The date is set. The concept is there. The outcome is envisioned. Now it’s time to get the people. While the saying, “Lead and they will follow” does help; you are going to need to do a lot more promotion than the pied piper. Here are ten tips for promoting events with social media.
Brand Your Event
Your event is unique, and it needs to be easily recognizable. The simplest approach, follow the same theme you set for the event. Keep promotions branded, whether it is the same slogan, same colors or same design scheme—your promotions and event need to be coherent. The goal? When people glance at your promotional posts, they instantly identify with it. No thinking involved.
Hashtags go hand in hand with branding. It can be a single word or a phrase (without spaces) and should always start with the # hash mark symbol. Remember KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid. Hashtags are short, sweet and to the point allowing for easy search. When you find one you like, use it! Don’t let it collect dust. Use it in every post, photo and ad.
Cross Platform Lines
Feel super confident with Instagram and Facebook? Great! But, you still need to utilize Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. All these platforms allow free promotion to millions of people, why restrict yourself to just one?
Create Dedicated Event Pages
Publish Facebook and LinkedIn events pages. With Facebook, use it to its fullest. Set an address, use an eye-catching photo and share what your event is about. Make sure to invite your followers! They are already interested in what your business has to offer; they are probably interested in your events as well. With LinkedIn, set your impact group and choose appropriate industry labels. Getting the right people interested is the first step.
Reach Out to Attendees
The invites have been shared, and the first posts are getting attention. It’s time to reach out to your followers and participants to get involved. Connections between people on social media are stronger than that of businesses. Innately they are more relatable. If people see their friends posting about an event, they are more likely to be interested. It’s the classic, “if Elizabeth is going, maybe I should too.” Not getting a lot of shares? Incentivize it.
We all get busy. We forget about that post we saw two weeks ago that we meant to write down in our calendars. The solution? Be sure to post frequent reminders! Just because someone RSVP’d, it doesn’t mean they are coming and have remembered. But, please, do not spam your followers. Keep the reminders few and far between and post about different aspects of your event. Keep it interesting!
Consider Paid Ads
While Social Media offers a ton of free promotional abilities, sometimes you just aren’t seeing the response you want. This is where paid ads come in, but it’s up to you to make it work. Take a look at who already expressed interest. What do they have in common? What business are they in? The age range? Ads work great if you set your parameters to fit what you need—don’t just post an ad and send it into the abyss. Calculated ads, with your events branding, a striking image and fun description are what will make your ads shine.
Don’t Forget Other Marketing Strategies
Utilize all marketing strategies! Don’t forget about the traditional strategies that have brought you success before. Did local print ads and flyers work in the past? Still use them! Have an email database and send out an e-newsletter regularly? Put your event in it. Does your event have sponsors or speakers? Ask them to share with their followers. Don’t restrict yourself.
Show the Outcome
The event is finished. It was a great success. You are now feeling the urge to kick back and relax on the couch. Wrong! Share your success with your followers and attendees—aka the people that made this event such a success. Snap photos from the event and share in an album on Facebook and Google+ or take the best snaps and post on Twitter and Instagram. Share what you learned from the event. If it was a charitable event, share how it brought success to your cause. Remember, this isn’t the last event you will host. Leave your attendees with a smile on their face and a feeling they were a part of something.
All events, big or small could use a boost that social media helps provide. Remember to keep your postings branded to your event and keep it fun!