtag to encourage attendees to share on social media.  Plug this hashtag into the Socedo filter along with other marketing qualified lead (MQL) characteristics like job titles or location.  The tool will immediately populate with prospects who are commenting about the event, opening the door for engagement.

Step 2:  Approve MQLs

Begin approving tweets within Socedo from profiles that meet your sales team’s criteria.  Socedo will populate your CRM with the prospect’s name, title, company, email, LinkedIn profile, Twitter profile, company size, revenue, location and more.  A completed activity will automatically be logged with the prospect’s tweet details.

Step 3: Personalize the Follow Up

After an event, the marketing department will be ready to launch a post-event email drip campaign, none of which will be personalized with the experience the attendee had.  This is where Socedo shines.  Instead of launching a generic email drip campaign to the entire attendee list, target those tweets pushed by Socedo first to give the sales team an opportunity for a personalized follow-up.  Socedo provides a link to the tweet so the sales team can personalize the outreach and engage directly on Twitter.  This adds a level of authenticity that is rarely used by sales people but has a higher likelihood of converting.

By including Socedo in our post-event marketing strategy, our team doubled the amount of opportunities generated in comparison to traditional post-event outreach.  This tactic is now part of our overall event marketing strategy.  Our sales team has even initiated their own efforts to follow hashtags for any event in our industry, allowing them to locate opportunities where we aren’t sponsoring or attending.  With this strategy, we no longer have to be at every event to pull in opportunities which dramatically reduces our team’s efforts and our marketing budget.

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