With social media being such a big part of our lives, it makes sense to leverage your channels as part of your marketing strategy.
There are three key phases when we think about how social media can be used for your event – pre-event, during the event, and post-event. In this article, we’ll look at how to increase awareness and get people talking about your event using social media. After all, you’ve invested hours planning the perfect event, you want to make sure you get people in the door and enjoy themselves once they are there!
First off it’s important to remember there is no one trick; it’s usually a combination of a few different tactics. One theory is that people need to hear about your event three times or more before they decide to take action, so the key is to reach your target market frequently, with a compelling message and strong calls to action.
Our top tips for promoting your event online:
1. Pick a good hashtag
See our tips for creating great hashtags. Don’t be an example of #hashtags gone wrong, and don’t go with ‘more is better’ – trust us, it’s not.
2. Take a long run-up
Plan to launch your hashtag well before your event. The following tips aren’t much use if you start a couple of days out – you’ll get uptake, but not as much as you could have. The aim here is to reach as many people as you can and engage them. This builds your momentum and gets your hashtag trending upwards earlier rather than later. The bigger your event, the more time you need to dedicate. Think months, not weeks!
3. Seed great content
You’ll need to get the conversation started and set the trend, so be prepared with a series of scheduled posts featuring your hashtag. Behind the scenes pics, previews of performers or speakers, bios, testimonials, teasers of what people can expect are all great options. This also applies to creating a quality social media wall – Victoria University
You’ll need to get the conversation started and set the trend, so be prepared with a series of scheduled posts featuring your hashtag. Behind the scenes pics, previews of performers or speakers, bios, testimonials, teasers of what people can expect are all great options. This also applies to creating a quality social media wall – Victoria University uses Strea.ma™ for their graduation week and generate the majority of the content for the first day to make sure the stream looks engaging and something students want to be part of. Because they do this so well, student posts quickly take over the feed.
Tip: To make sure your social wall doesn’t look repetitive, consider which channels you are using and make sure you think about how all those posts will show on the big screen next to each other. Preview your stream and trim out repetitive content using the Strea.ma™ moderation feature.
4. Entice engagement with rewards
Consider incorporating an online promotion such as going in the draw to win free tickets, backstage passes, or prizes if you post a pic using your event hashtag.
5. Bring others into the conversation
Engage in conversation with people who talk about your event – reply, retweet, share, comment and follow. If you have performers, speakers, exhibitors, brand advocates (or event staff), then get them using your hashtag.
6. Incorporate your hashtag into all your marketing efforts
Put it on your posters, your website, tickets, social profiles… make it part of your online images as well as using it in the text of your social posts.
7. Do some paid online promotion
This can work for driving ticket sales or for boosting your hashtag use. If ticket sales are what you are after, Facebook remarketing ads are a great way to keep your event in front of people still on the fence about purchasing.
Tip: To get the most out of remarketing, create two custom audiences – one being people that have visited your website and purchased a ticket (you might use your transaction completion page as the identifier) and a second audience of people who have visited your site but left without purchasing a ticket. Create an advert targeting the non-purchases and excluding the purchasers to make sure you are getting the best value from your spend. Boom!
8. Generate content for future promotion
If this is the first time you have run your event, make sure you are prepared to capture its ‘awesomeness’ for next year’s marketing campaign, especially video! Invest in getting high-quality images, particularly ones that capture the vibe you want to promote. Monitor your social media for shareable content (testimonial, pics etc.) and use the analytics in Strea.ma™ to see who your biggest advocates and influencers were – make a note so you can reach out to them to kick things off next time!
9. Create socially shareable moments
Make it easy for attendees to share their excitement about your event. This could be a ‘share’ link in thank you pages for ticket purchase completions or in event social updates (for example, a countdown image with the text “Two weeks to go until #ThisBigEvent!” – just be sure to optimise the image for different channels. You can also provide easy access to shareable content in the form of images or videos via newsletters, blogs or apps.
10. Leverage your influencers
If you have speakers or performers, leverage their following. Create promotional posts and incorporate their bio pic, your event hashtag, and their topic/slot/stage etc. Use their handle in your social posts and your event hashtag. You could also create ‘sneak peek’ content releases or teasers leading into your event.