Social Media for Better Meetings

People have been meeting since the beginning of time. From the evolution of early civilization through the Age of Enlightenment to today’s Digital Era, our human need to gather, share information and distribute that message continues. The real difference lies in our communication of these messages. The evolution of mankind can be chronicled through the transition from cave drawings to carrier pigeons to mail service — and today’s go-to communication is social media. So why aren’t you using it in meetings?

Every day, over 11 million meetings take place in the United States alone. And most people hate them, saying that over 50% are a waste of time. Social media solves this issue and actually creates anticipation for the meeting or webinar everyone used to loathe. Here’s how successful meetings and event organizers use social media:

1. Drive Attendance: With Twitter hashtags, Facebook posts, LinkedIn discussion boards and intranet social sites (like Jive), meetings organizers spread the word faster and more effectively with social sharing before the event/meeting. Social media also stretches across the globe, helping organizers reach a brand new audience.

2. Generate Excitement: Social media sites allow for event campaigns at a fraction of the cost, even for internal meetings or webinars. Social sharing plays a huge part as attendees spread the word with their networks and join pre-event discussions. Add a giveaway, and the word spreads even faster.

3. Put a Face with a Name: We’ve all been silent on conference calls or stuck in the back row afraid to ask a question. The power of social media in face-to-face and virtual meetings is that users show their personalities through profile pictures, bios and more. We’re no longer just faceless attendees. And that shy person afraid of raising their hand? Now they have a simple way to put a question out there without all eyes on them.

4. Break Down the Walls of Entry: There is rarely ever 100% attendance for webinars, video conferencing or in-person meetings. By facilitating in-meeting conversations with Twitter hashtags and discussion forums, people who couldn’t attend the event are there virtually. It adds another level of excitement, as well, for attendees who get direct messaged or retweeted by the speaker, especially when they’re halfway across the world.

5. Keep the Conversation Going: For external webinars and events, social media keeps the conversation alive after the meeting. Facilitating internal discussions using an intranet site, like Jive, is VITAL to simplifying the communications process and making your next meeting matter. Project updates become a breeze and people can continue conversations live — instead of email back and forth.

Externally, social chatter and sharing brings more people into the discussion. The next meeting will garner even more attendees, and the next event will be that much more successful.

6. Create a Sense of Belonging: Social Business is a powerful tool — internally and externally. Social media facilitators create a sense of community for its online participants with targeted campaigns and discussion forums — driving brand awareness and customer loyalty. For internal communications, these conversations are proven to generate employee trust, loyalty and better performance.

With social media tracking, the success of the event or meeting is so much more than just who attended, but who shared your message to drive awareness. Because you can track Twitter retweets, Facebook “likes” and LinkedIn views with analytics tools, like HootSuite, you can gauge just how well your message performed — allowing marketers and internal project managers to see if there was a return on the investment.

Social media is more than just a fad; it’s a powerful tool for businesses. Get social to engage your audience, amplify your message and create a true following — and have some fun with your next meeting or event.

How are you including social media in your meetings strategy? Tips and tricks to share with the Learning Space community? Questions about social media?