For many companies hosting an event means tweeting out the day and time, maybe throwing up a Facebook post to tell people when the event is happening, and then it’s back to the chaos and stress of planning the event. While some social promotion is better than nothing, it’s important that you take all of the opportunities social media has to offer in terms of promotion. You may be overwhelmed with details of hosting the event, but that doesn’t mean that promoting the event on social media is something that can be put on the backburner.
It takes time and energy and you need a plan when it comes to social promotion, but once you map out your social strategy you’ll find that the event will be much more successful. The more people talking about your event, the better chance you have that people will attend, get your brand name out their to their social communities, and the more likely it is that all your hard work will pay off in the end.
Tips and Tricks to Using Social Media to Help Promote Your Event
Below are a few advanced tactics to using social media to promote your event and subsequently earn your brand more visibility, along with screenshots to show how each point has worked in the past:
What to do before the event
- Create a webpage specifically for the event. This gives you a great space to feature videos and images, write blog posts, and keep people updated on the event (discussed in the next section). Not only will this give you a great page to share on your social accounts and hope others share, but it’s an opportunity to earn natural links if anyone chooses to mention your event on their website.
- Create a hashtag for the event. In 2015 this is a must-do, and more and more companies are starting to catch on to the trend. Having a hashtag specifically for the event will help create brand recognition and unify all of the videos, pictures, and posts that people make about the event. It gives everyone one place to visit, on every social network, if they want to look at anything event-related.
- Consider creating a promotional video. Before the event starts, consider creating a video to get people more engaged and excited about what is going to happen. If you’ve held this event before in the past, use music and video shots from last year to create a collage of what to expect. Once you create one video and have that published on your webpage and social accounts for a while, you can create another video just before the event to tell people what they need to do before the event, when they arrive, etc. This keeps the momentum going and keeps you earning the benefits of video.
What to do during the event
- Have a contest or a giveaway for social participation. Creating some sot of contest or giveaway that asks attendees to do something on social media is a great way to jumpstart higher brand visibility on social. This could be taking photos, asking questions on social media, “liking” your social media page, inviting others to like your page, etc.
- Encourage visitors to take pictures and videos. This piggybacks on the last point. If you have a contest or some sort of giveaway, have the rules have something to do with posting photos and videos. It’s something easy that everyone can do quickly, so it’s a great option to earn more promotion.
- Take your own video footage of the event for after. During the event you should also be taking photos and video so that you have the option of creating something after the event. This will give you something to use after the event to keep the momentum going and have something to post after the event.
- Talk with attendees and try to connect on social. During the event, you should always be networking. Getting an email address is usually your best option, but if there is an opportunity to connect on social media that’s a great connection to make and help your promotion in the future.
What to do after the event
- Follow-up with leads (not necessarily through social). After any event it’s important to send an email or make a phone call to follow-up with your leads. Connecting on LinkedIn is also a great way to get in his/her social circles while still remaining professional.
- Update the event webpage with content and graphics. After an event you should update the webpage you created with new videos and images from the event. Hopefully you will have some attendees also getting involved!
- Write a blog post about the event and then promote. It’s always a good idea to write a blog post in addition to updating your webpage so that you have another outlet for people to share on their social accounts. Promote this using all of the tactics listed above and you have yet another opportunity for natural link building and visibility.
- Don’t forget about your next event. Just as a side note, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to who responds and comments about your event after it’s over. Keep these people in mind and be sure to send them a personalized social message to let them know you’d love to see them at your next event.
In the end, social media and event marketing should go hand-in-hand. If you stop at simply making mention of your event on social media you’re missing out on opportunities not only for more social sharing, but also natural links and other forms of visibility for your company. Remember, event marketing does more than just help promote at event—it helps promote your business as a while. For more ideas and information, I highly recommend visiting this article from Social Media Today.
Do you have any tips or tricks for using social media for event marketing? Let us know in the comment section below.