On Wednesday, October 21st Spitche, MeltinLab, and Eventtia will be joining forces to host Get Together, a summit for marketers seeking new ways to connect, build communities, and create engaging experiences, all online. 

Get Together brings industry leaders and marketing executives for an open dialogue around marketing in today’s current climate with an action-packed day of content, networking, and experiences.

To find out more about the event along with how you can register, please visit our website: https://get-together.eventtia.com/en/get-together

Online event Get Together visual

Over the past few months, with social distancing and travel restrictions, the need for brands to bring people together and engage their communities has never been so important.

If everything had gone to plan, we would have been preparing for the eleventh edition of MeltinLab, but then came COVID and now we find ourselves planning our first virtual event, Get Together.

With Spitche being a community engagement software, we quickly discovered that virtual events and online communities go hand in hand. Why? Because they have a lot in common. These are two forums for connecting, collaborating, and networking that when used together work as an incredibly valuable asset for any brand. 

Yet despite the similarities, engaging an online community and virtual events are still seen as separate entities. There’s no denying that you can run a virtual event without building an online community, but, as you’ll see, that’s missing the point. 

In this post, we show you why that’s the case with five ways that you can leverage virtual events to engage your online community. 

The benefits of virtual events for online communities

Everybody has their definition of an online community but we can all agree that it all depends on one thing – engagement. However, in today’s climate, the problem is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to engage with their community. 

The fact of the matter is that emails, social media, and digital media simply don’t create the same sense of connection and engagement as virtual events do. Virtual events bring people together and they provide the perfect place for people to bond over a common interest. 

This allows brands to connect with their community on a personal level – critical for building long and meaningful relationships, and even more critical considering how difficult it is for brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

So we know the value of virtual events and why it’s a great match for engaging an online community. To take things a step further, let’s look at how you can use assets from virtual events to continue engaging your community. 

Repurpose your content 

The good thing about online events is that you have an abundance of content that can be reused. For example, you can create a smaller video that contains important industry insights that your speakers shared during the online event.

There are plenty of opportunities to keep creating value long after an event is over. However, to get the most of your content, create a hub where all of it can be viewed in one place. This will help you spur engagement and keep the conversation long after the event.

Involve your speakers

Speakers are the most valuable asset to any event. They are what sparks the initial interest and gets your brand recognised. But to take this a step further, make sure to involve them in your online community. 

You could do this by offering an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, or you could ask your speakers to comment in forums. Whichever way you do it, make sure that you do this regularly to keep the conversation going. Not only does extra contact provide a huge benefit to your members but it will also establish your brand as an authority. 

Leverage social media

Virtual events generate a lot of meaningful and valuable content that is waiting to be shared across social media. Whether it’s a short snippet of a keynote or an infographic, this content can be used to educate your community and help them overcome the specific challenges that they’re facing. 

This is going to make your community feel valued and appreciated and is the reason why the content from any virtual event is such a great tool for organically growing your community on social media (especially when compared to paid ads). Building strong relationships, that establish trust and capture interest, will always be more effective than going for the hard sell.

Use multiple formats and platforms

People are looking for different content formats across different platforms, so give your community what they want. To deliver maximum engagement, do your homework by identifying what works best and where. 

First, understand each platform and each format that you’ll be using to engage your community. For example, Facebook Live videos receive around 6x more interactions than recorded video (with there being plenty more tips like this). Then think about your community. Which platform is the most popular? Which posts get the most engagement? Maybe you could try hosting a Q&A session on Instagram. Whatever it is, find the formula that works best for you.

Keep the conversation going

Dialogue with your community needs to be constant. You need to facilitate discussions, contribute to the conversation, and answer questions. That’s why you should use your virtual event as a chance to reconnect with your community.

Asking for feedback will help you gain valuable insight into what your customers think and feel about your brand along with any problems your community might be experiencing. Moving forward, this will give you a clearer understanding of where you need to improve and how you can strengthen your virtual event, your community, and your brand. 

Final thoughts

Creating engaging content and valuable experiences for your attendees doesn’t have to end when your virtual event does. So much of it can be transferred over to building and engaging your online community. And the best part is that you’ve already done the hard part. Give it a go today and find out for yourself. 

Looking for more valuable content on how to build and engage a community?

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Get Together on October 21st for an open dialogue on marketing today and what you need to move forward.