09/18/2013 11:36 am ET Updated Nov 18, 2013

Event Social Shares: What Are They Worth?

It's no secret that social media has value for your event. Social shares surrounding an event can be a highly effective way of getting your message out, or even making it viral (especially if your message is a cat video). Though we all know there's value in getting your word out on social networks, it can be very hard to understand and track the true ROI of the time and energy spent cultivating your social prowess.

To help understand the tangible value of social shares for an event, it helps to look at this study conducted by Eventbrite. The study found that a social share drives an average of 17 visits to an event page. This means it is important to engage with attendees before an event even takes place. Doing so can be important to growing the guest list.

While preparing for your event, ask attendees to tweet about what they are looking forward to the most. Attendees will increase awareness for your event at no cost to you by sharing ideas about your event with their followers.

This study also found that on average, a social share across all social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) drives $3.23 of additional revenue for event organizers through ticket sales. That is quite a substantial figure, considering the time it takes an attendee to send out a social message.

And that is only taking into account a single share. Encouraging attendees to check-in at your event or engage with organizers and other guests through multiple networks can increase social shares-and ultimately, ticket sales-drastically. That's not to mention the social media addicts in attendance that will probably be live tweeting everything down to the type of scones at the continental breakfast (apple cranberry).

Even once your event has ended, there's still tons of potential to cultivate valuable feedback and forge relationships that can grow into loyal attendees.Your next step is to follow up with attendees on social media! There may be attendees that are interested in pursuing a professional relationship down the road. Starting conversations, post-event, is the best way to find these people and possibly secure new attendees for your next event.

Also, don't think content creation ends after your event. To keep your audience engaged beyond the event date, create a video or infographic with a summary of the event and the social reach that was generated by your audience. This is a fun way to keep your audience engaged while also helping you measure social impressions that resulted from your social media efforts.

By following these tips, you will not only bring your conference into the social age, but you'll have a better way of measuring your event's social impact. The most important thing to remember is that social outreach, whether before, during or after your event, has a significant impact. Social posts from you and attendees can grow your guest list, increase awareness of your event, or even secure loyal attendees for your next event.