I want you to think about this: What's the main goal of attending an event? Right, networking. What's the secondary goal? Bingo! Soaking up valuable, helpful content. What does this have to do with social media? Everything!
That's what social media is all about. Networking, creating and sharing educational content is social media's DNA. Your event and social media are perfect for each other. Give them a chance and you will love the outcomes of this relationship.
If you think that your event doesn't work for social media, I'm afraid you are wrong. It really doesn't matter which type of event you are organizing:
- Business Meetings
- Group Events
Putting in place a social media marketing strategy can turn any event into a skyrocketing success. You just have to know how to use it.
We want to make sure you do. That's why we are publishing a blog post series on “Social Media for Event Promotion”. Let's turn you into a social media marketing expert.
The first part of our series invites you to switch to the bright side of the digital life and enjoy all the benefits that social media has to offer your event:
- multiply your reach and consequently your attendees
- offer a more personalized event experience tailored to your attendees' expectations
- create an event experience before, during and after the event
- boost your event's reputation
- enhance your content's quality
And this is just the appetizer. Let's go for the whole course menu.
RISE UP TO THE CHALLENGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I know, approaching a social media strategy for your event can seem like a big challenge. New trends, features, algorithm changes, topics and techniques come up day in, day out. Keeping up with the dynamics of the social media world might feel like a mission impossible:
- Which networks are best for my event?
- Which posts do I publish?
- Do I have to create a social media advertising campaign?
- How do I get followers?
- How do I get them to engage with my posts?
- And what's the purpose of all this hassle anyway?
No worries. Read on and we'll answer all of these important questions. It'll pay off, I promise.
But if you need more than my word in order to believe it, take a look at these stats taken from Our Social Times and convince yourself:
|78% of event organizers plan to increase their use of social media in the future|
Take a look at the percentage of event organizers using these social networks to promote their event:
Ready to jump on the social media bandwagon? Great! I'd say: Full steam ahead!
6 REASONS FOR EVENT PROFS TO COUNT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
With Social Media you can be part of the buzz
People will talk about your event. That's a given. And they'll use social media to do so. If you don't join in, you're missing out on great opportunities:
- You won't be able to monitor the comments
- You won't have any control over what's being talked about
- You won't have any control over who’s participating in the conversation
- You won't get any benefit from the comments
- You won't be able to respond to complaints, help with problems, etc.
And these are just a few of the disadvantages you'll have to deal with. Don't look on helplessly. Take over the reins and keep your audience updated on anything related to your event, share helpful content with your registered attendees, boost their engagement, make special offers and bring up topics for discussion.
Social Media boosts word-of-mouth
Think of it that way: When you share an event with your friends or on your wall, what you are actually doing is recommending the event. It's word-of-mouth dressed up as a digital recommendation.
Although it's actually a stronger, better and cooler version of word-of-mouth. Stats prove it:
|“71% of users are more likely to buy a product if someone recommended it to them on Social Media”|
The same applies to your event. You can convert your social media followers into your most successful event promoters. Therefore, you have to make sure that all of your event's content is easily shareable. Add social media share buttons to all of your platforms and pages and watch the number of your impressions climb up.
Make it easy for your attendees to share the event while they are registering. Have them land on a page that confirms their registration and attract their attention with an eye-catching button that lets them share the event with their favorite social network. (This implies the existence of an event technology system that backs you up with a registration tool, an event webpage, etc.)
You'll benefit twice: First, you'll expand your reach and therefore drive more attendees to your event. And secondly, you'll get valuable information about which social networks your attendees prefer. Choose a social monitoring tool that makes it easy for you to analyze the data.
If you want to get your creative juices flowing, try an interactive campaign that includes irresistible incentives for your followers to share your event. Why stop at a couple of event promoters, if you can have a whole army?
Get a step-by-step guide on how to create interactive social media campaign in part 2 of our Social Media for Event Promotion (coming soon).
Social Media create stronger connections with your attendees:
You shouldn't wait until throwing open the doors of your event, to start worrying about how to best create lasting relationships with your attendees. Make them trust you long before and after the event.
Deliver relevant content before the event. It will result in a more valuable experience during the event, since your attendees will have all the background information. Also it will help you gain their trust and you'll start fostering your relationship.
After the event, monitor their feedback, comments, complaints, and ideas about your event. If you do so, each event will be better than the previous one.
Meet the Simone Biles of social media event promotion: Social Media Marketing World . They manage to provide great content and engage their target audience all year round. The event has evolved to be the largest social media marketing conference world-wide. Follow them and get inspired for your social media marketing strategy.
Social Media gives your attendees a voice
This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. The great advantage of social media is that now, any brand, company or event doesn't bore its audience with monologues anymore. Everybody can join the conversation. Customers, users and attendees have a voice. And they like to be heard and appreciated. So what's your task? Show them that you are listening!
Seize the chance and provide an event experience that is tailored to your attendees needs and expectations. Negative comments are a great way to get better. We all make mistakes. What’s the difference is how we deal with them (link al segundo art. “Common Event Management Mistakes). Answer their criticism with a helpful message and let them know, you'll pull all your stops to make up for it.
Use your social media monitoring tool to analyze what worked well and what didn't. Did they like the program, the speakers, the venue, the activities, etc? Adapt to the results. Your attendees will appreciate your efforts.
Also, be aware that more and more people use social media for customer service purposes. Be prepared and back up your social media team with customer service competences and/or make communication and collaboration between the two teams run as smoothly as possible. Most users expect answers within one hour. Keep that in mind when creating your social media strategy.
Social Media involves your attendees in the event organization
All of us want it: Offering our attendees exactly what they expect. But in many cases, we really don't know what it is they are expecting. Social media is here to help.
Ever thought about simply asking them about their needs, expectations and goals? Set up surveys and let your attendees vote for speakers, topics, activities, maybe even venues. It will boost their engagement, drive attendance and make your event experience original.
Again, this gives you great insights about who your attendees are, what problems they are facing, what they are interested in, what their preferences are, etc. This information makes it a lot easier for you to be their solution.
- Social Media let them see the personal side of your event
The emotional component of marketing is fundamental. It's what makes the audience feel connected to a product, brand or event. Social media bears many great ways for you to get a little emotional with your audience.
Video is taking the internet by storm.
|76 % of marketers identified video marketing as their top priority for the future.|
Don't panic. You don't have to keep up with Hitchcock. You don't need a blockbuster budget either. Be creative and create expectations among your audience.
Set up a live-stream, tape interviews with speakers, influencers and attendees, repurpose your workshops and turn them into a webinar, and publish a recap video with your event's highlights after the event. That's a great way to get people who didn't show up this time to definitely do so next time.
Social media is the present and the future of event promotion and experience. If you haven't already, it's about time to integrate it with your event organization.
Above all, it will boost your reputation incredibly. Not only among your attendees, but also among sponsors, venues, and all the stakeholders included in the organizing process. Using social media and monitoring tools for your event equals event experience optimization. Go for a better experience with each event.
Now that you know, why you should have a social media marketing strategy set up for your event, let's dive into the how you'll manage to enjoy all of the tempting benefits. Stay connected for part 2 of our Social Media for Event Promotion series
Sarah Fichtinger – Digital Marketing Strategist