Social media has become an important part of most people’s everyday lives. Many can’t go more than a few hours without checking out their favourite social media sites and updating their status. This behaviour is good news for event marketing when you’re put in charge of planning an event for your organization. A strong social media post about the event is an opportunity to get hundreds and often thousands, of pairs of eyes on the event.
The trick to successfully marketing your event on social media is becoming an expert on engaging your guests who read your event posts.
Engaging With Guests Before the Event
You should plan on starting to engage with potential attendees as soon as you start nailing down details for the event. Great things to post during the early stages of event marketing include:
- The event’s date
- The event’s theme
- Anticipated event activities
- The event’s location
During this early phase, make sure you include a hashtag that somehow pertains to your event. Include the hashtag with every single post.
One of the best ways of both engaging your audience via social media marketing and helping make them feel vested in your event is asking them to share ideas of things they’d like to take place at the event or to share what they’re most excited about. Make sure you respond to all comments, which goes a long way towards making both the event and your organization feel personable.
As the event gets closer share preparation photos, exciting tidbits about guest speakers or activities, and the event schedule. Make sure to keep all of your event posts upbeat. The more excited you are about the event, the more excited and engaged your audience becomes. Always remember to invite your followers to share all the event-related posts which helps you reach a much larger audience.
There are some specific things you should start doing with event marketing to engage with your audience long before the event takes place.
Post Event Videos
Videos are becoming an increasingly important marketing tool. It’s estimated that in just a few years, videos will be responsible for 82% of the global internet traffic. You don’t want to be behind the curve. The videos you include in your social media marketing:
- Encourage engagement
- Boost event ROI
- Lead to higher conversion rates
- Help establish trust between you and your event audience
- Are highly shareable
Aspects of a good event marketing promotional video include:
- Mirroring the tone/theme of your event
- Are short and to the point
- Have a clear picture and good audio
- Are entertaining or include a powerful message about your event
- Educate the viewer about how they’ll benefit from attending the event
Create a Facebook Event Page
Don’t underestimate the marketing power of a good Facebook event page. When you create a Facebook event, Facebook does more than simply notify your organization’s followers. It also does a great deal of your social media marketing for you. Once you’ve created a Facebook event page:
It’s automatically added to the calendar of anyone who expresses interest
- Facebook reminds anyone who expressed interest in the event
- Facebook shares your event with anyone who has expressed interest in similar events
- The friends of anyone who clicks that they’re interested in your event to see the activity
When creating a Facebook event page for your event, make sure you:
- Post a clear and appealing cover photo
- Include the events name
- Frequently update the page with exciting news about the event
Engaging With Guests During the Event
Assign one or two people with the task of handling social media marketing while the event is taking place. This is a great way to keep people who wanted to attend, but who were ultimately unable to, excited.
Create Photo Opportunities
There’s a reason that singers have space and time where they take one photo after another with fans. They know that those fans will share the photos on social media sites, which is free advertising for the musicians. You should do something similar for your event marketing.
Creating photo opportunities during the event isn’t difficult. All you have do is:
- Create a nice backdrop (include the name of your organization or your event on it)
- Encourage people to use the backdrop and to share the images on social media
- Ask your guest speakers to set aside a few minutes to have their picture taken with attendees
- If the event is casual, you may want to consider having some sort of fun photo contest
- Have someone at the event who’s willing to take photos
If your event budget doesn’t stretch to a professional photographer, and no one on the planning committee has the skills to take nice photos during the event, you can ask local photographers if they’d be willing to donate their time in return for some free advertising during the event.
One of the great ways to use social media marketing to promote your event as it happens is to keep the Twitter app open on your phone and use it to post quotes from guest speakers. Not only does this help educate and engage your social media audience, but it’s also a great way to help promote your guest speaker so they get future speaking gigs.
Behind the Scenes Photos and Videos
Don’t underestimate the marketing power of candid moments that take place behind the scenes of the events. Snap lots of pictures of you and your crew setting up for the event and post them to your social media channels. The best photos are the ones that are humorous or that capture special moments. Make sure you tag anyone featured in the footage!
Engaging With Guests Following the Event
Just because the event has ended, it doesn’t mean you stop engaging with your social media audience. Post-event social media commentary should include things like thanking people for attending, continuing to share great photos, and encouraging people to share their favourite aspect of the event. This is a great opportunity for you to invite your followers to share ideas they have for future events they’d like your organization to put together.
Share Press Clippings
It doesn’t matter if it was a huge right up in a national paper or a blog post one of the guests made following the event, if the write up is favourable, share the link to your social media channels. It helps shine a bright light on your event and provides some additional publicity for the writer/publisher of the clipping, making them more likely to write about your future events.
Polls are a wonderful form of post-event social media marketing because they encourage engagement while also providing valuable feedback.
Ideas for post-event polls include:
- Favourite moments during the event
- What your guests would like to happen at future events
- Ideas for new event venues
You should continue posting about the event for several months after it takes place. Don’t be afraid to use the post-event social marketing to help you springboard your next event.
Book a free consultation if you need help with any of your event marketing deliverables.