Event promotion and targeting have moved beyond the realm of creating adverts and mass-mailing print brochures and invitations. As well as marketing to the masses, with online tools you can customise messages to suit individuals or groups.
Using social media platforms to promote and enhance events is becoming much more common and so it is often thought that anyone can jump on Twitter or Facebook and suddenly reach 10,000 delegates. This, unfortunately, is not the case; in order for social media to work for events it takes strategy and creativity and, above all, commitment. Most often it is the hard work before the event that can really make or break a social media campaign. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some key considerations for achieving maximum exposure and hype on social media for your event.
Before anything, you should review who you want to reach (specific industries or groups). Then, which social networks you should use to reach them. Do you really need to be on all of them? Or would focusing on one which your audience use frequently be more effective? We find, working in the B2B sector, that LinkedIn can be especially useful for reaching our target audiences. Next, you should secure the profiles and groups you need on these. Ensure you have a recognisable name and clear information about your event: what it is, where it is, when it is, and your website and registration details.
With your profiles lined up, start laying out your strategy. Ask yourself:
What do you want to achieve? Are you trying to create a viral buzz, attract sponsors, increase attendance, or just stay on trend?
Who should you be attracting? What will they want to know about? What will attract them to come to the event? Which groups or communities can you join to encourage interest and attract followers? You can invest time in crafting things but it’s only worthwhile if people are reading or engaging with your content.
Which similar events (and their social profiles) can you draw inspiration (and followers) from? Who were they following or interacting with? What did they do right and what did they do wrong?
What are the themes of your event? Are there any topical issues you can create discussions around? What are the keywords or hashtags for these? Can you create a relevant keyword or hashtag to get people buzzing about your event?
What interesting content can you share? Websites, blogs, magazine coverage? Your message will be a lot more cohesive if it is incorporated with the rest of your marketing for the event and social media is an effective way of getting that content ‘out there’ instead of sitting passively on a webpage.
Tune in next week for tips on how to use social media during your event to provide real-time updates, keep your attendees in the loop and show non-attendees what they’re missing.