#BHUSA: Listen, Learn, Engage: Why A Social Strategy is Key for Black Hat 2016

Meaghan McGrath & Taylor Johnson

Black Hat is around the corner, and many marketers are well on their way to making a splash at the show, scouring the attendee list, connecting with colleagues to meet for coffee and gearing up to attend their favorite sessions. Coordinating the details may be easy enough, but what happens when you enter the show floor? It seems impossible to ensure that your digital message is resonating with the right audience. Don’t worry! There is a way to break through the noise to reach your target audience, especially during one of the biggest conferences of the year, social media.

The PAN IT security team conducted a comprehensive analysis of social media activity that took place during the months around RSA Conference 2016, and compiled the findings to make the lives of cybersecurity marketers just a little bit easier.

What did we learn?

- Specific attendee demographics and timing of posts were some the top insights garnered from social media at the conference, and these insights can help to further build out a social strategy for Black Hat, and beyond! Here’s what you need to know:

- The majority of the security community that talked about RSA Conference was male, with only 28% of females posting about RSA.

- 51% of digital content mentioning RSAC was published on the first day of the conference.
8 a.m. - 1 p.m. PT was the peak time for social media during the conference.

Network World and CRN were top hubs of information cracking the top ten list of news websites for RSA mentioned on social media.

- 90% of conversation volume about RSA Conference came from Twitter posts.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-28_at_10.07.18_AM.pngSource: pexels.com used under CC license.

What does this mean for Black Hat?

- Determining your audience on social media before an event can be a daunting task, but we have the best practices to connect with your target audience every step of the way.

- Personalize, personalize, personalize. It’s possible to connect with thousands of attendees with one quality post. Personalizing your messaging is key to reaching your target audience.

- Create quality content. This can be anything, but the most popular content in the cybersecurity industry is creative, visual and research-based.

- Pay attention. Understand which channels and publications made the biggest splash at previous cybersecurity events.

- Timing is key. Launch social media campaigns one week before Black Hat and execute them until one week after the show is over in order to get maximum visibility on social.
Know your platforms. Make your presence known by using strategic social media platforms for getting your message out there so influencers, reporters and potential customers know you’re there.

There you have it. There’s no magic recipe to connect with every Black Hat attendee, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful #BHUSA!

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