Here are a few tips I learned from facilitating the Virtual International Day of the Midwife using social media.
1. If you choose to use social media to organise and market your event, do not expect it to be a free form of advertising. Social media is about being social - if you use it as a one way marketing tool, you will fail to connect with people and ultimately you will not attract people to your event.
2. If using Twitter, aim to tweet at least once a day, and even more frequently as you approach the event. If using Facebook, post messages at least twice a week and more frequently as you approach your event.
3. Always respond to people when they leave you a message or comment
4. Use a Facebook fan page as opposed to a group - people can see your fan page without needing to join Facebook. If you force them to join Facebook, you will set up barriers to people engaging with you.
5. Integrate your social network sites eg set up your Facebook page so that when you make a comment, it automatically gets sent to Twitter.
6. Ensure someone has the responsibility to 'run' social networking sites for the event. That person needs to understand how social media works.
7. Using social media to organise an online event takes times - think of it as an investment but remember the old adage "There is only one thing worse that no social media campaign and that is a badly run social media campaign".
8. Be consistent across the various websites - use the same logo and branding.
9. Distribute information in as many places as possible,,,YouTube, Slideshare, Blip.TV,....
10. To be sustainable as possible and increase branding, use an identity that be used every year eg use "Virtual Day of the Midwife May 5th" but not "Virtual Day of the Midwife May 5th 2010"
11. Use a logo or account name that is short and easy to remember.
What tips would you pass on?
How to organise an event on Facebook - http://mashable.com/2009/10/14/facebook-events-guide
The Mashable Facebook guidebook - http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook
The Mashable Twitter guidebook - http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter