My interest in music extends beyond the average Top-40 chart listener. Before my collection was stolen, I had hundreds upon hundreds of CDs of all different genres that I had built up since I was thirteen. I listen to all different kinds of music, all based on my moods.
Social media is like music. It’s emotional, driven by human interest, and constantly changing with the time. Event planners use social media as a way to entice guests to attend. However, despite the subjective nature of social media, there are mistakes one should avoid in order to make the most of their social media experience.
These are the top five event professional social media mistakes you should avoid.
1. Inconsistent Branding
When it comes to social media, event planners don’t have the mass appeal of music artists to get away with sending inconsistent signals to their audience, especially when it comes to branding.
I am a big fan of Panic! At The Disco. Since their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, was released in 2005 and since then they have gone through many musical style changes. However, Panic! Made their biggest sound change on their second album, Pretty. Odd, which created lots of fan confusion. While this is actually my favorite album from Panic!, lots of fans were estranged by their sudden shift in sound.
(As much as I love “Fever”, nothing on that album can compare to this beautiful song)
Inconsistent logos, colors, and verbiage doesn’t give your audience a sense of “uniqueness” like it does with Panic! At The Disco. Instead it conveys a sense of unprofessionalism.
Their first album was a techno/baroque/alternative album filled with catchy dance songs and non-traditional alternative rock instruments, but their second release scrapped all of that in favor of a completely new sound. Pretty. Odd embraced an acoustic sound that was reminiscent of LSD-fueled Beatles ballads off of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Keeping a tight grip on your branding will ensure an easily embraced social media experience by your audience. Make sure you establish brand style guidelines, including brand color codes, fonts, font sizes, logo files, and posting scripts. This way there will be no question about what ought to be posted and how.
2. Same Messaging on All Channels
In the music business, an artist has to balance creating a recognizable sound while also providing growth and differentiation between albums. While Panic! At The Disco estranged some fans with Pretty. Odd, their subsequent releases have brought back their old sound on some releases and experimented with new sounds on others.
Social media works in a similar fashion. While all social media is about sharing information and connecting people, the way those connections are established is completely different. Facebook is based off of building friendships, Twitter is about spreading ideas to a wide audience of followers, and Instagram is about sharing your life in images. If the purpose of the channel differs, then so too should your messaging on each social media channel.
You shouldn’t (or can’t) post a paragraph of text on Twitter, you shouldn’t rely only on images on your Facebook page, and you aren’t limited to 140 characters on LinkedIn. Be sure to research the strengths and weaknesses of each social media outlet in order to tailor your message for each platform. Not only will your social media pages suffer under this inconsistency, but so will your event turnout when potential attendees start tuning you out.
3. Not Tracking Your Data
One of the most frustrating things about listening to music on cassette tapes when I was younger was the fast forward/play/rewind challenge you would have to complete to find the song you wanted.
You could easily skip tracks on vinyls before cassettes/8-track tapes. Now we have CDs and digital music which makes finding the song you are looking for easier than ever.
Neglecting keep track of your social media data (demographics, best posting times, post types, etc.) while working to grow your likes, shares, followers, retweets, and comments is very similar to seeking a track on a cassette tape. It is a game of trial-and-error with no definite system to determine exactly what point you need to hit. If you aren’t tracking your social media data, your strategy is non-existent.
You need to know which posts perform well, which ones flop, which ones are shared the most, which are commented on the most, and which ones bring the potential attendees to your signup pages.
In order to track your data, you should invest in some sort of social media marketing software such as Crowdfire, < Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck. With these tools, you will be able to track your data, schedule posts, and manage followers/likes across multiple social media platforms.
4. Too Many or Too Few Hashtags
The average song length is three to four minutes long. This originally began as a technological restraint due to the recording and distributing equipment back in the early 20th century. Back in the 1920’s, the Shellac gramophone was only able to hold three to five minutes on each side of the record, which gave birth to the “single.” As vinyl technology improved records could hold more and more music, however the tradition of popular music writing three minute tunes remained as an industry standard.
One unintentional consequence of this industry standard was the general objection to longer songs, except in special circumstances, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” or The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” While there are some notable examples of longer songs breaking into the mainstream, the industry has relegated itself to the three minute standard.
One the other end of the spectrum, underground punk rock bands fought these standards by writing short, fast, and intense songs. Both long ballads and short songs never caught on in the mainstream for the most part, leaving artists with major ambitions to stick to the traditional song length formula.
Hashtagging works similarly and differs based on the social media platform you are engaging. Hashtags are used to create trends and find information based on easily identifiable terms, however each platform has their own rules for making the most of your hashtagging.
Facebook and Twitter both put limits on hashtag effectiveness in their algorithms, limiting posts to two or three hashtags before posts begin to lose engagement. Instagram, on the other hand, rewards multitudes of hashtags. The more the merrier!
Finding out the optimal number of hashtags for your posts leads to higher engagement on your content, in turn leading to better traffic, more shares, more likes, and more attention to your events.
5. Spamming Links
As much as I respect artists attempting to make a name for themselves and get the word out about their music, there is nothing more annoying than spamming links (posting linked content in places that it doesn’t belong for the purpose of gaining clicks) to their material on Soundcloud, especially in comment sections. Perhaps this is just me, but links to Soundcloud pages on YouTube videos tells me one of two things: Either you are not a very good artist or you don’t care enough to learn how to market your material.
I didn’t come to YouTube to “check out your mixtape.”
If your music was as good as you say it is, people would be more willing to help you develop some kind of strategy to spreading your material. Spamming links in the comment section shows that not only do you have no clue how to effectively market your material, but that no one else cares to help you fix your mistakes. That’s just the harsh reality.
Making it in the music industry is more than just writing and recording the material, it’s about knowing how to make that material marketable.
And event planners out to heed this advice as well.
Posting links to your event in comment sections, spamming groups that you never participate in with links, and filling your profiles with only links to your own material are all poor social media mistakes.
Social media is a give-and-take medium; you work with other users to share each other’s material and leverage each other’s audiences. Instead of spamming your links, try reaching out to an relevant blogger with a decent following about guest posting on their blog or about them covering your event. In return, promise to promote their piece and share other relevant material from their pages or website.
Social media is a finicky tool, but if used right it is an invaluable resource for outreach, notoriety, and ideas. As long as you avoid these mistakes, your social media experience will be far more satisfying and beneficial for your event management firm.
Are there any mistakes I should’ve included in my list? Let me know in the comments below!
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