Over the past couple of years, the event industry has witnessed a shift. Digital technology has taken over the world by storm and the event industry has not remained untouched.
Social media is one of the crucial parts of digital technology. Earlier, social events and meetups were limited to particular venues but with the advent of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, event organizers have gotten an opportunity to put their events out there across the globe. Event Promotion by using the power of social media can be extremely effective.
This article will guide you through the best practices to promote an event on social media to ensure maximizing the reach and impact of the event.
The Importance of Social Media in Event Promotion
When it comes to event promotion, social media acts as an indispensable tool that offers a plethora of options to increase the reach of the event and engage with potential attendees. Leveraging social media for event promotion can give a boost to event awareness in a cost-effective manner, increase ticket sales, keep potential participants engaged, and inculcate a sense of community among those interested in attending the event.
Event promotion on social media is not just about posting different updates about the event, it involves creating a dialogue with the audience and building anticipation about the event. The power of social media lets the event organizers create a buzz about their event, attract attendees and ensure the success of the event.
Before the event
Before your event is launched, social media event promotion can help you prioritize the reach, connection, and anticipation for the final day. Follow these tips.
To get into detail about influencer marketing, we first need to understand who is an influencer in the realm of social media. The industry leaders, experts, or people who influence a particular niche are called influencers. Each influencer has a community of followers who look up to them for guidance, recommendations, or leadership.
Reportedly, over 28% of event marketing professionals are said to use influencer marketing as an integral part of the event strategy. Using the influencer marketing strategy for event promotion can expose your organization to a wider audience. The event presenters and keynote speakers can be influencers as well.
Below are some tips to give you a view of how to launch a fool-proof influencer marketing campaign.
- Depending on the size of your event, reach out to 15-20 influencers.
- Be sure to align your target event segments to the audience of the selected influencers.
- The influencer should be able to create compelling content and must share the brand values and characteristics of your company. Try scouting for influencers who have participated in similar campaigns in the past.
- You do not necessarily need to do in-depth research to find the right influencer. Talk to the customer base, and your staff and ask them for recommendations.
- Before beginning the collaboration, ensure that you have chalked out specific goals for each influencer to work around such as website traffic, lead generation, event visibility, etc. This will make tracking the metrics and ROI calculation easier for each campaign.
Create a Hashtag
Anyone who has used social media knows the power of hashtags. From giving distinct visibility to making something a trend on social media platforms, the possibilities of using hashtags are endless. Each event needs a unique hashtag so that the attendees at the event and the virtual attendees can follow the event journey and conversation.
Try creating a hashtag early so that the event can be further promoted and the attendees can be regularly reminded to use the hashtag during the event to create a point of conversation around it. The hashtag you have created for the event does not necessarily need to be confined to social media posts. Make sure the reach is boosted among the community when it pops up on the digital newsletters, email signatures of stakeholders, and sponsors’ websites.
Pique interest with teaser posts
On average, the initial 3 seconds are crucial to tap the attention of viewers on social media platforms. If the users do not like the content, they will swipe away so make sure to push exciting content. Here is how you can pique the interest of attendees – use a great stand-out image from last year’s event, convert it into a time-lapse video and post it on Instagram and Facebook.
Posts like these are great for event promotion. Teaser posts build excitement levels among people who have and are looking forward to attending your event. A short sneak peek video will give them an insight into what to expect at the event, the kind of events you organize, different activities at the event, and the overall vibe of the event.
Prioritize consistency over intensity
Do you know how it is said that it is better, to begin with something that is easy to follow and has a practical approach? The same applies to event promotion on social media. Just try to be consistent in your event promotion efforts rather than setting high expectations at the beginning and failing.
Promote your brand in a way that is instantly recognizable. Ensure that the social presence of your company has the same colour scheme and logos and that other creatives use the same colours and tonality across all the platforms. To get a third-person point of view and understand how the attendees will see the content, log out of the business account, log in to your personal social media account, and see what the event and brand account look like.
Prepare a list of information and/ or graphics that need to be refreshed to maintain uniformity and remember to make the changes on each platform before pushing the posts live.
Keep your posting schedule slow and steady
One of the biggest mistakes most event organizers make is to roll out more content in a short span. When you overload people with too much information, they lose interest and you portray your brand as desperate for attention.
Publish the content as per the interest of your followers, find out what excites them, and ultimately click with them. Post the schedule and other information about your event slowly and build anticipation. Remember – a strategy that only compromises to achieve a certain number is bound to fail. Instead, take it slow and steady, and remember the end goal
During the event
After creating excitement for your event on social media, it is important to keep the momentum going on the day of the event as well. Here are some event promotion activities you can run on social media platforms on the day.
Encourage photo & video sharing
‘I do not like my photo being put up on the big screen at an event’ – said no one ever. The power of social media is really accelerating event promotion nowadays.
