It’s no secret social media has made a lasting imprint on the events industry – it’s become one of the dominant marketing methodologies for any event or meeting planner as an individual or as part of a bigger firm. Here are five tips for marketing events via social media and/or to improve the perceived value of your event with your attendees.
Let Freedom Ring at your Event! Embrace social media as your attendees certainly have – don’t try and fight the momentum by corralling your attendees too much. Build in social sharing for and with your attendees and enable this by making sure your event is “social ready” with an Twitter video screen in the front of the room (if large event) coupled with specific hashtags for the actual event and encourage attendees to and let them post on your Faceobook wall (share images and videos) to drive more meaningful engagement. Don’t restrict social media “attendance” at your event, promote it!
Staff for Social Media During an Event – One of the challenges for your firm or you as an individual event or meeting planner is making sure you have sufficient time or staffing to manage your social media marketing needs during an event. This need of course is accelerated greatly by the actual size of your event and attendance. You or your staff should be managing an active Twitter feed during and event, making sure you respond to questions or comments via your Facebook page and upload images and videos to your Pinterest page on a daily basis. And, the more dynamic your attendees the greater your need will be to channel these social communications during an event.
Leverage Facebook as an Marketing Platform – Facebook is a powerful marketing platform for advertising an event (great built in targeting by location, demographics and much more), as a two way communications platform (comments, likes and shares) during an actual event. Don’t forget to include a share function for your attendees after they pay for your event – it can be use as a gentle reminder to help to drive incremental visibility via their network of friends and connections. Don’t muck up your sharing an event with prizes or other inducements – many of the purchasers will take this as a vote of no or little confidence in the actual event. Keep it light in terms of a share request: “thanks for supporting our event – please share if you want to underscore your enthusiasm….”
Great Event Marketing with Social Media is about Engagement not Broadcasting How many Twitter accounts have we all seen that are just an endless promotion of a brand or event? Too many in most cases. Remember that effective event marketing via social media is not marketing per sea unless it’s “educational” – the best marketing is no marketing! Meaning, engage with your attendees and offer resources that they will share via their own connections. By, engagement, we mean responding back to Tweets or comments via your Facebook page and building rapport with your audience by doing so.
Be Event Apps ready – make sure you are using a mobile event app for your next event – your attendees are starting to expect this capability, driven in part by smartphone usage at and during events, the increased time pressures on event attendees to be more efficient before, during and after an event and the increased reliance on social media as an “always on” communications channel for sharing and engaging. Also, many of your peer firms and individuals are now relying on event apps to drive a competitive advantage in the marketplace – don’t be left out of the mix.