Your budget is set, the venue booked, speakers secured – now it’s time to promote your next event with social media marketing.
Of course, social media has to be a big part of that, but…
where to start?
The trick with all social media marketing is to be strategic and leverage your assets. The good news is that your event naturally will have a lot of assets, like speakers, sponsors, testimonials, attendees – even your event team.
Here is a 7-step social media marketing event strategy you can use to roll out social media promotion for all your events.
1. Less is best
Your first decision for social media marketing is to choose which social channels to focus on. Rather than trying to be everywhere, choose 2-3 channels you can easily manage. To get started, here are 3 questions to ask:
- Where do you already have a following? There’s no point spending time promoting your event on Pinterest or Instagram if you have 100 followers – you’re efforts will get lost in the noise.
- What channels are your audience using? If you are attracting a business audience, LinkedIn is great for B2B communication.
- Where can you get noticed? Facebook may have the largest users, but to get your updates noticed you have to post into a group, create a Facebook event or use paid advertising.
For most B2B events, Twitter and LinkedIn will get you the most exposure, Facebook is more likely to get you the most engagement.
2. Build your strategy
“Video is an extremely effective medium to showcase the passion and enthusiasm your event inspires.” Social Media Examiner
Now that you have your social channels, it’s time to build a simple social media marketing strategy for your team. The goal should be to get maximum engagement and conversion with the smallest time commitment.
Start with these steps:
- Upgrade your social profiles. Now is a great time to update the banners and company description on your social channels.
- Delegate community management. Choose someone on your team to oversee the daily updates and replying to engagement.
- Create your event hashtag. Choose a hashtag that is easy to remember and use it everywhere, including the new banners for your channels.
- Use video to get noticed. In our busy, digital-distraction world, video stands out in newsfeeds. Create a short highlight reel from last year’s event, encourage team members to capture clips at your venue – even working in your office. Also, ask for 30-second welcome videos from your main stage speakers (they should also post these on their channels.)
- Add your event to your email signature.
3. Start early
“Many organizers forget to place enough time on event promotion using social media.” Canva
The earlier you start getting the word out on social, the sooner you will start to get traction. Of course, not everyone will get on board, but all you need is a small percentage to get the promotions started to start making noise.
A good place to start is with the people you have the most influence over your team, main stage, and breakout speakers, sponsors, your venue event team, caterers, entertainers, and hotels. You might be surprised at the number of influencers on your list!
4. Get creative
“…make sure your hashtag is visible at your event so your guests know to use it. Include it in handouts and display it on screens throughout your venue.” Eventbrite
Look for opportunities to share the excitement of your event with creative posts.
- If you have a repeat event, use pictures from last year’s event to build excitement.
- As you secure your entertainers and speakers share the good news on social. Ask them to share as well.
- Run fun contests to get more engagement, like asking followers to select their favorite thing to do in the host city.
5. Reward people
The more you reward people for using your event hashtag, the more you’ll see it being used. Have someone on your team check daily for mentions and then reward people with likes and shares.
At your event, have your host encourage attendees to Tweet using your event hashtag. At some events, organizers will install a flat-screen TV displaying a rolling Twitter feed so attendees can see their tweets going live!
6. Measure results
Planning a successful event is all about getting the biggest, best bang for your budget, right? Social media is no different. A part of your social media marketing planning strategy should be to monitor weekly some basic numbers:
- Number of followers on each channel
- Views and shares on your event updates
- Number of times your hashtag gets used
7. Follow up after your event
“Social media messages should never be limited to text-only posts.” Dan McCarthy, Event Manager
After your event is a great time to keep the buzz going. Use social to get your event survey out, get attendees to share pictures, or promote your next event. People will be talking about your event and with a little encouragement the buzz will keep going (and promoting next year’s event.)
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you create a great event: