Have you created your social media marketing strategy? Have you already launched it and achieved your first results? That's great! But your job is not done yet. You want to keep optimizing your strategy constantly. In order to do that, you have to keep track of your metrics, know which ones to analyze and how to use the information to get even better results.
In our blog series Social Media for Event Promotion, we have looked at all of social media's benefits for your event . Also, we went through social media marketing tips for your event. That means you are all set to start enhancing your strategy by using the stats your social media actions generate.
If you do so, you'll be ahead of so many other event organizers. Just look at the following fact published by MarketingProfs :
|Nearly half (46 percent) of B2B marketers are not sure whether any social channels have generated revenue for their business.|
Also many event profs seem to ignore the gold mine that lies right in front of them:
The data of their digital audience includes all kind of different data categories and can really make the difference between a succeeding and a failing marketing strategy:
- Social demography
- Behavior data
Your followers tell you exactly what they want. You just have to speak their language and listen to them. Don't rely on guesswork when it comes to your social media marketing strategy. Analyze the data they generate, adapt your strategy according to the results you achieve and your next event will be right on target.
Analyze your followers:
Remember when I told you that one of the first steps you had to take when approaching social media for your event marketing had to be defining your audience. Who are the people you want to show up at your event? What do they do? What challenges do they face? What are they looking for? And above all, how are you going to help them overcome their challenges and make their life easier?
Remember? Great! Now that you've build up a community of followers, you have to make sure it’s the right one. This might seem too obvious, but believe me, I see this mistake a lot. Events running campaigns on social media with the objective to gain more followers.
When planning the campaign they focus too much on that goal and forget to link it to what their event is about and take into account the specific target audience. They do gain a lot of followers, but those followers are not part of their target audience and will never attend one of their events.
So in order to make sure your messages attract your potential attendees, analyze your audience and figure out how your event can help them. There are a lot of tools out there that let you generate their personal data easily. Or you can also use the analytics feature included in the individual networks.
Do all the characteristics align with the target audience you had created, when starting your social media marketing? If they don't, you have to think about how to communicate more specifically. Narrow your content down to what's interesting for your potential attendees and not for the public in general.
Keep track of your goals:
The second step of getting your social media marketing strategy off the ground is to define the goals you want to achieve through social media. Remember that I pointed out that these goals had to be measurable?
When setting up your goals, you have to think about the metrics you are going to analyze in order to find out whether you've achieved it or not. Let's look at some examples:
- Goal: more traffic to your event page → Metric: number of visitors
- Goal: more registrations → Metric: number of conversions
- Goal: more engagement → Metric: number of comments, likes and shares
Did you reach your goal? If you failed to attract the number of visitors you expected, think of ways to drive traffic to your event page. Create posts for your different social media channels with an attractive image (For more information, please read the second part of the series. It will help you to achieve that goal and an incentive to click the link to your event page.
You can also set up paid ads that pursue your main goal of driving traffic to your event page. Use Facebook Ads, Twitter Cards and/or Google AdWords. The advantage of paid ads is that you get a much wider audience for your posts and you can filter the audience to make sure your ad conquers the screens of your potential attendees and no one else.
You didn't get enough registrations? Something might be wrong with your event page or the registration process. Does the content on your event page make clear what your visitors have to do in order to turn into registered attendees? Is it attracting enough for them to stay until the registration process is finished? Is it easy to navigate and use or do people get lost on your page?
There are many factors to consider when it comes to the effectiveness of your event page. Listen to your visitors and spruce it up if necessary.
In terms of engagement, you should also analyze which of your followers are the most engaged ones and make sure you thank them appropriately. You could send them a thank-you note, share a post dedicated to them and create a special offer as a discount on their event ticket for instance. Keep your fans by your side! You need them.
Track down the hashtags
For your analysis to enter the micro level, put in place a tool that allows you to keep track of all the event's hashtags published.
There are tools out there that even allow you to create an engagement map that will illustrate where and how often people are talking about your event.
This data helps you understand the reach of your posts. Are only local people talking about your event or does the buzz break down barriers of space and reach far beyond borders?
However, you not only need to understand where people are talking about you, but also what they are talking about.
Before the event: Are they excited about the event coming up? Do they share their registrations? Are there any negative comments? What are they about? Take them seriously, get back to the upset commenters and let them know that you are going to take their comment into account during the event organization. That way you might actually gain their heart and they could turn into one of your most engaged attendees.
During the event: What people are talking about during the event can help you enhance the event experience. If you manage to adapt to the comments on spot, your attendees will love you for it.
|Side note: During the presidential conventions 2016 in the US, social media listening was one of the top priorities. The two candidates adapted their speeches in real-time to what people were commenting on social media. Just to give you an idea of how you can turn this into your benefit.|
If you're organizing a bigger event, think about installing a screen at your event where you display the event's engagement metrics in real time. Sit back and watch the engagement skyrocket. People like to see the result of their actions and seeing other people engage has a contagious effect.
