A Six Step Guide to Successful Social Media Event Promotion
The majority of brands have an audience on social media and the majority of industries take part in some form of events. The music industry have concerts, the corporate world have conferences, and the education industry have open days.
Social media provides brands with a very powerful way to promote an event, a great way to gain exposure around an event, and a very useful way to present post-event data. The world of digital marketing has been revolutionised by social media, and brands should use this to their advantage in all situations, events included.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all play a huge part in event marketing, but it is important that you plan your strategy in advance and utilise your brand’s platforms in the right way.
Step 1 – Your Social Media Channels
Every social media channel can be used when hosting and promoting an event, so make sure you make the most of the various opportunities they provide. On Facebook you can create an event page, post engaging content, and advertise with Event and Clicks-to-Website Ads.
On Twitter you can set up an event specific account, generate a unique hashtag, engage with a range of different people, and use Promoted Tweets and Trends. Instagram and Pinterest can be used to share regular pictures, LinkedIn can be use to create event groups, and Google Plus can be used to host post-event Hangouts, which can be recorded and posted on YouTube.
Step 2 – The Build Up
It’s important to get the word out early, and social media should be used for at least 3 months in the run up to an event in order to promote it, and give people a chance to plan for it and book their tickets in advance.
Start by promoting a range of different relevant content on social media, such as informative blog posts, images, videos, and press releases, all of which will give attendees an insight into what they can expect at the event. Make sure you mention any influencers who will be at your event, any sponsors or organisers, and any attendees that have already confirmed, in order to generate a buzz.
Step 3 – Social Advertising
Facebook indicated that starting from January 2015 they would give promotional posts less of a push and brands would see their organic reach decline. The best way to get around this is by using paid advertising. You can use Facebook’s advanced interest targeting to reach the correct audience for your event.
It is also important to focus your PPC campaign on event promotion, as you can use industry specific keywords to grab your target audience for an online event, and use specific geo-targeting for live events and conferences. Adwords provides users with a great way to boost their online visibility.
Step 4 – Outreach
Organic outreach is powerful, and can be carried out in a number of different ways. This is when your social media channels really come in handy and you can target your audience in an engaging and transparent manner.
Create Twitter lists to keep track of all your different target demographics, and start conversations with people who would enjoy the event. If you have a good email database, then you can promote your event as part of a newsletter, using something like MailChimp.
Step 5 – At the Event
The most important thing to have at your event is a unique hashtag. This way all attendees can be part of the same conversation and keep an eye on what other speakers, influencers, and attendees are saying. You could even have a tweet wall where all tweets can be shown, or a tweet up at a certain time, where attendees can meet the presenters.
Make sure you keep a conversation going on all social media platforms throughout the event, and upload any content and visuals you have in real time. Encourage user generated content too, as this can be used after the event and promoted throughout the day. Live stream any performances and presentations, and offer a live tweet Q&A at the end of each talk.
Step 6 – After the Event
Once the event is over, it is important to create and curate content about everything that took place. Create your own content and share any videos, pictures, and slides you have available. Share any reviews, write-ups, and user generated content, and mention as many attendees and influencers as possible in your social posts.
If you are going to be running the event again, gathering feedback and testimonials is important, so use your social media channels to engage with everyone who attended and create as much re-usable content as possible.