7 strategies for building social capital with webinars
“Social capital” presumes that social networks have value, and web conferencing is an awesome medium through which to reach, teach, and lead.
Unfortunately, many organizations have a problem that leaves money on the table:
Unless your webinars and virtual classes exist in a vacuum, they naturally 1) facilitate realtime dialogue and 2) intersect with other digital forms of communication.
Here are seven ways to think about giving your social capital an additional boost.
Insist on dialogue
Speaking – oration, conversation, teaching, etc. – is the original social medium, and it’s this live, human element that is a part of what makes webinars and virtual classrooms so powerful.
Don’t settle for using webinars or virtual classes as broadcast mechanisms. Dialogue is inherently more engaging and sticky.
Post something somewhere that’s persistent
Live communications are powerful, but they’re also time-based and (generally) un-findable.
Webinar registration pages go away, but posting an upcoming webinar to a blog post becomes something indexed by a search engine. Swap out the link of the live event for a link to the recording and you continue to get mileage out of the effort.
Ask for social id on your registration page
You got someone’s attention long enough to get them to register for your session. Use a custom registration field to ask for their Twitter handle (or equivalent).
Even if you’re hosting an internal training session and could just send everyone a calendar invitation, this is one of many reasons to use your web conferencing solution’s registration function.
Redirect registrants somewhere that extends the dialogue
Better web conferencing solutions let you input a URL where registrants will be taken at the moment they hit the ‘submit’ button.
Maybe that’s a LinkedIn group or discussion forum. Maybe it’s a landing page on your blog where you have your other upcoming webinars listed. Just don’t make it your homepage.
Reach out in advance
Registration reports can be accessed before the live session, right?
What about sending someone an personal, real-human email or tweet that says, “Hey, thanks for registering. Are there any questions you’ve got in advance that I can make sure we cover?”
Use the follow-up email to ask for social connections
Most people expect a link to the recording, but they probably aren’t used to seeing an additional call-to-action.
Assuming you’ve built trust and credibility with a great live session, this is a great place to encourage them to connect, like, follow, or engage.
Capture and post the conversation
Need fuel for content marketing efforts or a follow up FAQ training document?
Grab the qualitative questions asked in chat/Q&A and answer them, turning them into a blog post or other additional asset. Do the same with the hashtag conversation that happened on Twitter.
Don’t forget – this is a whole lot better when it’s fueled by a conversational presenter (hmmm…where have you heard that before? :)).
The bottom line
Webinars and virtual classes don’t happen in a vacuum. Or at they don’t have to.
Think about the many ways they intersect with other ways you communicate with your tribe, and I’ve no doubt you’ll find even more ways than these to build additional value in your social circles.