How can you get more out of your social media event promotion strategy? Check out these tips for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and more!
Attendees that could be at your next event are hanging out on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat right now. But if you think reaching them is as simple as posting frequently, there’s more than a good chance that your social media strategy is falling short. Because let’s face it — every time you post, you’re competing with thousands of other events to stand out in people’s feeds. So how do you make your content the content that people want to engage with? And more importantly, how do you leverage that content to drive maximum awareness and woo attendees?
Below, I’ll set your social media efforts up for success with 10 top tips from Social Tables’ free ebook, 30 Social Media Tips & Tricks to Engage Attendees.
Every social network serves a different purpose, and it’s important to use them that way. Twitter is about reactions and conversations. Facebook is all about awareness and engagement. LinkedIn caters to education and professional development — and so on. If you’re posting the same free or paid content on Instagram that you are on LinkedIn, chances are you’re not catering well to either audience and your content is going to fall short.
At over 1.5 billion active users, Facebook is a social behemoth and your best avenue for awareness and exposure. Wondering how to promote your event on Facebook? Use these three tips to make your event a social splash that Facebook audiences can’t help but notice.
1) Use the Events feature to extend your reach.
Posting events on Facebook and to your website seems a bit redundant, right? Think again. It gives your audience a familiar place to find the details, see who’s attending, and reach out with questions. Plus, when attendees RSVP via a Facebook event, they can share the event on their News Feed and extend your reach organically. (You’ll build a little FOMO too!)
If you hold events often, take advantage of the Events tab on your company’s page. Potential attendees will see all of your events on one convenient list, and you’ll have a simple way to share what’s coming up.
2) Use Facebook Live to broadcast engaging content.
Video streams are a great way to get your audience excited for an event. Luckily, Facebook Live makes it easy to instantly start a video stream from your laptop or smartphone. Just set a time, and inform your followers about the stream a few days in advance to build hype. As you start streaming, your followers will see a notification alerting them that you’re broadcasting.
The event staff at Dreamforce used Facebook Live to give virtual attendees a behind the scenes look.
When planning your stream, remember that it’s a great opportunity to answer questions, promote speakers, and generate buzz by highlighting some of the things that make your event enticing. You can even stream from your event the day of so that people who aren’t there can see what they’re missing out on. If they like what they see, they’ll be sure to show up next time.
Pro Tip: Longer broadcasts are likely reach more viewers. As you continue to stream, give your followers enough time to see their notifications. Broadcast for 10 minutes at the absolute minimum. People tend to straggle behind, and if your presentation is short, then it may already be over by the time they’re ready to tune in.
You can find more tips in the Facebook Live guide for event marketers.
3) Be part of the conversation in Facebook groups.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, or how niche your audience is; there’s a community related to your event or business hanging out on Facebook. Be proactive about finding these groups and build relationships with the people that manage them. The goal is to present yourself and your organization as a thought leader.
As you engage with the group, don’t worry about marketing. Think first about how you can add value. The more you can do that, the more you can drive awareness and paint your event brand as something that’s worth paying attention to. Being a part of the online event community is making a long bet on Facebook. Don’t expect instant results, but try to be an active community member and add value a few times a week.
You have a LinkedIn page for your company, right? If not, you’re missing out on an audience that’s already primed for networking and professional development. Plus, many organizations are already using LinkedIn to boost ticket sales.
4) Use your company profile as a promotional platform.
Leading up to your next event, make sure you’re sharing the same information and updates to your company’s (or client’s) LinkedIn profile as you would to Facebook and Twitter. When updates are made, news of the changes appear on your subscribers’ newsfeed.
Invest in your LinkedIn community just as you would on Facebook or Twitter. And, use the right visuals to boost engagement rate, just as you would on other networks. Just remember that most professionals are scrolling through their LinkedIn feeds in search of information, advice, or opportunities. So make sure you’re positioning your ad as more than just an engagement play — it should offer some benefit to their professional lives.
5) Promote your event with LinkedIn Ads.
LinkedIn Ads work a lot like Facebook Ads. They appear to those whose profile information matches that of your main demographic.
