Travel brands host various events and meetups to bring together influential people associated with the industry. This gives them an opportunity to network with them and leverage their following for spreading the word about the brand. Not only that but such events bring them meaningful input about the brand and industry. We guide you on how you can get the most out of your bloggers meet.
If you are a travel brand, there are good chances that you have hosted a bloggers meet sometime in the past. Even if you haven’t, you must have come across the news of some other brand hosting a meetup and maybe even considered doing the same. Such events are a great way to connect with people and take your brand to a large number of audience. Bloggers also love to be a part of such meetups because they get to meet like-minded people, expand their network and learn from other people’s experiences. So clearly it is a win-win situation for both the parties involved. But there is lot more involved in hosting a bloggers meet than just inviting some people for a chat over lunch at a fancy hotel. Here are some pointers to consider before you host your next bloggers meet.
(Image: writing by pedrosimoes7/ CC BY 2.0)
Get bloggers involved
That sounds a little obvious, isn’t it? Getting bloggers involved is the whole idea behind bloggers meet but that isn’t exactly what we mean here. We are suggesting that you get bloggers involved even in the planning process. Going out trying to figure everything by yourself is a definite way to burn your time and energy. You might have some blogger friends, guest bloggers who write for your website or maybe bloggers you know from the past bloggers meets. They can provide useful inputs for the meet you are planning to host and might also help you with the list of invitees.
What’s your bloggers’ mix?
You are a travel brand and cater to travellers (and tourists), so inviting a good number of travel blogger makes perfect sense. But you need to make sure that your list includes other types of bloggers as well. That fancy restaurant in your hotel would get more love from a food blogger than a travel blogger. Who knows, a mention on their blog might bring in more local customers rushing to your restaurant. Maybe you can learn a thing or two to serve your customers better. Even when it comes to travel bloggers, you will come across different kinds. Some might have a strong following on Instagram, some might have a YouTube channel with amazing videos while some might be experts at wordplay. Make sure you don’t miss out on the relevant ones for your brand.
Marketing bloggers can provide inputs on the serious side of your business. They take the market trends seriously and associating with them would definitely do some good to your brand. Some of them might be avid travellers too. Travel and photography go together so obviously some photo bloggers have to be a part. You don’t want every blogger to write the same thing about your event and this is how you can ensure that.
Social following isn’t everything
If you are tempted to invite some bloggers because of their following on Twitter or Facebook, think again. What is more important is their content niche and how well they connect with their community. Some of them are just contest freaks who post hundreds of tweets around a particular brand and then switch to some other one. If they keep following this pattern, a good number of followers start ignoring their posts (or is it just me?) and maybe even stop engaging. A quick look at their followers will also reveal how many of them are genuine and whether the followers themselves have some reach.
(Image: Social Media apps by Jason Howie/CC-BY 2.0)
Major brands usually associate with travel bloggers having a strong following and thus they are writing lot of sponsored posts and guest posts. There is an obvious point here. If two people expect us to do the same thing and the first one is paying, he will sit higher on our priority list. You will have to consider the fact that the super famous twitter stars might not go back home and write about your event or brand. We are not saying they would not, but they might not.
Avoid using platforms
Go to Google, type in ‘bloggers meet’ and you will find many blogger platforms that will let you connect with bloggers and easily host a meetup. It is tempting for sure but might not yield the best results because they have a huge pool of bloggers from across categories which is why there are good chances of a spill over. Nothing can beat your own research and outreach. The relationship that you will establish with them will have a long term sustenance. You need the bloggers to have a personal connection with your brand, not with the agency or platform you used.
You must have decided on a particular hashtag for the bloggers to use while they live tweet during the event. Create buzz about this hashtag well in advance. This will involve the bloggers and the audience who can follow the event. Apart from responding to your invite, request them to RSVP via twitter as well using the hashtag. If you do this, the guests will be able to find out who will be present at the event and will have a chance to connect with them before or after the event. This will make the meet more interactive.
(Image: Twitter Buttons by garrettheath/CC BY 2.0)
Make sure you use a single hashtag and make it consistent for all the event related activity, keeping it short & simple for obvious reasons.
What do you expect from the bloggers? Do you want them to live tweet? Do you want them to write about you after the meet? It is advisable to clearly define what you expect from the bloggers that are a part of the event. They understand the fact that you want to reach more people through them and that is why you are putting your resources into it. Mentioning the same in your invite would be good.
Ensure presence of your key people
It is very important that the key people of your company are present at the bloggers meet. This would definitely increase the conversations at the event and your takeaway from the meet. Try to have a personal connect with the guests and make sure the meet doesn’t turn into a boring formal one.
Make sure someone from your team gets in touch with the guests after the event and thank them for being a part. Ask about their experience, share some pictures from the event and ask them for pictures. Avoid sending bulk mails for that. This would also give a chance to follow up with them and know if they posted on their blog about the event. If they haven’t, this could serve as a reminder to them about the same.
Follow these little tips and you are sure to make the most out of your bloggers meet. Have anything else to add to the list? Do let us know.
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