How to promote an event through social media

February 9th, 2009

As we’re gearing up to promote this Thursday’s Twestival and the Marketing Now Conference in April, I’ve been thinking about how best to get the word out about an upcoming event.

Here’s what I’m learning:

Add intimacy to reach and frequency.

Traditional media rely on reach (how many people hear your message) and frequency (how often they hear it). This gets a little annoying (like those TV ads you like the first 5 times, and hate thereafter).

Adding intimacy is something you could even do on traditional media, but few people do. It’s a sense of letting your audience in behind the scenes, so they know and are a part of the event, before it happens.

It could be as simple as me twittering: "Going to the printer’s to pick up the nametags for Thursday’s Twestival. I hope we don’t run out; we printed 100!"

This communicates a subtle reminder of the event, while also communicating other information (there will be nice printed nametags, there will be about 100 people – we hope!). It also lets the audience know what’s happening behind the scenes, and the live, real-time nature of Twitter/Social media somehow helps this.

Get your audience involved

If you’re running the event, maybe you can crowdsource suggestions on different aspects of the event.


  • Better ideas
  • A greater sense of involvement from those who have contributed ideas – and therefore greater likeliness that they’ll attend and encourage others to come.

Sometimes event organisers do this the old-fashioned way, through a competition. But instead of inviting the feedback of potential attendees, they just bribe their way through with a prize.

Sure there’s value in prizes and incentives, but sometimes as an event organiser you can offer great value, without paying a cent. Being heard is increasingly valuable in a busy world where the biggest dollars usually have the loudest voice.

Variations on a theme

Twitter promotion can be like radio advertising – you need to promote your event at different times of the day to reach different audiences. Yet some people will be on there all the time, and since they’re likely to be quite influential you do not want to annoy them.

What to do? Variations on a theme. In other words, don’t just tweet the same old message. Find all its different flavours, and explore them. Are there different speakers? Promote each one and the message they’ll be delivering.

Share your learnings

As you go, maybe write a blog post about … um, "how to promote an event through social media"!

How do you do it?

If you run and promote events, how do you use social media to promote your event? We’d love to see your comments below.

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Even more events – Webstock and Web09

February 9th, 2009

I inadvertently left out two important events from Monday’s roundup: Webstock (Wellington, Feb 16-20) and Web09 (Auckland, 17-18 April).

These events are for the more technically inclined, but there are social media tie-ins.

Webstock has social media consultant Derek Powazek and Flickr’s community manager Heather Champ , as well as New Zealand’s own Russell Brown (publisher of the Public Address blog and community) and Nat Torkington (organiser of KiwiFoo and a regular tech commentator).

Web09’s speakers will be talking about interface design, open APIs, iPhone apps, mobile and creating a great user experience. Lets hope many designers and developers get that message!

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“Tweetup” tonight in Auckland!

February 5th, 2009

On Twitter? Want to be? Want to learn more? In Auckland?

Come along to tonight’s "Tweetup ", starting from 5pm at the Sale Street Brewery .

There’s also the Auckland Twestival , a charity event raising funds for Charity Water , next Thursday at the same venue.

Want to be notified when the next Tweetup is? Join the Auckland Twitter Meetup Group .

Will I see you at either one?

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Simon on BlogTalk Radio, Love Digital

February 4th, 2009

Hear Simon Young on podcasts around the web Our Tactical Transparency giveaway caught the attention of the book’s co-author, John C Havens .

On his Transparency podcast , he interviewed me and Leigh Blackall , our winner, who’s making strides towards transparency at Otago Polytechnic .

Hear the interview here.

I was also interviewed on the topic of blogger outreach on Australia’s leading (only?) marketing podcast, Love Digital . I may be a regular on the podcast, giving a view from across the Tassie. (That’s the Tasman Ocean, for those outside Australasia).

Lovely old radio pic courtesy of Nite_Owl .

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Social media experts invade NZ!

February 2nd, 2009

Marketing Now, April 15-16, Wellington Well it’s not quite an invasion, but there are an awful lot of very smart people hitting New Zealand in the next few months.

Feb 19: The Great Word of Mouth Experiment – Jaffe, Sernovitz

It starts in just 18 days with the Great Word of Mouth Experiment . Details here , but you won’t find registration details. This is an invitation-only event to map the marketing social networks of New Zealand (and, no doubt, further afield).

Speakers for the event are Joseph Jaffe , author of Join the Conversation , and Andy Sernovitz , author of Word of Mouth Marketing .

March 11-12: 2nd Digital Media Summit – Hopkins, Horne and more

In March there’s the 2nd Digital Media Summit , chaired by Australia’s top Social Media bloke Lee Hopkins , and featuring MySpace’s Rebekah Horne. Not to be outdone by the Aussies, there are also some pretty good kiwi speakers and panelists, including Jake Pearce , Helen Baxter and Ben Young .

The conference also features an unconference session, where the passive audience becomes an active contributor to the conversation.

