Your event does not have to reach stadium-level capacity for it to be a success. Nevertheless, the more the merrier. Reaching the desired turnout, though, boils down to your ability to market your event. Your social media campaign should include a diverse and varied approach. Here are some best practices for marketing your event using the top social network channels.
Why Social Media?
According to one research, a large-scale event from a large enterprise receives an average of 1,398,359 social media mentions throughout the event’s planning and hosting cycle. For small companies and startups, such figures are unlikely the first few times around. However, a well-planned campaign can garner an unprecedented level of online attention.
Furthermore, social media for events is a norm and not an exception. 88% of event organizers use some form of social media promotion to hype the event. 58% use social media during the event.
- Host a Pre-Event Happy Hour
Go beyond the typical Facebook post or tweet. About three days to a week before the event, host an online get-together via Skype or Google Hangouts. This can be an informal laid-back chat where participants can ask questions or just make small talk on event-related topics. This adds an element of anticipation and is also a great way for some of the attendees to meet each other before the actual event.
If the event is local, then you can host a smaller live event. This can be a meeting at a lounge or smaller venue where light refreshments are served.
- Teaser Video
A teaser video is great if the event includes a product launch. A teaser generates interest and unveils a small preview of what will take place. In essence, you’re giving the audience a sneak peek but not the whole thing, just enough to create curiosity and get attendees chatting among themselves on social media. If successful, this will create online discussion with use of your event hashtag.
Here is a teaser video for STARTglobal’s 2016 event. This company recruits young entrepreneurs into the IT industry. Its teaser consists of past events and interviews from current members.
- Share Behind-the-Scenes Content
There’s nothing secretive about the event planning phase. Let the attendees see what goes on behind the curtain. The simplest way to do this is by uploading photos on Instagram and with a caption. This can be pics of an office brainstorming session or a photo of last year’s event setup.
For an even more dramatic effect, create a vlog that shows some of the actual planning phase in motion. Perhaps you can film your trip to the event venue where you speak with the venue administrator to cement the deal.
This creates a sense of transparency, not to mention it also builds hype. This is similar to a pre-game documentary that sports channels show in the weeks leading up to a high-profile match.
- Get Brand Advocates Involved
Some of the attendees may have a large social media following of their own, maybe even more than your company. Recruit these people as your brand advocates. Reach out to them personally and make them some kind of offer. Perhaps you’ll give them and their guests free tickets if they perform a specific type of outreach on their own social media channels.
Brand advocates aren’t limited to your customers. Your own staff can act as brand advocates, and so can sponsors or scheduled speakers. Social media is all about networking; each one of your advocates can extend the outreach so much more than you can alone. If successful, some of the people reached out to will become brand advocates themselves and do their own outreach.
Social media is your key to a high turnout. It’s also a readily available resource; it’s up to you to use it in a way that gets people talking and getting excited about what your event has to offer.
Download your FREE Event Promotion checklist to be used for promoting both small and large events using social media.
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About the Author
Dan McCarthy has worked in the event management industry for five years and is currently an event manager for the UK-based company Venueseeker. His portfolio includes many successful event planning projects for companies across various niches. He is currently a regular contributor for his company’s blog site. Follow him on Twitter at @DanCarthy2.