We designed our communication on primarily five channels, namely – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Event Website and Yahoo Group. The case with Yahoo Group was co-incidental. A colleague of mine had been running an India Product Management Forum Yahoo Group with last three years and seeing my efforts as part of the organizing team, he transferred the ownership of the Group with 1700 members to me. 🙂
This was the part of luck you need to have, I guess. However, as we discovered, Twitter was and not surprisingly the least used and effective mechanism of information propagation. The sense was that, the information half-life of a tweet was very limited and unless re-tweeted repeatedly, it was a very ephemeral medium.
Experience on Facebook
Facebook, as we discovered was interesting. A lot of visitors “read” the information, though they generally use the linked / website registration mechanism to express interest. However, the information “half-life” was much higher and there was a lot of word of wall advertising that kept the shelf life of information long enough on the “Wall” circuit. In fact, as we where monitoring website hits, we realized that there was a distinct correlation between Facebook chatter and hits on the website.
Curious case of LinkedIn
LinkedIn’s case was interesting. A lot of folks who registered on event website also “registered” on LinkedIn event site. In our opinion, this public announcement of their participation was really very useful for encouraging “peer” level participation. Looking back at the registration trail, it was participation by clans of similarly profiled individuals. If I am a student who is interested in making a career in product management, and I show my interest in participation for the event, it was highly likely; my act of doing so would invite people of similar profile to do the same.
Yahoo Groups – Can really surprise you!
Announcement on Yahoo Group was moderately effective. As is the case with most groups, the initial chatter slowly and steadily dies down and eventually even the emails consciously slip from the radar. And in this case it was a three year old group. However in this case, it was highly useful in terms of inviting participation from marketing companies. For them it was vehicle for reaching out to their audience. Most of the sponsorship request for the event came from this channel.
Event Website – The official link
There is nothing extraordinary about the fact that event websites are regarded as the official source of information. Every chatter from twitter, conversations over Face book, announcements over LinkedIn or yahoo groups ultimately have to be verified at the event website. This really means that the content provided on the site has to be always connected with the other channels. This is also true vice versa, any major updates as part of the event communication should be synchronized back through the social media channels.
For the case of product management conclave, it was pretty much a static content for the entire duration of the event and hence it was very much non-event full site. The most important part of the site was registration and for all that matters continued to serve up to its requirement in a pretty remarkable manner.
So in the end, the entire effort was as we realized helped us reach far and wider way beyond that was possible through conventional mechanism. It was really a coming of age event marketing and we hope to refine and re tune our efforts for successive events. And that would be a story for another day, another time. Adios!