10 Surefire Ways to Promote Your Event on Social Media

Everyone knows how powerful social media can be, but how many have actually realized the full potential of social media to promote an event without paying for expensive ads? I have been thinking about how social media has gained so much attention and how it’s been a great marketing tool before paid social media ads came into the picture.

Then there came an epiphany. Leveraging on social media is not only about how tech-savvy you are. You can’t have successful social media campaigns without a deep understanding of the psychology of human behavior. Read on to learn 15 surefire ways to promote your event on social media and discover how you can employ the combination of technical knowledge, marketing expertise and the understanding of people to make your next event a social media star!

1. Create a Video that Conveys the Best Moments of Your Past Events

mobile-video-marketing Create a Video that Conveys the Best Moments of Your Past Events

Admit it, we all feel guilty being hooked to YouTube for hours at times. That shows the power of videos. Get your prospective attendees excited and inspired by a well-edited video of your past events’ most exciting and memorable moments. Keep in mind that the value of your event should be perfectly clear in the video. Include testimonials if possible. As a matter of fact, testimonials in the video will build trust quickly as viewers can hear true experiences with their own ears and see the people with their own eyes. Learn some tips on Using Video in Your Event Marketing.

2. Use Photos of Attendees in Social Updates AND Tag Them!

event-photo-booth Use Photos of Attendees in Social Updates AND Tag Them

Brains can process images much faster than texts, so the flattering and fun pictures of your past events’ attendees will be put to good use. Create status updates with the photos and tag them. These photos will reach the tagged attendees’ friend networks and effectively promote your event to them. The fact that humans are competitive means that we will always try to find out what other people around us are enjoying. The sweet result? You can expect high click-through rates through this method.

3. Share Speakers’ Pictures and Bios

speaker-flyer Share Speakers' Pictures and Bios

The US Election 2016 has been getting more attention from audiences around the world because of a world-famous candidate, Donald Trump. It’s effortless marketing for your event to have the presence of reputable experts in the field, or celebrities! Famous speakers draw crowds like magnets. (Learn how to Use an Exclusive Speaker and Make Your Event More Exciting). Take a good headshot of every speaker and add that to a graphic containing one powerful quote from each of them. You can also list their credentials in their profiles. This gives your event more credibility.

4. Get Your Speakers to Promote Your Event

personal-branding Ask Your Speakers to Promote Their Presentations

Ask keynote speakers to share about your event on their social networks. This provides them with an opportunity to get exposure and enhance their personal branding. Be sure to provide them with various sizes of images or banners for their convenience of promoting on multiple social media platforms.

The tricky part is that this tends to work in favor of grand events. Speakers, without you asking, will be eager to share about their part in big events. However, smaller events are less likely to be promoted. In this case, offer them an incentive for promotion. If a speaker is trying to sell his or her books, offer your attendees a discount of the books in exchange for the speaker’s social sharing. If the speaker is an entrepreneur, offer to advertise his or her company’s products or services during the event. The possibilities are endless when you understand their needs as well as their motivations for speaking at your event.

5. Share Behind-the-Scenes Images or Videos

food-preparation Share Behind-the-Scenes Images or Videos
As John D. Rockefeller famously stated, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing.” This is where you go beyond superficial marketing and win over highly discerning customers by letting them know of your hard work to put together a great event. In other words, before they fork out their hard earned money, your prospective attendees want to see a very passionate team showing how much the event means to them.
Posting behind-the-scenes photos and videos also helps with authenticity and relatability. It builds a sense of belonging and gives a peek inside the event for your social media audience.

6. Use a Double-Sided Customer Referral Program

referral-program Use Double-Sided Customer Referral Program

If you never heard of the double-sided or two-sided referral program, take a look at an example of the different types of incentives provided by Rewardstream,

  • No incentive – Please just share with friends!
  • Single-sided – Refer a friend and receive $20
  • Double-sided – Refer a friend and you both will receive $20
  • Fixed rewards – Refer a friend and receive $20
  • Variable rewards – Refer a friend and choose your reward – ($20/20% or 20 points)
By offering ticket buyers a discount for both their friends and themselves, you will be able to boost ticket sales. Event attendees know who is most likely to buy a ticket within their network of contacts, and can target those people organically through social media or via a direct channel like email or text.

7. Hold an Online Contest and Offer Winners Discounts or Free Tickets

trophy-cup Hold an Online Contest and Offer Winners Discounts or Free Tickets
A contest is always a good way to engage your social media audience. As long as the contest doesn’t require much effort to take part in, and your event is attractive to them, many people will just try their luck. Think of creative competition ideas that will excite the contestants about the upcoming event they are about to attend. If you can get it right, you will be engaging the audience with your event in a personal and playful way.

8. Create One Hashtag for Use Across All Social Channels

event-hashtag Create One Unified Hashtag for Use Across All Social Channels
Create a unique and intelligible hashtag for your event. Use it in every piece of marketing content you have that’s related to the event. Hashtags can help:
  • event attendees and yourself organize online conversations
  • organize information about speakers, ideas and discussions
  • to stay connected virtually long after the event has ended

As such, you want your hashtag to be unique. You don’t want your event information to be mixed with that of other events. A good hashtag should also be intelligible. Anyone who sees it – whether onsite or online – must understand what the hashtag is about.

Most importantly, effective hashtags must be remembered by event attendees. You should use this hashtag well before the event, during and after the event. Display it anywhere you can think of and share it.

9. Create A Linkedin Event to Promote to Professional Contacts

linkedin-event Create A Linkedin Event to Promote to Professional Contacts

A lot of people use LinkedIn to reach out to acquaintances they may not be connected to on other social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.  Promoting your event on LinkedIn is an opportunity to publicize your event and promote to professional contacts that may not be on your Facebook.

Not sure about Linkedin Event features? Check out this article to learn more: “Linkedin Events are now bigger, better, and more user-friendly.”

10. Share Your Story

Last week, I stumbled across this status update from a second-hand furniture shop that I follow on Facebook.
hock-siong & co stories Share Your Story
It gave me a realization that social media is where you share your own story. If your story can move people, that will be viral marketing. If there is a story behind your event, whether you are hosting a conference to encourage positive youth development or throwing a new year celebration party for the homeless in your community, tell people. Talk about your story and build on it throughout your posts. You might share details that weren’t included in the original description, or share some specific stories from past events that help demonstrate and illustrate your larger story.
What do you think?
Do you find our article helpful? Have you tried any of these tactics? Do you know other creative ways to promote an event on social media? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.