Anyone running a business, whether that be a new start up or a successful long-established company, knows the importance of marketing their services and products at trade shows, conferences and corporate events. Events like these are ideal ways to get your brand name out into the wider sector, and while making the right impression while your company is actually at the event through the use of LED lighting and outstanding displays is important, getting people to attend the event in the first place is vital.
But what is the best way to go about it?
A huge amount of effort goes into event promotion, and effective marketing via the correct social channels has a vital role to play in generating a buzz online, reaching target audiences and creating a great hype around the services and products which you’re promoting.
There can be a number of pitfalls when it comes to hitting the perfect audience at the perfect time. Utilizing social media to its best effect is something which needs to be learned, and this guide is designed to help you negotiate this potential minefield so you can enjoy optimal success in your venture.
Choosing The Correct Social Media Channel
Before finding out more about how to utilize social media to promote an event, you need to know how to select the right social media for your target audience.
There are numerous social media platforms available these days, so how do you know which one is right for your specific event? There are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure that you get the choice right:
- Define and locate your attendees
- Make your company and event visually appealing by optimising your social media profiles
- Determine the kind of relationship with followers which works best on every platform
- Consider the kind of content that is suited to every network
Different demographics are attracted to each social network. For example, Facebook has a larger proportion of younger users aged between 23 and 37, while LinkedIn is most popular with higher earners and Pinterest drives more traffic towards eCommerce stores than any other channel. Knowing the demographic you’re targeting with your strategy will inform your choice of social media channels.
Defining Your Objectives
To select the right strategy for your business, you need to first decide what exactly you’re trying to accomplish with your social media marketing. You may have several goals, such as:
- Encouraging recurring loyalty for your organization’s events
- Selling more tickets
- Building up a long-term relationship with other professionals in your industry
An Overview Of Social Media Platform Techniques
There are different techniques which can be used with different social media platforms.
Facebook – it’s possible to create an events page, share updates about events, engage with followers and use paid promotion to target a specific audience.
Instagram – This is an image-based platform which works well for engagement with brands.
Twitter – you can utilize a unique hashtag for your event so a buzz can be created both before the event itself and during the proceedings. Remember to make your hashtag original, brief, engaging and understandable to achieve the optimal benefits.
LinkedIn – Ideal for B2B and industry networking, this is a professional channel which is perfect for company events and news announcements.
Snapchat – Ideal if you have a young target audience. Around 186 million people use Snapchat every day, making this a rapid engagement tool.
Pinterest – this powerful channel allows you to create strategy and pins around the promotion of your event.
Tips For Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
Although it may sound easy to update your social media profile, staying on top of your descriptions and bios can be difficult. When you’re promoting events, you need to make sure that all of the information and links are up to date while also ensuring that SEO is in full use. Here are thirteen top tips for optimizing your profiles:
- Ensure you’re utilizing the right image sizes
- Use the same profile images consistently across all the platforms you use
- Untag yourself from any inappropriate posts or irrelevant photos
- Keep your handles the same across all networks you use
- Add any relevant keywords to each profile for SEO purposes
- Complete all of your bio’s fields using engaging copy
- Link to the other social media profiles you have created
- Ensure all your links work
- Showcase some reviews and endorsements
- Rotate your link if you have an Instagram bio
- Like your related Facebook pages
- Showcase all of your best content by pinning it
- Ensure you’ve added media onto your LinkedIn jobs
Take a systematic approach to updating your social media profiles. Choose the one which is the most relevant or popular for your content and rewrite the descriptions and update all the information before moving on to the next one.
Plan Your Content
The importance of content in social media engagement cannot be underestimated. Videos, images, quotes, live-streams, infographics and hashtags all have a vital role to play in promoting events on social media. Decide what you’re able to offer then choose which platform will respond best to your offerings. For example, if you have stunning ideas and images, Instagram and Pinterest are a good bet. If you’ve got videos to share, a YouTube channel will work well.
Certain forms of content result in better engagement. These include:
- Humorous stories
Ensuring your content is error-free as well as engaging will ensuring that it is high quality. The higher the quality of content and the more engaging it is, the more successful your event promotion will be. Here are thirteen top tips for creating the most successful content for your social media promotion strategy:
- Diversify the content
- Keep your content brief
- Use subheadings
- Develop a unique voice
- Add keywords
- Devise engaging titles
- Tell stories
- Make your content shareable
- Remember calls to action
- Provide links and facts
- Incorporate images within posts
- Ensure your content is conversational instead of too “salesy”
- Tailor your content to suit each individual social network channel
Posting on a regular basis is important regardless of the social media channel you’re using. When a channel is only irregularly active, this sends out a discouraging message. Building a strong community is vital to your success so ensure you post regularly through the year and not only just before your event is due to take place. Knowing when best to post on each channel will depend on a number of factors, but ensuring consistency and ongoing engagement is your key to success.
A Rundown Of Some Useful Strategies
Here are some great tips for using social media channels to engage with your target audience while promoting an event.
- Share pictures from your previous event or turn those images into memes
- Shoot promotional videos and post them on YouTube
- Create a Snapchat Geofilter
- Make a few visual testimonials to help build up trust
- Organise a free event ticket contest
- Build up anticipation with countdowns and teasers
- Use behind the scenes images to show preparations and build anticipation more
- On the day of the event live stream part of the proceedings
- Live Tweet or Snap from the event
A Few Case Examples
If you’re wondering how well these tips can help your company to promote its event effectively through social media channels, here are some examples to show just how good social media promotion can be.
The Official Sherlocked Sherlock Convention is organised by Massive Events, a company which does an amazing job of engaging with their audience. By teasing the fans through the gradual release of information, Massive Events begins to promote the convention even before a venue or date has been arranged so that hype can really begin to build. Once the venue and date is released, the impact is huge, with over 1000 shares on Facebook and almost as many on Twitter. The company then went on to record a teaser video which only boosts anticipation even further. The result was a sell-out event.
Every year, the Play Blackpool video gaming expo is arranged by Replay Events. This company has worked hard to engage potential attendees via social media, first by using its blog to announce its annual gamer awards and asking its readers to place their votes across several categories with the chance of winning free expo tickets and other prizes. The results were announced over several consecutive days, each result being accompanied with shareable graphics to increase interest in the event.
As you can see, social media event promotion and market is all about engagement with potential attendees. When they get better value from your content, the more chance you have of them sharing your content with other people who may be interested too. Find out more about maximizing your event success with Indy Displays today.