One part of my current job is to promote francophone businesses to the general public. The other day, I had this idea of creating a BUZZ around francophone businesses on Facebook and Twitter. The concept was to invite Calgarians to join me for “A Day in French in Calgary”. I was going from place to place, offered free coffee, had prizes, and posted what was happening in a real-time on several social media accounts.
The day went super well and it allowed me to use social media in a different way. As a promotional event, “A day in French in Calgary” will be held again in a couple of months and I encourage other organizations to plan a similar “real-time day” in their own community.
Planning is the key. A pre-selection of the visited places is necessary as well as having a schedule that includes: driving distances, time for social media writing, taking pictures, and chit chatting with clients. I strongly recommend writing and scheduling some feeds in advance, using HootSuite (social media dashboard to monitor and post on multiple social networks). Invite in advance some people to join you to some locations at a specific time (you don’t want to be the only one on the photo album).
One goal is to increase your number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends or other social media platform; so, be sure to advertise the event on the chosen social media platforms 24hours before “THE BIG” day.
The day has arrived…
Enjoy the day with your guests and clients. Take pictures and promote your clients as much as you can on Twitter and Facebook. Give some unexpected gifts and prizes to who follow you or comments about your activity. Answer comments that your followers make on Facebook and ask your co-workers to re-tweet your feeds. Create a Photo Album on Facebook showing your entire day and people that showed up.
I was badly equipped when I did my “A Day in French in Calgary” and it made my day very complicated and exhausting. I didn’t have a smart phone to take pictures and to send my feeds on my multiple social media accounts.
- Have a smart phone that takes decent pictures – a laptop with a USB Internet Stick isn’t enough;
- Be sure to have enough power on your phone and camera;
- Fill-up the tank of your car in advance (you don’t want to lost time during the day because you have a schedule);
- Select locations based on their distance to minimize your driving time;
- Be two or three people to feed the social media accounts.
Social media knowledge:
- Use twitvid for videos and twetpics or Yfrog for pictures (websites that allow users to post pictures and videos on Twitter);
- Make sure to shrink websites on your Twitter’s posts by using a Twitter shrink website such as bit.ly;
- Use a Twitter Plungin on your personal or company blog (such as WordPress) for more exposure.
- Work with HootSuite (social media dashboard) or another website management tool to handle multiple social media accounts;
- Use fourquare to promote your current location (location-based social networking website);
- Create videos and post them on Youtube - you want as much exposure as possible on the Web.
Is it for you?
Discovering new places, cities and countries is something that I really enjoy. I also take pleasure in showing to my friends my favorite places around the city. “A day in French in Calgary” wouldn’t have been a success if I wasn’t the kind of person who likes to entertain my guests on site or online. Be sure you have what it takes and enough social media knowledge to create a similar BUZZ in your own community.
In the end, this first “A Day in French in Calgary” was more an experiment for me than anything else. I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect and that I would learn a lot during that day. For that reason, I didn’t advertise it as much as I could have. By the end of the day, my conclusion was that it was pretty good, but that I could do even better the next time. If I do this kind of event a few times, I bet you I will become so efficient that I will do as much in a day as Jack Bauer did.