Aside from LinkedIn Ads, you can also us LinkedIn Sponsored Updates to give your posts a boost and grow your audience. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates are more effective because the ad appears directly in the user’s newsfeed, as opposed to LinkedIn Ads. Ads appear on the right hand column and can easily be glossed over. Here are a few guidelines to help you make a great Ad or Sponsored Update:
- Avoid stock images. Competing ads are full of them. The image should also be specific rather than a generic image.
- Create a catchy call-to action. (ex: Website Not Converting? Attend the South Bay Digital Marketing Expo to make your website a visitor conversion machine.)
- Use targeting to focus specifically on your audience. Indicating a broad demographic on LinkedIn often results in higher clicks that don’t end up converting.
- Split-test your campaign. You should have at least three different ads per campaign. Use the right metrics to determine which ads are doing well and which are underperforming.
Twitter has been around forever, and today it’s the fastest way to see how people are reacting to what’s happening in the world. It’s also your chance to find and join those same conversations as they relate to your event.
6) Track event buzz with #hashtags.
Hashtags, when used properly, can boost awareness and engagement for your event in a unique and powerful way. In fact on Twitter, Tweets with one to two hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those without. The more people using your hashtag, the more you get a boost in the people who see or interact with it.
The Bizzabo all-in-one event platform can automatically track hashtag impressions.
When interacting with your attendees, encourage them to use your event hashtag before during and after the event. Then, use free tracking tools like TweetDeck or Hootsuite to determine how frequently your hashtag is being used. It’s a great way to check the pulse of your Twitter campaign’s popularity.
Pro Tip: If you have a hashtag in mind, make sure it isn’t already associated with another subject or event.
7) Stay in touch with Twitter lists.
Ever want to stay in touch with the people tweeting about your events? Or even find out if they’ll be in attendance the following year? You can organize your attendees, exhibitors and supporters in one feed through a Twitter list.
First, use Twitter to search for the users that used your hashtag. Then as you find the users that attended your event, add them to a Twitter list. You’ll be able to keep an eye on what they’re saying and monitor their public conversations leading up to the next event. Think of it like creating your own group or community. When you’re ready to promote an upcoming event, you’ll have a list of past attendees to get started with.
Today, Instagram has more than half a billion active users around the globe. But, in order to reach that audience, you’ll need to start thinking visually. Here’s how you can use Instagram to engage millennials and beyond.
8) Take advantage of Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories are growing in popularity. They allow users to upload a series of connected clips as they go about their day and post those clips as a video story. For events, it’s a great way to give followers on Instagram a backstage pass. After all, people love seeing what’s going on behind the scenes.
You can also use Instagram Stories as way to give your audience a daily teaser of what’s to come. But the day of the event, make sure to keep the stories going, so your followers that didn’t make it can see what they’re missing. (Since each video clip you share is only live for 24 hours, you don’t need to worry about production quality.)
Snapchat is still the fastest growing social network and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, Snapchat videos are seen more than four billion times each day. The hard part of capitalizing on that is coming up with the right Snapchat ideas to share for your event. In addition to snapchat geofilters, check out these strategies.
9) Activate your VIP guests and speakers.
Often the biggest draw to your events will be your speakers, the VIPs that are responsible for creating most of the experience. They want their talks to be seen just as much as you want attendees to see them. Sometimes, it just takes a little encouragement to get them started.
If your VIPs have a sizeable following on Snapchat, give them something to snap about by sending them event swag and relevant information that they can talk about before the event. After the event, make sure to get a recap of their favorite moments in their own words.
10) Bring attendees together with Snapchat’s “Our Story” feature.
With “Our Story”, Snapchat makes it possible for users to submit photos and videos to the same timeline. Everyone at the event will see a new icon appear in the Snapchat app allowing them to see what attendees like them are sharing.
Before getting started, inform guests that you’ll be enabling the feature. And encourage them to participate and submit their posts or short videos once the event is in progress. This allows viewers to view snippets of the event as seen from the vantage point of attendees. (If your audience isn’t so tech savvy, remind guests that Snapchat is free so they can download it and use it for the event.)
Wrapping Up: Social Media Event Promotion in Practice
Now that you have a few more tools in the drawer, the next step is to put them to use. Start by checking out the rest of our free 30 Tips ebook. Then, make a list of the five to ten ideas that you’re going to try. Even with just those first ten tips, you’ll boost your reach, maximize your message retention, and bring in more attendees than you have in the past.