The Ultimate Guide to Using Social Media for Event Marketing
Posted on 29.04.2013
by Unknown User
The use of social media for event marketing purposes is a strategy that has in the past been sorely overlooked, often implemented as little more than an afterthought and used primarily as a backup to traditional promotional channels.
For those in the know this should no longer be the case. For today’s event attendee, especially in the increasingly tech-savvy business sector, the use of social media is now the norm and will be expected at each step of your event timeline – before, during and after.
This guide will take you through the best ways to increase awareness and engagement in the run-up to an event using your social media accounts – something that is vital for those that work in event management, but equally useful for anyone promoting their own event. We will look at ways to open up a dialogue with your audience and utilise their networks to share and magnify your message.
An example of a Facebook event page for the E3 interactive entertainment expo
- Start by creating a Facebook event page and follow this up by inviting all of your followers to join – remember to include all relevant information including date, time, speakers, location etc. on the event page
- This page should then be regularly updated in the weeks leading up to your event – drip feed interesting information and content related to your event to encourage engagement and social sharing
- Cross promote your event and event page on your company page. You may want to consider adding in a promotional image or poster into your existing banner as an easy way to improve visibility to people visiting your company page
- Another option, possibly more relevant to larger events, is to invest in a small campaign of paid Facebook ads. These can be heavily targeted at your demographic to ensure that you are not wasting money on ads for people who are never likely to be interested. For more information on Facebook ads click here
Twitter promotion around the Adobe Summit digital marketing conference, with trending Twitter hash-tag
- For large events you may wish to set up a unique Twitter account, which you would need to do at least 3 months in advance of the event – to allow time to build up followers
- Alternatively you should be using your company’s existing Twitter account for promotion purposes
- One of the most effective tactics is to identify a designated hash-tag that you can use in the promotion of your event – this will help in creating a buzz around your event and will potentially bring in an audience outside of your existing social media followers. To learn more about hash-tags click here
- Promote the use of this hash-tag by including it on any promotional material that you distribute regarding the event. Ensure that it is mentioned on invitations, on the registration page and in any updates to your website or other social media accounts. You also want to make sure that any event updates that you send out via Twitter include the hash-tag
- If you have guest speakers, musicians or performers at your event who already have a large social media following, encourage them to tweet about your event using the hash-tag
- Build an event list of speakers, contributors and, most importantly, customers who may be attending – they will be informed of their inclusion to this list and this will help increase awareness
Example of a company using their LinkedIn company page to promote an upcoming workshop that they are holding
- Particularly useful when promoting B2B events, your first port of call when it comes to your LinkedIn profile should be to regularly update your LinkedIn company page with information about your event
- To ensure that your LinkedIn connections are aware of your event, it is a good idea to send direct messages to them inviting them to attend
- As with Facebook, depending on the size of your event, it may be worth investing in a small campaign of paid LinkedIn ads. By doing this you are not limited to simply your company’s existing connections, but have the potential to get the word out about your event to a portion of the 200+ million LinkedIn users worldwide. For more information on LinkedIn ads click here
- For more information on how to get the most from your LinkedIn account check out the Banks Sadler guide to promoting your event on Linkedin
A Google Plus events page for an art and technology festival
- One social media account which most businesses will have, but few take full advantage of, is Google Plus
- One of the best ways to use Google+ is to create an events page specific to your event. Again, as with Facebook, ensure that this page has all the relevant information for any potential attendee
- These Google+ pages allow email invites, day before event reminders and are also able to sync the event into Gmail users’ calendars. To learn more about Google Plus Events click here
- One feature of Google Plus that is useful for event promotion is their community pages. These communities are centred on specific interests and members have the ability to post interesting information to a shared wall. Find one that is relevant to your target market and, making sure to exercise restraint and not appear ‘spammy’, post information about your event.
A Pinterest board setup to coincide with a talk and event put on by UK charity Plan UK
- Whilst not necessarily applicable to all types of event, Pinterest is a great visual communicator and there are a few interesting ways that you can use it to build awareness of your event
- Start by creating an event themed Pinterest board and, in the weeks leading up to the event, pinning engaging images to the board. These images will include amongst them promotional images for your event.
- You can also use the concept of a ‘Pinterest competition’ to engage with your audience. One of the most effective types for event marketing can be encouraging people to re-pin images from your board and awarding a prize (perhaps free entrance to your event) to whomever get the most likes on their re-pin.
A blog post used to publicise the Adobe Summit digital marketing conference
- Although not ‘social media’ in the traditional sense, updating your onsite company blog in the weeks leading up to the event is an important part of any promotional strategy
- To gain the most effectiveness from this tactic, it is advisable to create interesting and varied content around your event – such as looking into the background/history of your keynote speakers
- When producing content related to your event on your onsite blog, make sure that you add in engaging ‘calls-to-action’ leading potential attendees to the event registration or information pages
- Use the social media accounts that we have mentioned above to publicise this content
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