In 2016, social media content strategist and event marketer, Beatrice Whelan, dropped the very popular, must-read book, Trending: The Complete Guide to Social Media for Events. If you're creating a social media plan for events, using social influences to extend your message, planning your event content calendar, or leveraging social mediums to build your audience reach and get more attendees in the room, then this book is a must have.
During the creation of the book, Beatrice collaborated with Cramer's own SVP of Solutions, Brent Turner. For example, Chapter 6 showcases their in-depth discussion and profiles real-world examples on using social-driven live video to engage audiences.
Since the book's publishing, we have continued to explore the big topics around social media for events. Here is our addendum that explores social media in the context of internal-focused corporate meetings.
Internal, Private Social Media Platforms Have Entered a New Era
For event planners and marketers charged with handling internal meetings and events— for example, leadership meetings, sales kick-offs, and employee conferences—social media can be a high-risk proposition. With confidentiality and attendee privacy top of mind, event marketers have been restricted in their ability to tap into social media. Left on the table was social media’s native ability to drive conversations, amplify messages, encourage collaboration, and nurture affiliations.
Since the dawn of corporate digitization, organizations and their employees have adopted email, internal instant message systems, intranets, and early versions of private social networks. While email remains king, for decades these other platforms have languished and failed to gain adoption, leaving marketers of internal events without a true channels for social media-oriented activities.
In the past two years, there has been a tidal wave of change within organizations. Three trends have emerged and matured in a corresponding fashion:
- Remote teams are the new normal. With greater connectivity and the overall globalization of businesses, from multi-nationals to startups, more and more teams rely on technology to replace face-to-face interactions.
- Messaging becomes the Operating System. Throughout technological history, operating systems have bolted messaging systems on to them (e.g., using iMessage within iOS, AIM on Windows XP). In recent years, technology is shifting: messaging platforms are now the operating system. Platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack with their bots, Telegraph-based Chatbots, and—to a degree—Amazon Alexa, allow their users to bring transactions and co-creation directly into the messaging stream.
- Mainstream social media use has, finally, enabled social media-like platforms to proliferate within organizations. Salesforce Communities, Microsoft's Teams, IBM's Watson Work, and MightyBell are now utilized within an ever growing collection of business. Plus, with the recent release of Workplace by Facebook, people are now able to use familiar social media platforms to converse and collaborate with their co-workers.
Put these trends together, and we have reached a pinnacle where remote teams rely on digital communications, messaging systems are now platforms for business, and social networks are part of a business’s IT fabric.
For internal event marketers, this means that—more than ever before—their audiences have the tools, adoption, and, most importantly, intrinsic behaviors to use private social media platforms at work. In turn, this means, the many of the same strategies we use for public-facing events are not powerful approaches for internal events.
Now, more than ever, as you dig into Trending, we can be assured that the social strategies for external events are now applicable to internal events.
Let's keep the conversation going.
For more from Beatrice Whelan and Trending, visit socialmediaforevents.com