April 15-16 Marketing Now – Brogan, Scott and more

The excitement doesn’t stop, it just gets better. On April 15th and 16th Marketing Now hits Wellington, featuring social media superstar Chris Brogan and David Meerman Scott , author of the The New Rules of Marketing and PR .

This conference has been organised by Siobhan Bulfin , an extraordinary person we met on our recent Wellington trip. She’s been learning social media for a year and already she’s put this conference together. Great skills!

There’s a Twitter-only special for Marketing Now , which is a significant discount , but available only if you’re on Twitter.


Sign up for Twitter , and follow me , Marie or Siobhan (all or any of us). And, using an @ reply, or a direct message, ask us about the Twitter-only special.

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Start 2009 with our email newsletter!

January 30th, 2009

Happy new year (Western and Chinese!) and I hope that by now 2009 is treating you well.

We’re making a few changes this year in how we communicate, realising some people want more information than others.

If you want a short, concentrated update on the social media scene in New Zealand and overseas, sign up for our (roughly) fortnightly email newsletter .

If you want it all, and you want it now, stay subscribed to this blog. We’re going to be turning up the frequency, posting shorter, more focused posts about things as they happen.

And of course there’s iJumpTV , which has been keeping up the schedule through the holidays. There are subscription instructions on the iJumpTV page .

Got any questions on subscribing or unsubscribing? Got any suggestions for topics you’d like to see more of here? Let us know in the comments section below.

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We have a winner!

December 23rd, 2008

Congratulations to Leigh Blackall of Otago Polytechnic for her his winning entry to the Tactical Transparency book giveaway .

Here’s her his comment:

"I should get this book because I work towards developing openness and transparency at Otago Polytechnic, using social media and utility web services to achieve that aim.

It strikes me as pretty unethical that publicly funded education resources and practices end up inaccessible to the public, and managed in a competitive market perspective that results in inefficient duplication.

I suspect that this book will help me argue for openness and transparency in a smarter and more productive way, helping Otago Polytechnic to continue its efforts in inspiring other public education and training institutions to consider new dimensions to their brief."

Thanks Leigh. Other inspiring entries we had were:

"At the end of the day – it all boils down to honesty and open communication. In essence we are re-discovering what it means to communicate – just the model changed.

People are becoming more suspicious of the world and the executives who call the shots.

Would you drink from a glass that hid it’s contents?"

Thanks to Jonathan Hagger from Waiariki for that comment.

And this from independent marketing consultant Jenny Wilmshurst :

Transparency and authentic are vital philosophies to attract valuable customer relationships in an overbearing media rich, fragmented marketing environment and an ever increasingly impersonal world. People crave to be special, unique and heard. Honest business relationships through social media attempt to cut through that.

And this via Twitter:

@Not_PMJohnKey Well Simon, the Not PM of NZ is a big challenge. rht nw I’m so transparent I’m unseen. I’m sure thr are lessons to be lerned

And this one from Dave Sparks brought a smile to my face:

Everyone needs this book.

Don’t see why I’d be so special. :)

Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with me and Leigh on BlogTalkRadio .

Right now, it’s holiday time! We’re on a break until the 12th, but we’ll be keeping you company with our 3-minute book reviews on iJumpTV .

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News: headaches, YouTube live, Aussie conference and what is a community manager?

November 25th, 2008
Image via Wikipedia

In this post:

  1. Motrin gets a social media headache
  2. YouTube Live – the end of broadcast TV?
  3. Aussies (and some kiwis) flock to the Online Social Networking and Business Collaboration World conference (catchy title!) in Sydney.
  4. What is a community manager? Find out, in the latest iJumpTV
  5. Linsk to other news stories

1. Motrin gets a social media headache

The socialmediasphere was abuzz last week about an ad for pain-relief pills Motrin. What was all the fuss about? Judge for yourself:

YouTube Preview Image

If you’re not a mum, or particularly a babywearing mum, you might think it’s pretty innocuous. But these mums didn’t !

In fact, the whole thing caused somewhat of a social media firestorm . Motrin, to their credit, were pretty quick to respond individually to the most vocal bloggers, and took the ad down.

As Neville notes, this thing happened fast. And sometimes after the dust has cleared, the facts don’t seem so black-and-white. Consider this:

  • The most vocal complainants ran businesses around baby wearing. This doesn’t discount their opinion, or the offence they took, but it does explain it as perhaps a little self-interested.
  • This theory sounds even more plausible when you see only twelve comments on the blog of Motrin’s own marketing manager . Twelve? Don’t people want to take their complaint directly to the person who can make a difference? Or is it about making that response public, instead?

Check out my Delicious bookmarks for more in-depth coverage of this interesting case study. And please feel free to comment or ask a question, in the comments section below, or by return email (

2. YouTube Live – the end of broadcast TV?

On Sunday (NZ time) YouTube hosted its much-hyped YouTube Live concert , and was watched by up to 700,000 people around the world.

It was a lot like an MTV concert, except it combined “real-world” celebrities like Joe Satriani and Will.I.Am with web celebrities like Chad Vader and FunTwo (who is currently a student in NZ!).

