Music artist Phil Collins once said, “Anticipation is half the fun.” Often building up to an event is as much fun for your customers as the event itself, and the single best way to do that today is through social media marketing for events.
How can you be sure the financial and time investment you put into that marketing strategy, though, really pays off in the long run?
These tips can help.
It Starts With Your Goals:
It’s tough to measure ROI when you don’t know what you’re looking for, so the best first place to start is to decide exactly what you want to happen. Likely the overall goal is to get more people to register, but even that goal may need to be broken down into smaller pieces.
Sure, think of those overall registrations, but you may also want to break it down into registration by time, registration by category (ages, discounts, etc), or even registration by social media platform if you’re using multiple platforms. Remember that your goals should be as measurable and attainable as possible.
Define Your Audience:
Social media has a broad reach, and it’s nearly impossible to market to everyone on any given social media platform. Define the kind of people you want to attend the event. Think about demographics and behaviors, then use that information to help build a buyer persona. Once you have that defined, you can select the best social platform to meet your needs.
Naturally, you may want to use the social platforms where you already have an engaged audience but think about reaching out to help push new accounts. Each platform has different elements that help it excel.
On Facebook, you can share updates of your event, Livestream the event, and even create an event-specific page. On Instagram, you’re going to get lots of engagement with photos and videos leading up to the event. Tik Tok is ideal if you can build short-form videos that pack a punch. LinkedIn is perfect for professional events, and Snapchat is the only way to go if your audience is fairly young.
Build a Hashtag:
One of the best things you can do is begin to tie all of your marketing efforts together, and that starts with a hashtag. Ensure it defines your brand and the event, as it’s the easiest way to access all of the marketing in one space.
If you really want to build interest in an event, influencers are the way to go. 93% of marketers are using this unique way to reach viewers, and for good reason. It’s a way to tap into an already built community. Choose your influencers wisely, though. You want to select someone who speaks directly to your target market.
Build Your Campaign Around Visuals:
A visual strategy is the only way to go in event social media marketing. Offer lots of variety, and share as much as you can in a visual medium to help bring people in.
Don’t Forget About the Website:
Build a separate website for your event. While you’ll spend lots of time designing your materials for social media, it’s still not a replacement for a functional site where people can get all of the details in one place. Be sure you include clear information for the event itself, easy registration management, and lots of images!
Create a Solid Timeline:
Marketing an event isn’t quite like marketing your brand on a regular basis. Instead, you’ll need to divide your efforts into a few different phases. Start with a “save the date” campaign to begin generating a little bit of buzz around your event. Move forward with early bird ticket sales, then start making your announcements - speakers, session topics, headliners, etc.
Make the last call for those early registrations, then move into a phase where you close registration. Your penultimate step should be the event itself. Post lots of photos, videos, and more from the event. After it’s over, do some evaluation marketing where you work to listen to the discussion of the event so you can begin planning for next year. User-generated content is VERY effective at this stage of the game.
The last step is to start engaging your audience. Use a solid mix of natural engagement and paid social media ads that will help boost interest in your event. Paid social strategies help increase your campaign’s overall sustainability, and it gets the buzz going quite a bit faster than you might be able to organically.
Need a bit of help getting the word out about your next event? Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your brand (and event) dominate the social media landscape.