Social media is the perfect outlet for small business and event producers to create buzz and spread the word about their upcoming events. Not only will you reach your existing customers, but also you have the opportunity to convert interested parties into customers and garner more traffic and attention to your business.
Promoting events on social media can turn your regular customers into brand ambassadors—people are more like to attend events with friends, so if your customer plans on attending, they are very likely to share the event with friends who would be interested. The end result of how to use social media to promote your event could increased event attendance, a larger population of interested clients, and increased traffic to your social media sites and website.
Before the Event
Plan out which social media outlets you intend to use and devise a content timeline before you initiate any action. Look at the activity on your various social media sites, and decide what type of content would be most effective in drawing your customers attention and excite them about the event.
Decide what to context, a giveaway (if any) or a competition would be appropriate to generate even greater buzz. If a teaser trailer would fit the event, prepare for the production of the video for YouTube and other outlets.
Once you initiate your plan, stay attuned to the responses you are receiving; tweak your plan as necessary. You don’t want to bombard and alienate your client base.
Here are a few suggested online elements to consider creating or developing.
A landing page for the event
Create a landing page specifically for the event on your website so that you may track traffic. Having a unique, well-designed homepage for the event will definitely interest and entice your future guests. Additionally, you can use the unique URL for all your social media references so people are immediately directed to the content on the event. Add social media sharing buttons so that clients are able to share the page through their networks. And don’t forget to include the basic, yet most important, information like the dates (of the event, of ticket sales, of last day to register, etc.), location, contact information beyond social media, and how to buy tickets.
Social Media Sites
It goes without saying that you should create a Facebook event page for your event. It is still the most trafficked and used social networking tool and if you have a strong following, you will reach a large portion of your customers immediately. Invite all your fans; Facebook events makes it easy for them to share the details of the event with their network.
Twitter is a great way to generate buzz in concert with other social media outlets. Create a unique hashtag for the event and be sure to incorporate it into any tweets regarding the occasion. Try to tweet promotions or news about the event on a regular basis for consistency and to keep it top-of-mind amongst your customers.
If you are interested in targeting business connections and other industry players, consider creating a LinkedIn event page. This page also allows you to share the event with the public, individuals, or groups. It also can be linked to Facebook and Twitter, creating additional content and cross-overyou’re your social media outlets.
The sheer number of people using Google maps and using Google to search will mean that target audience will end up seeing your Google+ page at some point. The new events feature allows you to upload videos as well, so if you created a teaser for YouTube or Vimeo, you can link it here as well.
Announce the event on your company blog and keep adding new posts with updates as the event planning progresses. The behind-the-scenes look not only generates fresh content, but also interest and excitement leading up to the event. Make sure you have social media buttons that allows followers to share the blog posts with their networks.
During the Event
Live tweet/blog the event to allow interested customers who were unable to attend to feel like they are somehow participating as well. It also creates a digital trail of content that draws attention.
Take photos and short videos of important or funny moments; post to your outlets to share with those not at the event. And make sure Wi-Fi is available during the event so that attendees can also Instagram, tweet, and check-in as often as they please.
Use your website, blog and social media outlets to publish post-event content like highlights, photos and thank yous after the event to keep the conversation going with the attendees. Encourage post-event feedback not only to show that you are listening to your customers, but also to glean information that can improve your next event.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. Her writing covers everything from travel, health, and technology, but her background is in online marketing so she knows how important social networking is for the success of any business.
Photo Credit: joshlowensohn