How to Promote an Event on Social Media
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The only thing more important than organising a great event is marketing it. Imagine you’ve perfected every detail of your event — only to face an empty room on the big day.
When it comes to marketing your event, social media is your hidden superpower. Eventbrite has found that a fifth of traffic to ticketing and registration pages comes from social media — that’s a quarter of your promotional power for your event. After all, how else can you reach millions of interested event-goers without paying thousands on ad campaigns?
New social media platforms are popping up every day, and it’s increasingly difficult to stand out amongst the noise on Facebook and Twitter. That’s why you need a social media strategy that takes advantage of the networks where you can drive the most ticket and registration sales. And because organising an event is nothing if not time-consuming, you need to make an impact in minutes, not hours.
Social Media Event Marketing Strategy: Choosing The Right Channels
Managing your social media marketing can become overwhelming, fast. According to Wikipedia, there are more than 189 social networks used globally, and new ones seem to emerge every week. So how do you identify the optimal social media channels for your marketing strategy?
Sometimes, less is more when it comes to social media. In fact, if the time commitment is too great, or a particular network isn’t the right fit for your attendees, you might decide to skip it. When you’re choosing which social networks to use, it’s okay to be picky.
So how do you know which social networks are right for your event?
The most popular social networks
According to Statistica, here are the social networks with the most monthly active users in 2016 so far.2 In step 2, we’ll explore who those users actually are, but start by familiarising yourself with the big guns.
- Facebook – 1.59 billion monthly active users
- Instagram – 400 million monthly active users
- Twitter – 320 million monthly active users
- Snapchat – 200 million monthly active users
- LinkedIn – 100 million monthly active users
- Pinterest – 100 million monthly active users
Each social network has their own demographic of users and some networks are better suited for the type of event you might have.
Download our ebook to get the details on each of these networks to figure out how to optimise your social media marketing strategy.
Social media event marketing examples
To understand the potential of each network for your event, it’s worth researching how other events like yours use the platforms to reach their audiences. Here are a few examples to get started:
- Crescent City Classic uses Facebook to inspire participants with training schedules and #MotivationMonday posts and to promote registrations
- BottleRock Napa uses Instagram to highlight photos and videos of their festival all year round
- DIG SOUTH Interactive Conference uses LinkedIn to highlight their sponsors and speakers
- Wanderlust Festival uses Pinterest to deliver inspirational content relating to yoga, wellness, and food to its audience
How To Generate Buzz With Social Media During an Event
One of the best ways to sell out your next event? Get attendees raving about their experience online. Imagine social media as a way to put their praise in front of a loudspeaker.
Every event marketer dreams of their event going viral — but it’s not something you can do on your own. The good news is, your event trending online is more achievable than you may realise. Since many social platforms prioritise location and concentration of posts per hour in their news feeds, events have a good chance of rising to the top of the noise.
The trick to your event’s virality? Your attendees have to want to share their experiences. Here’s advice on how to motivate them to achieve this holy grail of social media.
Set the scene for image sharing:
In a study of 25 million tweets about events, Eventbrite found that 42% of the buzz took place during the event itself. And if you thought visual elements were only important before the event, think again: 36% of total buzz around events are posts sharing videos, pictures, and quotes during the event. (Photos are by far the most popular.) In fact, only 6% of the social media conversation that took place during the event didn’t have a media element.
Take advantage of attendees’ natural desire to take photos by providing the picture perfect moment — that posts to social media automatically. Here are two methods that have become increasingly popular in recent years:
- Instagram photo booths: These photo booths can work two ways: 1. A photo booth that prints out physical copies of any pictures published to Instagram using your event’s (or sponsor’s) hashtag or 2. By posting the picture taken in the booth to Instagram. Either way, your event gets publicity, and your attendees get to strike a pose.
- Snapchat geofilters: As previously mentioned, geofilters are illustrations that attendees can layer over their pictures from your event. To create a geofilter, you need to submit a design and the location and time of your event to Snapchat at least one business day in advance. Filters are surprisingly affordable, and an easy way to engage the younger crowd in a promotion.
Encourage use of your hashtag:
Hashtags are one of the most effective ways to unify conversation about your event, get attendees to engage with your event and each other, and generate buzz to drive ticket sales and registrations for next time. But Eventbrite has found that only 45% of tweets around events use hashtags.
Here are four strategies to increase usage:
- Keep your hashtag short: After all, many of these platforms have character limits, and an attendee may choose to cut your hashtag from their post before their own commentary.
- Make the hashtag memorable: Consider simply using your event name, its acronym, or even including a hashtag in the official name of your event. At the event, showcase this hashtag in as many places as possible — on the agenda, on table settings, on the big screen, and more.
- Double-check that the hashtag isn’t already being used: Before finalising your hashtag, search it on social media to make sure it’s not already in use for an event. It’s also good to double-check that nothing inappropriate or NSFW (“not safe for work”) is associated with the hashtag.
- Showcase a social media or Twitter wall: These screens display tweets and images as they’re posted — if they’re tagged with your event’s hashtag. People love to be in the spotlight, and your attendees are no exception.
Get our guide now to discover all you need to know about promoting your event on social media. This guide covers the major channels for your social media strategy and other helpful tips including how to:
- Prioritise which networks to use, and how to save time while using them
- Increase engagement on social media during promotions and the event itself
- Measure results and see which of your efforts drove ticket sales or registrations
Get our NEWLY UPDATED guide now by filling out the form!