Unleash the Lightning Bolt
Social Driverís Anthony Shop provided a unique look at how
to use social media to elevate the success of future events, but his methodologies
could be used for any association initiative.
By Kristy Cole
The adage "a picture is worth a thousand words"
was never more apparent than when Anthony Shop, chief strategy officer and
co-founder at Social Driver, took the stage at the closing session of this
yearís AM&P Annual Meeting. The big screen showed a photo of the Pope being
inaugurated in 2005 in front of a packed room of onlookers. Impressive. But it
was no comparison to the photo of the 2013 inauguration photo, which was ablaze
with the lights from smartphones and tablets raised in the air to take photos and
videos ĖĖ any evidence people could capture of the experience.
I didnít need Shop to explain his point. I got it. Our world
has completely changed. The way we consume and share experiences and knowledge
has evolved with the technologies that allow us to connect continuously. Professional
associations are not immune to being affected by these changes, and we all need
to take a serious look at social media strategies.
Whatís the best (and easiest) thing to do? Thatís when he told
us to unleash the lightning bolt.
We canít expect to have something as newsworthy as the Popeís inauguration as
our starting point (well, the NFL might <wink>), but we all have natural
energy building around our events, publications, etc. Thatís where we should start
our social media buzz. Get the energy bouncing enough to create a lightning-bolt
Shop then dove into ways our messages can be controlled. They can be:
- Paid ó time/space purchased on someone elseís platform
- Earned ó coverage created by others (media/influencer
- Owned ó messages within a channel you control (email,
intranets, blogs, etc.)
- Shared ó conversations anyone can access and contribute to
(social media platforms)
Your goal is to make sure the momentum continues, so revisit
each of these message types as your event date (or other initiative launch)
A Case Study
I neglected to mention the title of this session was "Communicating
This Conference.Ē Shop and his team ran the social media efforts for this
yearís AM&P Annual Meeting and EXCEL Awards Gala, and the results were in.
For the AM&P Annual Meeting, social media was used to:
- Drive attendance. There was record attendance at this yearís
EXCEL Awards Gala.
- Develop intimate relationships. People had been engaged with
social media leading up to the event, so they were able to put faces with names
and hit the ground running.
- Amplify the organizationís reach. AM&P reached over
50,000 new users by giving people a window into what they were missing.
- Redefine success. There was a new focus on how to gain
permission to be part of someone elseís posts.
Harness the Energy
Think about your next upcoming event. How many people will
attend or exhibit? You already have that number of people engaged, so why not
harness that energy and build momentum with social media? The more energy
molecules you release, the higher the chance youíll see lightning with new and
better informed users.
Anthony Shop presented a unique look at how to use social
media to elevate the success of future events, but I think his methodologies
could be used for any upcoming initiative. Sticking around for the last session
of the day was well worth it. I definitely left with some sparks to ignite my
Fun fact: The AMP14 Twitter hashtag had about 300 uses. With
this yearís amplified social media efforts, the AMP15 hashtag had more than
Cool new technology: One of the conference attendees was
using Meerkat to stream a live, high-quality video of this session from her
phone. When you start recording, a link appears on Twitter that allows people
to watch the stream in close to real-time. I havenít tried it (yet), but I
think weíll be seeing more of this technology in the future.
a communications specialist at the International Legal Technology Association.
Association Media & Publishing warmly thanks her for covering this Annual
Meeting session for the members who were unable to attend.