Social media is one of the most effective ways to promote an event. Almost every marketer now uses social networking sites to support their marketing efforts. So here’s how to promote an event on social media.
Step 1: Identify Your Objectives & What You Want To Achieve
Before you post anything on social media networks, it is vital that you first identify your objectives and what you want to achieve.
- What do you want people who attend your event to know?
- Perhaps you want ticket sales.
- Maybe you’d like more people on guest lists.
- Maybe you want more foot traffic in general (which may or may not lead to sales).
Whatever it is, make sure that this article helps accomplish those goals!
Step 2: Evaluate Your Resources, Your Own & That of Others
Next, look at what you have to work with.
- Do you have a small budget?
- How many social media accounts do you currently manage for the event/organisation?
- How much time do you have to post exciting content between now and the event date?
- What are your primary objectives?
Model your social media posts after these questions.
Do not underestimate the power of free resources! If there’s an influencer in your area with lots of followers on Facebook or Twitter, ask them if they’ll promote it for free (maybe offer to buy them dinner!) Think about who is benefiting from your event (what organisations will be exhibiting?) and reach out to them as well.
Step 3: What Is Your Brand?
Identify your brand. There is a difference between the person running an event and the event itself. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger planning a fashion show, your brand is fashion-centric and, therefore, might not be as effective at promoting an event for children’s cancer research.
If you run an animal rights non-profit, promoting vegan products or restaurants probably wouldn’t make sense. You get my gist! So figure out what type of posts would suit your brand best and channel that energy into making those posts happen!
Step 4: Social Media Best Practises & Etiquette
Be mindful of social media best practises and etiquette. We all know people who post anything and everything without regard to these best practises. The truth is that you don’t want to be one of those people, so keep the following in mind when posting!
- Quality > Quantity
- Be Consistent But Not Over-Scheduled – Your Brand Matters
- Quantity Is What Gets Results – To A Point
- Do Not Force Content
- All Posting Methods Are Equal
- Engage With Your Audience & Create Conversation
- Don’t Just Talk About Yourself
- Social Media = Marketing Tool
- Have Fun And Promote Others
- Have A Plan Beyond Facebook & Twitter
Step 5: Identify Similar Events/Competitors
This is an important step that can drive your entire social media campaign. Search for events that are similar or related to yours on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (or search engines in general). Identify your competitors – not only by the events they are hosting but also by their social media presence.
Step 6: Create An Event Hashtag & Use It Everywhere!
Create an event-specific hashtag, so it’s easier for people to find all social media posts related to your event. If you don’t have one already, perhaps this is an excellent time to choose one! Your guests will appreciate being able to follow what’s going on with just one hashtag instead of having to scour each platform individually.
Also, consider creating specific hashtags for certain initiatives or activities that would be more effective than the general event hashtag.
Step 7: Social Media Content Calendar
This is where you build your content calendar, which is very important for promoting social media events. If there’s no pre-planning, this takes up so much time and strays away from what matters (e.g., making sales or marketing the organisation).
And while spontaneity is good in some cases, it doesn’t precisely help move your event closer to success!
So depending on how far out you want to plan, sit down with a blank calendar and start plugging in dates for specific activities (i.e., June 1st – contests start; June 5th – hashtags announced; etc.) This way, you’ll know exactly what you should post and when.
Step 8: Promote Your Event Offline, Too!
Don’t think that just because you’re promoting your event on social media means that people will magically find out about it. No one can follow 100% of their friends’ or favorite brands’ posts, so don’t count on them to see what you post!
Make sure to promote your event offline as well by sending an email to all attendees at least one week prior, sharing the link with co-workers, asking local businesses for support (e.g., donate items/services or provide discounts), and handing out flyers around town.
Also, consider making a Facebook event and inviting all of your friends and followers who may be interested in attending. This will encourage them to share with their friends, which is always a good thing.
Step 9: Engage And Participate With Your Audience
No one likes being marketed to all the time. It’s no surprise that people are naturally more inclined to interact with others like them or have interests that match theirs. So while you want your content to be informative and educational, make sure not to forget about engaging with your audience.
- Create conversations via posts.
- Starting memes (#freeselfie Friday, anyone?).
- Asking questions.
- Sharing fun images/videos/memes of similar events (in other words, get inspiration from what others are doing).
- Posting shout-outs for attendees’ social media profiles if you’re promoting the event themselves.
- Asking for feedback on how you can improve your event.
It also helps if there are contests or giveaways where people can win cool items that will encourage them to share the contest with their friends (and this increases engagement!)
Also, try searching your hashtag on Twitter. It’s always interesting to see what people say about an event. And don’t forget to keep track of what hashtags are being used! This is helpful when creating future content calendars, so you know which tags will connect you with more potential guests.
Step 10: Build Your Social Media Presence
Besides promoting your event, be active on other social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). However, do not post the same content everywhere because you’ll be leading people to believe your event is spam.
Host unique giveaways on each platform that is specific to that site. For example, an Instagram or Pinterest-exclusive giveaway works well because you’re engaging with other users who have similar interests!
And while it’s not necessarily bad to create contests solely for Twitter followers, these types of promotions typically don’t get the kind of engagement they deserve since everyone is trying to get in on this action.
Step 11: Promote Like A Pro
Finally, make sure there are multiple ways for people to find out about your event! Be creative – think outside the box when promoting your event on social media. Utilize all the benefits of social media marketing, such as word-of-mouth, strong influencers, and rich visuals.
- Put the URL in your email signature so people can easily access it from their inboxes.
- Add it to the end of business cards you hand out to people at local events.
- Put it on posters/banners displayed around town (e.g., coffee shops).
- Share a link with friends who live far away whom you hope will attend your event – do whatever works best for your specific audience!
With all this information, there should be no reason you’re not gaining more exposure for your upcoming event! Promoting an event on social media may become more manageable than just through traditional promotional outlets such as flyers and billboards!