After the attendees begin gathering for the event, make sure to let them know the hashtag you are using to promote the event on social media. Ask the attendees to keep posting their memorable moments, learning, and insights on social media while the event is being held. Ask them to share photographs, videos, and their thoughts on all the platforms you are promoting your event along with the hashtag. To make the most out of this strategy, place screens all across the event venue and cast a live feed of your event’s hashtag-scrolling tweets, trending photos, and videos throughout the event.
Run contests and live Q&A
Consider running contests on social media platforms. The stories feature on Instagram is a wonderful tool for organizing engaging and short content. You may also offer a giveaway suiting your budget to the winner(s).
In addition to contests, the Q&A or the question and answer session is a great idea for event promotion on the day. Ask the special guests, vendors, and/ or speakers to be a part of the Q&A session. Or better yet, simply organize this online experience along with a panel of event educators or informational sessions. Pick the questions from social media platforms and let the speaker answer the questions live. It goes without saying – let the moderator review the questions being asked on social media platforms before shooting them to the speaker on behalf of the audience.
Adding gamification to your event enhances the brand interaction of the attendees. The attendees live in the moment and focus on creating core memories. Whenever the attendees see something unique at the event, they will remember it. Moreover, an activity like this can get people talking and networking. Elements such as leaderboards, quizzes, and socializing activities such as photo booths can do the trick of helping attendees talk to one another and build their network.
Using gamification for event promotion can transform even the dullest of conferences into something exciting and fun. It is a smart way to tap into the emotional side of the attendees and provide them with a better event experience.
Actively retweet conversations
When it comes to getting something on trend, the microblogging site Twitter is the perfect platform. After the event has begun and the tweets are beginning to pour in, make sure to like and retweet the conversations that support and highlight your event to keep the event promotion going. You may go as far as following the people who tweet about your event.
Not many brands indulge in following back people like this, but the people you follow will most probably appreciate the gesture and are more likely to continue pushing influential conversational points about your event in the social media sphere. It is a win-win!
After the event
After the event is over, do not think that there is nothing you can do on social media. After an event is over, it is the best time to take advantage and increase the reach of your event.
Create a discussion group
Event promotion does not end right after the event is over. Keep the conversation about the event going by initiating an event group. If you organized a business event, the right platform to initiate conversation is Linkedin. If the event revolves around fashion or food, you may want to choose Facebook to create a discussion group.
Regardless of which channel you choose, a discussion group for your event enables people to connect with the people they had a word with at the event while sipping a drink but forgot to exchange cards with. Also, a discussion group can be an amazing place to get people hyped up before rolling out the next event.
After you have explored the world of social media for your event promotion, put your message out there, and selected the platforms, it is essential to understand what event promotion technique is working in your favour and what is not. Use social media analytics tools that provide insight for all social media platforms to track your progress and measure the success of event promotion on social media.
For a start, the likes and shares of the content do provide a good understanding to build the brand. The Key Performance Indicators or KPIs will differ based on the objectives of promotion but they will also help you understand how you can improve the social media strategy for future event promotion. The KPIs usually fall under the following categories –
Awareness — Impressions, Views, Reach
Growth — Followers, Likes, Subscribers
Engagement — Reactions, Clicks, Comments, Shares
Conversions — Phone Calls, Event registration, financial contributions, recruitment
There are hundreds of other ways to measure the success of an event and event promotion – and we have just mentioned a few here. If you can work around the mentioned KPIs, know that you have gone a long way to ensure the success of your event.
Expand your audience
The first step to expanding your audience is to encourage your event staff and current attendees to like, share, and use tagging features. You may ask them to reach out to their family and friends to do so as well. Consider reciprocal links with the reference partners or companies you may be sharing an audience with.
To share the cause and highlights of your event, build a community or simply join a group on Linkedin or Facebook. After the event is over let the attendees, virtual attendees, and those who missed the event run through a recap of all the amazing moments at the event. A very underrated way of expanding the audience, tagging and sharing is one way to expand your audience for the next event.
If feasible, you may want to explore the option of boosting your posts through paid ads on Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to reach new potential leads that fit your event goals like age, interests, location, etc.
Thank the speakers and special guests
Remember how before the event you look for influencers to amplify the reach of your events? After the event is just the right opportunity to do so. The speakers and special guests have followers on social media who closely follow the events they go to – which means that those followers can be potential attendees for your next events.
Write a special post for the speakers and/ or the special guests to thank them for their time and share their best moments for post-event promotion. Remember to tag them or mention them with a @ in the vent posts so that they can share those posts and increase the reach of your social media campaign.
Beginning a journey of event promotion on social media platforms can seem a bit daunting but the ideas shared above are a few examples to get you started. To ensure the success of your event in this digital era, it is essential to harness the power of social media. All you need is a good strategy and an effective implementation to get the most.
As you embark on social media event promotion, keep tracking the results to understand what works for you and what does not so that you can repeat the successes. Backed by positive results, you will gain confidence to try out new ideas making this valuable tool work in your favor and build productive and lasting relationships with the attendees. You will notice the events hosted by you elevating towards success.