When putting together a marketing plan, it’s no longer a just a side or last thought to include social media. In fact, Social media has rapidly become one of the most important channels to leverage your marketing strategy’s as it’s now such an integral part of everyday life.
In this blog we will look specifically at how social media can be used to promote and gain awareness for your event. What is important to note is that with social media there isn’t just one way of going about promoting an event, there are a few, and you should be using a combination of all of these tactics available to you if you want your marketing plan to be a success.
To get started, what you need to think about are the following 3 important stages of your campaign; the pre-event, during the event and after the event. The idea with using social media as a marketing tool is to get people (and as many people as possible) talking about your event.
Ever heard about the rule of three? Basically, it’s a theory that states that a person needs to hear or read about something three times before they remember it and decide or act.
In order to put this theory to the test you will need to ensure that you are marketing and advertising your event frequently, that you have a strong message and a call to action.
What is the point of putting in all the hard work into planning an event if you’re not going to have any people through the door? You want to make sure that not only do you have a lot of people attending your event, but that they will really enjoy themselves and let other people know that they are there!
Here are our 10 tips for promoting your event online:
1. Choose a good hashtag #
This is key! Make sure that your hashtag is unique to your brand or event and stick to one or two core hashtags, no more.
If you have more than two you make it harder for people to remember which to use and this will likely dilute your message and result in your hashtag campaign not trending. More is not better!
Check that your hashtag reads as you intend it to. There are loads of examples online of hashtags gone wrong. Do a quick search of your hashtag to see what comes up. This is important for two reasons, firstly you need to see if your hashtag is already being used and secondly, if its out there already, what content is coming up.
The last thing you want is for there to be totally irrelevant or even worse, inappropriate content to pop up!
2. Give yourself plenty of time
You don’t want to leave this to the last minute. You should plan to launch your hashtag well before your event is taking place. Poor planning leads to poor performance and all that.
Remember the idea is to get as many people talking about your event as possible. In order to build this momentum and get your hashtag trending you need plenty of time and the bigger your event the more time you need.
Don’t leave this to the week before, you need to be thinking weeks and even months before.
3. Must have great content
Start with preparing a series of scheduled posts which will feature your hashtag and start introducing people to the idea of your event.
These posts should be informative, create hype/ build-up, contain teasers and should ideally showcase some previews of what people can expect.
Think behind the scenes images, previews of performers or tasters of products and anything that will excite and capture people’s interest.
*Important to remember when posting to use good quality images and not avoid repetition.
4. Engage in conversation
Make sure you encourage interaction with people who like and comment on your posts. You should be replying, reposting, sharing, tweeting, following and commenting to keep the conversation building.
This also goes for your staff, for any guests attending your event. Get them all involved in using your hashtag and engaging with people around your event.
5. Encourage engagement with rewards
A great way to get people talking about your event as well as sharing your posts and mentioning your hashtag is to run a competition alongside it such as giving away free tickets or a product. There are a few effective ways of doing this which often include several steps that have to be followed which further increase engagement such as; like this post, tag your friends, like our page, share this post in your story feed etc.
6. Use your hashtag everywhere and in all your marketing avenues
Your hashtag should be repeated as many times as possible on the run up to your event. Make sure it’s on your website, all social media platforms, use it in all posts both in the text as well as the image and of course if you are printing posters and tickets, make sure that your hashtag is clear.
7. Do some paid online advertising and promotion
If your event is ticketed this can be a really good way to increase ticket sales as well as helping to boost the use of your hashtag.
Facebook remarketing ads are a really good tool for this as they help to capture two types of audiences, those who have already purchased a ticket and those who have visited your website but haven’t bought a ticket yet.
8. Capture great content for future promotions
It goes without saying that you want to ensure that you capture as many highlights of your event as possible so that you can use this for future campaigns as well as ongoing advertising.
Making sure you can get high quality images and especially video content is key! Get pics of the set up (pre-guests’ arrival), whilst the event is in full swing and after to showcase all the excitement and hard work that went into it.
Monitor your social media closely and make sure that you’re posting throughout the event with images that really promote the vibe. Having socially enabled photo booths and hashtag printers are another fantastic way to get people talking on social media during the event.
Guests can snap pics and share them instantly to social media or can upload pics from their phone to Instagram and Twitter using your hashtag and can also get a pocket size print to take away on the day.
Hashtag and WhatsApp printers such as the Brand Rocket are becoming more and more popular at events and enable you to collect all posts using your hashtag even those you would normally not ever have seen.
9. Make memories and shareable moments
A great way to prolong the hype even after the event is to send a thank you out to all of your attendees and share links with them to your social media and other shareable content from the day such as images, videos, newsletters and blogs.
10. Using influencers/speakers/performers
Last, but not least, let’s not forget about any influencers that you might have attending your event. It’s always a good idea to start using their handle in your posts leading up to your event, advertising their collaboration or time slot.
Be sure to get them to mention you to use your hashtag in their posts to. They can also provide you with a testimonial after the event and you can reach out to them to help you with getting future events in the spotlight.
When putting together your next marketing campaign make sure to have social media as a top priority and remember to incorporate all the tools and opportunities that social media provides you with to leverage your brand and get your event trending.