In the realm of event planning and management, one term that’s been gaining significant traction is the “Social Wall.” But what exactly is a social wall, and why is it becoming a must-have for modern events?
A social wall, also known as a social media wall, is a digital display that collects and showcases social media posts related to a specific hashtag, keyword, or account in real-time. This collection can include text, images, videos, and more, from platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, among others. The wall can be displayed on a large screen at your event venue or embedded into your event app or website, creating a vibrant and engaging centerpiece.
Social walls are proving to be crucial for events due to several reasons. Firstly, they leverage the power of user-generated content, which is known to be more trusted and engaging than branded content. By showcasing attendees’ posts, you not only make them feel seen and heard, but you also provide authentic content that can influence other attendees.
Secondly, they promote real-time engagement. Attendees can see their posts displayed almost instantly on the social wall, encouraging them to post more and interact with the event on social media. This not only increases your event’s social media presence but also extends its reach beyond the venue, as followers of the attendees get to see these posts.
Finally, social walls can also serve as an effective tool for real-time feedback. Attendees can share their thoughts, questions, or concerns via their social media posts, which can then be addressed promptly by the event organizers.
In essence, social walls are an innovative solution to increase audience engagement, extend event visibility, and enrich the overall event experience. However, to unlock their full potential, they need to be used correctly and strategically, which is what we will be exploring in this guide.
What is a Social Wall?
A social wall is a dynamic digital platform that aggregates and displays social media content from various platforms based on specific criteria such as hashtags, keywords, or accounts. It serves as a live feed of user-generated content that is related to an event, brand, campaign, or topic.
The content on a social wall typically includes posts from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms, and it can feature text, photos, videos, and links.
The functionality of a social wall is rather straightforward. It uses APIs from different social media platforms to gather posts based on the specified criteria. These posts are then displayed in a visually appealing and interactive format that can be customized to match the branding or theme of the event.
This live feed can be projected on screens at the event venue, embedded on an event website, or integrated into an event mobile app. Most social wall tools also offer a moderation feature that allows event organizers to filter out inappropriate or irrelevant content before it gets displayed.
How a social wall adds value to events
Social walls add value to events in several ways:
1. Boost Audience Engagement: By showcasing attendees’ posts on a big screen, social walls make attendees feel valued and included, encouraging them to engage more on social media.
2. Extend Event Visibility: As attendees share posts with the event hashtag, their followers get to see these posts, effectively increasing the event’s reach and visibility.
3. Facilitate Real-Time Interaction: Social walls provide a platform for real-time interaction, where attendees can share their thoughts, questions, or experiences and see them reflected immediately.
4. Generate Authentic Content: The user-generated content displayed on social walls serves as authentic and relatable content that can influence attendees’ perception of the event or brand.
5. Collect Valuable Insights: By analyzing the content on the social wall, event organizers can gain valuable insights into attendees’ preferences, opinions, and concerns, helping them make data-driven decisions and improvements.
The Importance of Social Wall in Events
1. Enhancing Attendee Engagement:
One of the most significant benefits of a social wall is its ability to enhance attendee engagement. It works by fostering a sense of community and connection among attendees. As they see their posts and photos displayed in real-time at the event, they feel more involved and excited.
It creates a sense of anticipation as they wait for their post to appear on the wall and see others react to it. This active participation keeps attendees engaged throughout the event, not just during the main highlights.
Moreover, a social wall encourages attendees to generate more content about the event on their social media accounts, which keeps the momentum going even after the event ends. This ongoing engagement helps to strengthen the connection between attendees and the event or brand, resulting in a more memorable experience.
2. Boosting Event Visibility and Reach:
A social wall is a powerful tool for extending the visibility and reach of your event. Every post that appears on the wall is also visible to the followers of the person who posted it.
This essentially means that your event is getting exposure to a wider audience, beyond just those physically present at the event. The more attendees post about the event on their social media accounts, the wider your reach becomes.
This increased visibility can have several benefits. It can help attract more attendees to future events, raise awareness about your brand, and even attract potential sponsors or partners. In short, a social wall acts as a powerful marketing tool that can amplify the impact of your event.
3. Encouraging Real-Time Interaction and Feedback:
Social walls provide an interactive platform that encourages real-time interaction and feedback. Attendees can share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences right as they happen, creating an ongoing dialogue about the event. Event organizers can monitor these posts to get a sense of how the event is being received and respond to any questions or concerns in real-time.
Furthermore, real-time interaction on the social wall can also stimulate discussions and interactions among attendees. They can respond to each other’s posts, share their perspectives, and even initiate connections or collaborations. This dynamic interaction enriches the event experience and can lead to valuable networking opportunities.
