Events are, by nature, social affairs.
People attend them so they can connect, interact, and share with their peers. Likewise, people join social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to connect, interact, and share with their peers. If you play your cards right, these similar characteristics can work to your advantage when it comes to planning, promoting, and building excitement for any public event you’re hosting.
Events are a great way to attract customers, so make the most of them with social media
The art and science of managing and marketing events has evolved a lot in recent years. Various cloud platforms have reduced the complexity of event management and enabled businesses to take their events to the next level. Despite this, social media marketing reigns supreme when it comes to getting as many people as possible interested in your event.
Best social media platforms for event promotion
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have the most to offer when it comes to getting the word out and connecting with prospective attendees.
- Identify your objectives: Define your event timeline and produce your marketing communication plan.
- Select tools based on your objectives and channels: Use social media monitoring tools to listen and respond to your audience and correlate findings with your key event metrics.
- Who is your target audience and why will they attend your event? It’s key to clearly identify the types of people you’re trying to reach.
- Identify the social networks they use: Focus on them with your budget and time.
- Schedule event communications: Create a schedule for content production and distribution via your blog and other platforms.
- Produce content that helps your audience solve their problems. Content marketing examples include:
- How to’s
- Interviews with key influencers, speakers, and customers
- Curate content around the event: Include blog posts, pictures, infographics, conversations, and videos to build traffic and engage your audience.
- If you have the budget, run a contest: Prizes can be donated by sponsors or by you. Be sure to promote via your social media platforms.
- Updates: Identify key influencers and other people who will report on the day’s activities and provide them with content for their blogs.
- Use hashtags: Select a hashtag for your event, but do your research beforehand to make sure it’s not being used for anything else — look on Hashtags.org to check. Use your hashtag across your social networks along with a couple that are related to your industry, but be careful not to spam everyone by using too many hashtags in each post.
- Virtual assets and platforms: Develop your visual content and use it to brand your key social network, e.g. your Facebook page.
- Ensure that the registration process is easy to understand and use. Integrate social sharing with registration to encourage virality.
- Make everything mobile-friendly: Make sure that your event marketing strategy includes the implementation of responsive elements that are easy to interact with on mobile devices, particularly your website and every facet of your registration process.
During the Event
- Check-ins: Encourage attendees to check in to your event and share on their social networks — Foursquare is good for this purpose.
- Live streaming: Stream live video of keynotes, interviews, and demonstrations.
- Signposting: Cleary identify where people can get information throughout the day, and post a list of key participants with links to their social media accounts so attendees can track everything that’s going on.
- Build the conversation: Make sure you consistently generate engagement during the event and encourage your audience to use your event hashtag as well as a hashtag that can be used to communicate questions to your speakers.
- Write some blog posts about the event: Make sure you highlight your speakers’ contributions as well as the work of those behind the scenes who helped make the event a success.
- Publish presentations from the event: Use SlideShare to make slides freely available to your audience and embed the slides in blog posts and other content. Use YouTube or Vimeo to house videos of keynotes and other activities; you can embed them in blog posts as well.
- Curate content from others: Cross-post and share third-party take-aways and reviews.
- Thank people who follow you on social media and those on your email list for attending. Summarize key points and communicate when new follow-up content, if any, will be available.
- Feedback and ideas: Produce a short survey about the event while it is still fresh in attendees’ minds. Keep it brief, and be sure to ask for feedback and ideas about how to improve your next event.
The team at TribalCafe assembled the infographic below, which illustrates the essential activities around making your event a social media success. Check it out to learn more!
Thumbnail courtesy of Mercury News