The first thing that you do when you have an event offline is to create buzz online. Or that is what your social media manager will tell you to do.
However marketing an event on social media is a wholly different ball game and needs to be done in a sustained manner starting much before your event is scheduled. Against popular practice, the promotion of the event should continue well after the event is over to account for repeat attendance, should you plan to organize the event again.
Here are some steps you can follow to successfully market:
1 – Before the event:
Objective: Getting the word out early
Timeframe: 1-3 months before the event
- Release multimedia teaser videos
- Organise contests and giveaways for attendees, in the run up to the event
- Update your social media profiles with more updated content and cover photos
A – Organic promotions
Create event pages on Facebook, Linkedin and Google+. Add social plugins to your event registration page to encourage conversations.
Get the word out early using organic promotions on all your social media profiles. Write blog posts, do a press release, use images and fliers. Be sure to mention attendees, influencers and other organisers. Collaborate with organisers and influencers to get the word out. Get your team members to talk about the event as well on their profiles as well.
B – Paid promotions
Advertise with paid promotions.
- Engage attendees with Facebook ads
- Organise your outreach on Twitter. Create relevant hashtags and consistently target lists of people you want to target. You can promote your hashtag using Promoted tweets and trends
- Boost visibility with Adword
C – Reap in earned promotions
- Some bloggers and media might want to report about your event and pick your story. The more you promote your own content the more you get third party attention
- Encash the visibility you get using your social media channels. Share third party reports far and wide.
D – Promote, measure and improve
- You have several ways to track your promotion. You can use these to check whether your social media marketing is working. Here are some of them.
- Google Analytics
- Facebook insights
2 – Event day:
Objective: Get visibility for the event as it happens on social media. Make it future ready.
On the floor:
- Organize interviews with your speakers, attendees and influencers on video.
- Host a tweetup: So attendees can meet you in person, field questions and generate content for you
- Hand out business cards: Make sure your social media handles are in it, so the attendees, influencers and speakers can talk about the event on their social media profiles as well
- Use the event hashtag when you interact with anyone
- Upload content real time
- Hold contests online real time as the event happens so participants interact and remain engaged
- Encourage people who are not able to attend to participate in conversations regarding the event.
- Stream event presentations and videos of demos
- Allow people to ask questions live to speakers at the event
3 – After the event:
Objective: To improve shelf life and repeat attendance for the event
- Create and curate content to increase the shelf life and recall value of your event. It makes things easier when you want to host the second edition of your event or any followup events of your organisation.
- Promote your own content about the event
- Share other articles, videos and presentations
- Mention influencers who attended the event and tag them wherever possible
- Host post event contests, to capture feedback from attendees and to improve chance of repeat attendance
- Use feedback tools to measure the efficacy of your event marketing on social media