Top Tips for Using a Social Wall in Events
A. Choosing the Right Content:
The content you display on your social wall plays a significant role in capturing attendees’ attention and promoting engagement. User-generated content, which includes posts created by your attendees, is particularly valuable because it’s authentic, relatable, and trusted by other attendees.
Therefore, encouraging attendees to share their experiences, thoughts, and perspectives about the event can generate a wealth of engaging content for your social wall.
However, it’s not just about quantity but also about quality. Make sure the content you display is relevant to your event and your audience. This might involve curating the content to some extent, to ensure that it aligns with your event’s theme and goals.
B. Customization and Branding:
A social wall isn’t just a tool for aggregating social media content; it’s also an extension of your event’s brand. Therefore, it’s crucial to customize the look of your social wall to match your event’s branding. This includes things like colors, fonts, logos, and other design elements.
Some social wall tools also offer more advanced customization features, like the ability to create your layout or add custom CSS. You can use these features to create a social wall that not only aligns with your branding but also stands out and captures attention.
C. Using a Moderation Feature:
Not all content created by attendees may be suitable for display on your social wall. This is where the moderation feature comes in handy. It allows you to review and approve content before it gets displayed, preventing inappropriate or irrelevant content from making its way to the wall.
When moderating content, it’s essential to strike a balance between maintaining quality and preserving authenticity. Remember, the aim isn’t to censor negative feedback but to prevent content that doesn’t contribute to the event in a constructive manner.
D. Incorporating a Variety of Media Types:
A social wall that only displays text can become monotonous over time. To keep your social wall engaging and dynamic, incorporate a variety of media types, including images, videos, GIFs, and emojis.
Visual content like images and videos can make your social wall more visually appealing and engaging. However, it’s essential to ensure that these media types are displayed correctly and don’t distort the layout of your social wall.
E. Promoting Your Social Wall:
For your social wall to be successful, attendees need to be aware of it and encouraged to contribute content. You can promote your social wall in various ways, such as mentioning it in your event communications, displaying instructions at the event venue, and incentivizing posts through contests or giveaways.
Remember, the more attendees contribute to the social wall, the more engaging and vibrant it becomes. So don’t hesitate to encourage and remind attendees to share their experiences on social media.
F. Measuring Success with Analytics:
Like any other aspect of your event, it’s important to measure the success of your social wall. Most social wall tools offer analytics that can help you track key metrics, such as the number of posts, the reach of your event hashtag, the most engaged attendees, and more.
These insights can help you understand what worked and what didn’t, allowing you to refine your social wall strategy for future events. Moreover, they can also provide valuable information about your attendees’ preferences and behavior, which can inform other aspects of your event planning.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Social Wall in Events
1. Not Moderating Content:
One of the biggest mistakes event organizers make is not moderating the content displayed on the social wall. Without moderation, there is a risk of displaying inappropriate or irrelevant content, which could detract from the event experience or even damage the event’s reputation.
Ensure you have a system in place to review and approve content before it goes on the social wall.
2. Ignoring Aesthetics:
While the primary function of a social wall is to aggregate and display social media content, it’s crucial not to ignore its aesthetic aspects.
A social wall that isn’t visually appealing or doesn’t match the event’s branding can stick out like a sore thumb and detract from the overall event experience. Invest time in customizing your social wall to ensure it complements your event’s aesthetic.
3. Failing to Promote the Social Wall:
A common mistake is failing to promote the social wall adequately before and during the event. If attendees aren’t aware of the social wall or don’t understand how to contribute to it, you won’t see much engagement.
Make sure you clearly communicate about the social wall in your event promotions, announcements, and signage.
4. Not Incorporating a Variety of Media:
Relying solely on text-based posts can make your social wall dull. Incorporate a variety of media types, including photos, videos, and GIFs, to make your social wall more engaging and dynamic.
5. Not Tracking Performance:
Not tracking the performance of your social wall is a missed opportunity. By analyzing metrics like the number of posts, reach, and engagement, you can gain valuable insights that can help you improve your social wall strategy for future events.
6. Lack of Interaction:
If you simply display posts on your social wall but don’t interact with them, you’re not making full use of your social wall’s potential. Take the time to respond to posts, answer questions, and acknowledge feedback. This not only enhances engagement but also shows attendees that you value their contributions.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your social wall adds value to your event, enhances engagement, and provides a memorable experience for your attendees.
In the digital age, using a social wall at events can significantly enhance attendee engagement, boost visibility, and foster a dynamic and interactive environment. However, to ensure success, it’s important to consider factors like the type of content displayed, the aesthetics of the social wall, and how it’s promoted.
Also, moderation and interaction with the content, as well as measuring the performance, play a significant role. By following the tips outlined in this guide and learning from real-world success stories, event organizers can maximize the benefits of using a social wall at their events.