Email always comes out on top when event marketers are asked about their preferred or most effective marketing channels. But social media is catching up fast, and the only reason I believe it to be positioned in second place is that event marketers simply don’t know how to make the most of it. Here are our top mantras and musts for promoting your event on social media. Use this as an quick reference checklist for you and your team.
Create a succinct, unique and relevant event hashtag – make sure to use it across printed and digital marketing materials as well as on social media from the beginning of your event marketing cycle
2. Personal profiles
Encourage your sales and marketing teams to post on their own LinkedIn and Twitter profiles in particular. If they’re unsure of what to say, provide examples of what makes an effective social message
Post your event information as images on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is a little loophole for Twitter’s character limit and makes your posts far more appealing
Incorporate social links into your invitations, online materials and personal email signature
Plan effectively with readily available content so you don’t always have to think on the fly
Connect with your venue, vendors, partners and speakers in advance so you can start genuine dialogue and build anticipation for your event
Countdown to the big day to create hype around your event – let people know on a daily basis how quickly it is approaching and what they can expect on the day
8. 360 view
Approach your social marketing with a 360 view – in the run up to an event use it to promote blogs, ebooks, whitepapers or any other value-added content generated in-house. One blog alone can lend itself to 10 Tweets, several LinkedIn posts, and Facebook, Google + and email updates
Remember to keep the momentum up on the day of your event and post live updates so that attendees engage further, and those who couldn’t make it realise what they’re missing out on
On event day assign a team member to monitor your social media with answers prepared for any lost, late or confused attendees
If you do generate engagement with attendees, enter into conversation with them and keep the dialogue going
Remind your colleagues and employees to get involved in the action, posting images, video clips and short snippets to their networks
13. Real time
Get even whizzier with a real-time Twitter feed on your event website, which may explain your out of office to prospective customers!
14. Experiential social media
Take it a step further with an experiential social media wall or installation at your event. Your delegates will be thrilled to see their posts up on a big screen, and they’ll realise what a big social splash your event is making
15. Post event
Post-event, use your social media channels as a way to publicly thank all those who attended, and all those who helped to deliver your event, singling out speakers and sponsors who you’d especially like to return year on year
Use it for feedback, and find out what people said about your event. You can do this through a little detailed searching, and combing through hashtagged mentions of the day
17. Follow up
Share follow-up materials and summary slides for maximum downloads
18. Create great content
Finally, return to using your social channels to promote great content, by linking to a blog detailing the highlights and insights from the event
So get social!
When it comes to promoting your event on social media, this list could come in very handy as a tick-list of where to start, how to keep it going, and how to use it for essential event follow-up. It’s not rocket science, but it just shows how valuable and versatile the medium of social marketing really can be.
Photo credit: Aaron Gilson