Research from eMarketer has revealed that 87% of B2Bs use social media to promote events. The creative and strategic use of social media marketing is a great way to drive awareness before, during and even after your event.
Despite the clear advantages of social media event marketing, a whopping 51% of event marketers state that they find it challenging to use. At Lakeshore Convention Centre, our team are passionate about helping you deliver a successful corporate event or conference. In our latest blog post, we show you everything you need to know about how to promote your event with social media marketing.
Your Event Marketing Plan Before the Event
1. Work with your team to create an organic and paid social media plan and stick to it. Create a schedule that everyone can access and use a social media scheduling tool to ensure a steady stream of content. Don’t forget to continually monitor the performance of your activity and to use this data to inform any strategy changes going forward.
2. Assemble a list containing the social handles and hashtags of all relevant event stakeholders, e.g. event sponsors, speakers, venue etc. Ensure that any team member who will be posting to social media during the event has a copy.
3. Create an event page on Facebook. Be sure to upload attention-grabbing profile imagery and an engaging description. If your budget permits, promote your event page with advertising that targets relevant, new audiences and that retargets email subscribers, website users and existing Facebook and Instagram followers.
4. Come up with an event hashtag and start using it well in advance of the event on Twitter and Instagram to boost visibility. Good event hashtags are short, clear and easy-to-remember. Do your research to ensure that the hashtag is original and has not been used before. Be sure to track your hashtag’s performance by using a social listening tool.
5. Update your profile and cover photos across all of your social networks to include your event logo.
6. Regularly share behind-the-scenes photos and videos about event preparations to build a sense of excitement. Don’t forget to include crucial information about the date as well as your unique event hashtag and/or social handle.
7. Host a “like and share” competition on Facebook for free event registration. Put some money behind it and see engagement rates soar! In addition to raising awareness, social media giveaways can also be a cost-effective way to grow your event’s social following, website traffic and email subscriber base.
8. Tease out your speaker line-up over time. With every announcement, feature a speaker profile or interview on your blog.
9. Use the native selling function on Facebook to increase ticket sales. This simplified ticket-buying process allows users to purchase without leaving the social network which in turn means that they are less likely to drop out before clicking “checkout”. In fact, one study has revealed that events that sell tickets directly on Facebook double their sales than events that redirect to a ticketing page.
10.Share visual or video testimonials from attendees of your previous events.
Creative Social Media Marketing Strategies for During the Event
11. More and more internet users are watching live video streams of events. In addition to enabling event planners to promote their event in real time, live video streaming also presents an innovative way to drive additional revenue as 45% of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive, on-demand video from their favourite team, speaker, or performer. Fortunately, live streaming has never been easier, and marketers can mix and match a wealth of tools including Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and YouTube Live.
12. Twitter is one of the best tools for building engagement and for promoting your event in real time. Tweet content frequently throughout the day – some good ideas include photos, videos and speaker quotes. Don’t forget to @mention any relevant handles and to include your event hashtag. Drive conversation around the event by asking questions and by engaging with attendees’ tweets.
13. Set up a tweetwall by the stage showcasing the best tweets relating to the event. Be careful to appoint someone to select tweets to avoid any mishaps!
14. If the budget permits, create some custom photo props to place around your event venue. These should be designed in such a way to encourage attendees to share photos on social media. Make it easy for them to tag the event by incorporating your event account handle and hashtag into the design.
15. Live polls and Q&As are another highly effective way of encouraging real-time event engagement. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Stories all offer polling features for free. However, there are also a number of event gamification companies that specialise in creating high-quality real-time engagement software for events.
16. If your event is primarily aimed at a younger audience (anywhere up to 25 years of age), you should consider creating a unique Snapchat Geofilter. Geofilters are offered to Snapchat users in a certain location and give them the option of placing a location-based overlay on their photo. This is a great, low-effort way of building visibility and encouraging engagement as everyone in your location can use the filter.
How to Market an Event After it has Finished
17. To get maximum value out of your speakers, publish their presentations on Slideshare.
18. Add a section on your website to house video content from the event.
19. Your event is a content goldmine, repurpose videos and presentations as helpful blog posts.
20.For corporate events, it’s also a good idea to supplement your blog posts by publishing presentations from the event as helpful how-to articles on LinkedIn Pulse. According to LinkedIn, 62% of members say that they engage with content because it is informative or educational.
Promoting an event or conference on social media can seem like a daunting task, however this needn’t be so with just a little preparation, inspiration and strategic thinking. Simply by following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you create an event that gets noticed!
Like this Post? Why not read our infographic “The Ultimate App Guide for Event Planning” here