Social media usage varies throughout event process (Source: eMarketer)

Social media provides marketers with an opportunity to promote events before, during and after they take place. A September 2014 study by FreemanXP and Event Marketing Institute took a deeper look at how marketers were using social throughout the event process.

US marketers were most likely to use social pre-event to increase awareness, cited by nearly nine in 10. Driving attendance and providing event details such as schedules, information and news were also main use cases. Just under half of respondents were focused on building engagement among their social communities. Facebook was the most effective social media platform during this stage, while Twitter and LinkedIn ranked second and third.

After event kickoff, marketers were most likely to promote specific event elements and features via social (73% of respondents). Posting and sharing photos (55%) and content (50%) were also popular, while around one-third of marketers leveraged social to promote education and content or contests and giveaways, amplify product announcements, or measure and assess the experience and feedback. During events, Twitter proved to be the most effective social platform, followed by Facebook and Instagram.

The event doesn’t end once the final session is over. Social media marketers focused on reliving highlights of the experience and leveraged influencers. More than four in 10 provided a summary of event content, while 36% focused on the future, promoting their next events. Here, Facebook returned to the top spot for most effective social network, with YouTube and Twitter at No. 2 and No. 3.

November 2014 research by Regalix found that among business-to-business (B2B) marketing executives in North America, social media was used most during events, cited by 91% of respondents, while 79% used the channel for pre-event promotion and 52% for post-event efforts. Overall, 87% of B2Bs used social media to promote events—the third most popular channel—and it ranked as the second most effective channel for event promotion, tying with websites at 68% of respondents.

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