Socially savvy at Sibos 2014
It’s the final countdown. For Sibos 2014 that is. 100 days to go before the who’s who of financial services gather in Boston to discuss and debate the hottest issues in the industry with over 7,000 other delegates from across the globe. Here at Cognito we are busy purchasing plane tickets, booking hotel rooms, and also getting our social media house in order.
Much more than an online touch point for Cognito, social media is an integral part of our marketing toolbox— improving our online brand presence and SEO, increasing our share of voice, enhancing our ability to gather industry insights and news updates, enabling us to partake in a variety of valuable conversations, and providing us with a means of engaging with partners and prospects in a space that is refreshingly, well, social.
In a recent interview, Victor Abbeloos, a 30-year Sibos veteran and SWIFT employee picked “community” as his top word to describe the Sibos event. Considering the conference’s emphasis on knowledge sharing, industry innovation and networking, social media provides a golden opportunity for companies and individuals attending Sibos – or those who simply want to be a part of the Sibos conversation occurring online.
The financial services industry may not top the list for speedy social adoption. But it’s catching up. Fast. And that is all the more reason to get socially savvy and differentiate yourself from the pack.
Here are our top tips for using social media to empower your employees and leverage your company’s presence at Sibos—both at the event and in the months running up to it.
1. Get your social house in order.
Regardless of the maturity or activity level of your company’s social media strategy, it is vital that your brand is represented consistently across all owned channels. Prospects and other interested parties will reach you by whatever channel is most convenient to them—not to you. So, for every touch point—be it Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Instagram— be sure all logos, design and copy create a coherent “face” for your brand. Include a clear “about” section with additional contact details so visitors can navigate your channels with ease. No channel should be a dead end.
2. Engage with Sibos on social.
Everyday the Sibos team is posting content, sharing news updates and engaging with conference attendees, exhibitors and speakers—all on their social channels. Stay in the loop by following their LinkedIn showcase page or have your questions answered via Twitter. Or you can take your ideas to the Sibos LinkedIn group where you can discuss relevant topics with Sibos enthusiasts. Remember: by engaging Sibos in conversation, you are increasing your digital footprint within the vast Sibos community. (For example, one retweet by @Sibos and your own handle receives over 4,000 potential impressions!)
3. Plan content for the long game.
Take time to explore Sibos’s content, note the key themes of the conference agenda and develop a content plan around the topics that are relevant for your company. You could create a series of thought pieces in anticipation of one of the programme items, such as the Technology Forum. Consider what resources you will have to report live from the event—employees on the ground, speakers flying in—and provide them with the tools they need to share updates (e.g. wireless hardware, author access to your social channels, a dashboard community management tool). Finally, after the conference, compile your key learnings and reactions to be shared with your community (internal and external).
4. Talk the talk, walk the walk.
Tap into conversations (and make them more searchable) by incorporating Sibos hashtags and keywords into your content. The official conference hashtag is #Sibos but you can also use hashtags for specific topics such as #IM or #compliance. Utilize @mentions to reach out to speakers, exhibitors or other delegates on Twitter and create lists of relevant Twitter handles ahead of time so you don’t waste a moment browsing for the right one. In the past, Sibos conferences have featured live feed projections in the conference venue. So if you include #Sibos or @Sibos in a tweet, it is very likely you will end up on the big screen! Additionally, you can advertise your attendance in advance by adding a “See you at Sibos” button on your website with your booth information or by incorporating a similar reminder into email signatures.
5. Look alive!
Social media is so much more exciting when it is timely and live. If you are attending the conference, use social channels to share your unique and valuable experience with your extended community. Remember, Sibos is exclusive and your social followers will likely appreciate and engage with any unique conference content you share. Provide a “behind the scenes” look at Sibos by tweeting verbatim and insights heard on the floor or sharing photos of everything from key speaker slides to the clam chowder at lunch – #Boston!
6. It’s always personal.
Sibos may feature branded stands, some of which are the size of small towns, but at the end of the day it's your people who are the face of your company at Sibos. Networking is key, and it is important that employees are equipped with the tools they need to network efficiently and effectively. If you are confident in the company social media policy you have in place, encourage personnel to use their own social media channels as a tool for reaching out and making connections. And at the very least, ensure that the LinkedIn profiles of all your Sibos representatives are up to date!
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