LinkedIn is the go-to social network for making new connections. But despite having more than 100 million active monthly users, LinkedIn is still under-utilised as a tool for promoting events.
And don’t believe the myth that LinkedIn is just for business or professional events. LinkedIn users have the highest average income of any social network. That means they have the independence and the budget to fill their free time with events like yours.
Here are the six best ways to use LinkedIn to promote your next event:
1. LinkedIn status updates
Like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn lets users post brief status updates. This is the easiest and most basic way to get your event out there.
Include a large, eye-catching image, a link to your event page, or industry news. Consider how your content will add value to the professional lives of your audience, and then express those benefits in your updates.
LinkedIn users tend to log on during the workweek. The best days to post are Tuesday through Thursday, during work hours, specifically Tuesday between 10 and 11am. But also think about your specific event and where your potential attendees would be at that time. If you’re hosting a conference that attendees may need their boss’s approval to register for, it makes sense to push sales during work hours. But if you’re hosting a class for ceramics hobbyists, maybe wait until attendees are on the train headed home, rather than busy in the office.
2. Published posts about your event
You can also post a longer article directly to LinkedIn. Use this to not only describe the event in more detail, but to write about how awesome last year’s event was, with case studies or testimonials.
But don’t be too forceful with your marketing. Being subtle and focusing on writing an interesting and informative piece will give your post a better chance of being funnelled into one of LinkedIn’s Channels, making it available to a much bigger audience than just those who follow your event or company. Dig around in the topic channel that most applies to your event and try to write a post that is as engaging and topical as those other posts that have previously been selected there. And don’t forget to share your post via status updates, too.
3. Partners’ or speakers’ LinkedIn updates
If your sponsors, media partners, or other event partners have a LinkedIn presence, ask them to write a post or share yours with their LinkedIn network. This is especially effective if you have a speaker who has been designated an “influencer” by LinkedIn, because their posts go out to everyone on the network.
4. LinkedIn groups
If you’re part of a LinkedIn group related to your event, you can share a post with everyone in that group. This is a great way to get your post in front of an interested, active audience of professionals. But don’t forget to tailor your messaging for that particular group and check each groups’ rules before you post — some forbid explicit promotion.
If there’s not a group in your niche already, you can create a new one for your event. Invite people to join, including your speakers. This is a great way for attendees to connect with each other ahead of the event, and for potential attendees to see all the people who are signed up to come. Get the conversation started early by creating discussion threads and monitor what people are saying so you can gauge what topics they’re most interested in, and make sure those feature prominently in your presentations and programming.
5. Direct messaging
LinkedIn is full of information about people. But, if you have a premium account, tracking those people down is even easier. Paid InMail can be sent to anyone, whether you’re connected or not. You can also send a free direct message to up to 50 of your first-tier connections at once. Just make sure it’s relevant to them and don’t overdo it. If there are a few key people you want to show up to your event (especially ones who will bring their friends), save your messages for these top targets.
6. LinkedIn ads for events
LinkedIn posts and status updates can be sponsored, allowing you to put them in front of anyone with specific job titles or in a certain industry or location. This makes them more likely to be seen. For more details on all of LinkedIn’s paid promotional options and how to optimise your budget, check out our guide on How to Use Paid Social Media to Beat Your Competition.
Of course, LinkedIn should only be one piece of your social media marketing strategy. Learn how to win on all the other social networks with these 9 Simple Steps to Master Social Media for Events.