Spot influencers among your audience:
Analyze the data of your audience and find out if their are any followers who enjoy an influencer position in the industry. Look at their audiences: How big and engaged are they? If there happen to be influencers among your followers, seize the chance and get in touch with them.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective techniques. Think about it that way: Having an influencer promote your event is like having Beyonce singing a duet with you for your first album or Emma Watson acting in your indie movie about feminism. Your audience is going to explode.
Make friends with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool that tells you so much about how effective your social media marketing is - also on other digital channels. It can seem complicated at first glance, but once you know what you have to look for, you might get addicted to watching your stats rise with each action you take on social media.
Another great thing about it is: It's free. So why don't you go ahead and create your account. Ready to dive into this wonderful world where user generated data tells you exactly what to do in order to organize an event that gives all of its stakeholders exactly what they want.
Before telling you which metrics to focus on: Make sure you add Google Analytics tracking pixel to all of your event pages so that you can analyze your traffic and conversions.
Let's go through it step by step.
- I'm going to start with the traffic sources. Google Analytics divides the traffic to your event page into the following sources:
- email paid search
The results should reflect your efforts. If you have applied all the tips I shared with you in this blog post series, you should see most traffic coming to your page from social. If you invest a lot of resources in SEO, the organic percentage should be higher than the other ones.
If you're investing equally in all the channels, you can use this information to decide which one you are going to assign a bigger budget to.
- Also, as mentioned above, the user behavior data displayed in Google Analytics will give you great insights about your event page, its content, the UX, the registration process etc. Which are the metrics to focus on?
- If your bounce rate is high, your event page isn't attractive enough for your visitors to keep navigating your site or to go on with the registration process.
- The time per session tells you how long visitors stay on your page. Long sessions stand for great event pages.
- Pages visited per session is an indicator of how engaged people are with your content and therefore your event. The more pages they visit, the better they like what they see.
- If your visitor number is high, but your conversion rate low, check your registration process. If there's a point at which you lose most of your traffic, you've found the snag. The entire registration process should be as smooth and fast as possible. The more time it takes, the higher the possibility of your visitors to head another way.
- Conversion rate is one of the most important metrics to track, since it helps you establish your ROI on your marketing spendings.
Don't let go of your lost traffic
The fact that a noteworthy amount of your traffic will leave your page before registering is totally normal. Actually, most people visit a page a couple of times before they convert into leads, attendees or clients.
So don't panic. But: Get busy with the lost traffic. You want to be sure these people come to visit you again and again until they are registered attendees.
How can you drive them to land on your page again. Your secret weapon has a name and it’s called: REMARKETING. Remarketing allows you to create ads that will only show up for people who have already visited your page but did not complete the registration process.
Embrace your Event App data:
The way your event attendees use your application, not only tells you a lot about their interests and needs but also about the effectiveness of your app.
Ask your provider about the people who used it. Get their sociodemographic information just as you did with your social media followers. Also take a look at the most and least used features from a critical point of view. Is there anything you could improve in order to make more people use them?
Have their been comments about your app? Was there anything missing for the users to get the most out of your event? Why not create a survey to improve your event app. Ask the users for their feedback and whether the app meets all their needs.
Base your app update on the outcome of the survey and all the feedback you were able to get. Don't forget to check social media as well. The more comments you collect, the better the updated version will be.
Have your sales & marketing team hook up
You are only going to make the most out of the user generated data, if you share it with your sales team as well.
Let me illustrate it with two examples:
There's Alex, a potential attendee who might have heard of your event, but doesn't really know much about it. You send him an email or give him a call. Most probably he's not going to read your mail and if he happens to pick up the phone, chances are he is going to feel annoyed by your call.
Now, picture this: Francis has visited your event page once. She follows you on Twitter and Instagram. You know her personal information and the content she has most engaged with. You reach out to her with a personalized email combining the event information with one of her main interests and maybe you can even add a special deal.
See the difference? Forget about cold calls and start enjoying the benefits of digital marketing.
Note: If you are running a trade show, the data you generate through your social media marketing might also be really interesting for your exhibitors. You could consider working out a deal with them so that they get access to the data as well.
Social media is not only here to stay, it's here to shape the future of events, businesses and our lives in general.
This blog post series was intended to give you a solid base for you to get started with Social Media for your Event. Even though there's still a lot of terrain to explore, this will give you handy tips to apply fast and easily.
Boost the entire event experience: before, during and after the event. It's an approach to event organization that integrates (potential) attendees in the whole process. Consequently, you can create more and more personalized events. Eventually, it might reach the extent that the experience is tailored to each of your attendee's individual expectations and needs.
Having said that, make sure you catch up on the first two parts of the blog series (if you haven't already) and please let me know what you think about it in the comments below. I would love to hear your experiences, questions, tips or whatever it is you'd like to share with us.