I had mixed feelings. This is not the YouTube I know; for me it’s all about niches, finding the videos I want to find. But on the other hand, it’s a remarkable celebration of what YouTube has become in two short years. It’s a showcase to the rest of the world that there is a different kind of celebrity. And the involvement of the Joe Satrianis and the Will.I.Am’s shows that it’s not either/or, it’s both/and.

Twitter , as always, provided a conversation as the concert unfolded. Many enjoyed the idea, but not the content. Others, like French Silicon Valley entrepreneur Loic LeMeur , think that “TV is toast . Give it 3 to 5 years and it’s gone”. Change is on it’s way .

Here in NZ, a radio DJ and a cutting edge new media producer agree. Once people have tasted the possibilities of online video, there’s no going back.

Are they overstating the point? Or is he right? You tell me.

3. Aussies (and some kiwis) flock to OSNBC

Online Social Networking and Business Collaboration World is a bit of a mouthful, which is why those who are live-twittering and live-blogging the event simply refer to it as #osnbc .

Judging by the tweets from the conference, day one was a little heavy on the advertising side, and people are looking forward to hearing more about the collaborative possibilities.

You can follow the conference, and read (in reverse chronological order) what’s been happening, here .

4. What is a community manager?

We talk about social media being the meeting place of outbound marketing and inbound customer service. These two sides of the business come together in the role of Community Manager.

In the latest episode of iJumpTV we talk to John Lewis, who’s a community manager for Ponoko . He’s got some really good things to say, including this marvellous quote from Heather Champ , Flickr ’s community manager:

Being a community manager is like being a pinata. People will hit you with sticks, and you need to give them candy.

Here’s the full interview:

5. Other social media news links

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How do you learn about Social Media?

November 15th, 2008
City of Las Vegas
Image via Wikipedia

Want to learn about social media ? You could try our social media learning centre or book us for an intro-in-a-box session , or check out some of these events:

Here at iJump we’re planning some workshops and events for early next year. Stay tuned or better still, tell us what you’d like to see . We’ll be doing a mix of public and in-house workshops, so would love to know what’s on your mind.

Social media itself can make an event last long beyond the event itself.

For example, check out my notes from the recent visits of Professor Robert Lauterborn and Professor Lawrence Lessig . Professor Lauterborn was part of the ANZA event we blogged about last time .

And in the USA recently, there have been three conferences that have been very well blogged and twittered.

The Thin Air Summit in Colorado had some top-notch speakers, including Jeremiah Owyang (one of my favourite bloggers). You can read Jeremiah’s take on the summit, as well as insights from our friend Carol Ross , plus the official summit blog has a whole range of resources, including video.

As we write this, the WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) are running their summit and research symposium in Las Vegas. You can access their papers & presentations , live video and their live blog .

And in Boston the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR, pronounced "snicker") hosted their awards just a couple of hours before I wrote this post, and live twittered it .

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand, I’ve been looking into the relationships brands can have with people through Twitter , and Marie has been exploring online video . You can too!

We also caught up with Episerver ’s Andreas Stjernström, who was travelling the country talking about online communities. Here’s what he said to us:

Want more? Head to iJumpTV to subscribe!

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A week full of online/digital/interactive events in Auckland!

November 3rd, 2008

Just in case you weren’t already really busy (as this time of year tends to be), there are a whole slew of online/digital/interactive-related events in Auckland this week.

On Monday, at the Rendezvous Hotel in Auckland you can catch the ANZA (Association of New Zealand Advertisers) prominent speakers forum from 3-5. The topic is "Welcome to the Future", it’s also supported by The Internet Bureau and CAANZ, and one of the speakers is the always entertaining (and sometimes right) Tim Flattery. Register here .

Also on Monday evening you can hear Professor Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons and a much-revered figure in the online world, for free at Auckland University, from 6:30-8:30. Word on the street is get there early, this guy will be popular. Details here .

Tomorrow evening in Newmarket there’s the Ecademy Thirst Tuesday, where you can meet others who are using Ecademy and want to learn more together. Details .

On Wednesday The Internet Bureau presents "The Last Online Christmas" between 4 and 6pm. They’re looking at the changing face of retail. Details here .

On Thursday at 5:30 the IAB presents its Thirsty Thursday drinks , where APN interactive is promising to make two big announcements. Unfortunately I’ll miss them, because I’ll be at CAANZ ’s launch of the Digital Leadership Group , at their new offices in Parnell.

Finally, on Friday Intergen presents a lunchtime session with Andreas Stjernström talking about the importance of online communities in brand building. Should be good, and I’ll be bringing my video camera!

Andreas is also in Wellington and Christchurch. Details:

Wellington Wednesday 5 November, Level 7, 126 Lambton Quay – 4.30pm-6pm
Christchurch Thursday 6 November, Level 2, 158 Hereford Street, 8am – 9.30am
Auckland Friday 7 November, Level 2, 15 Huron Street Bruce Mason Centre, cnr Hustmere Road and The Promenade, Takapuna – 12.30pm – 2pm

To register for these free events, email .

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