Social media has become a marketing powerhouse. It has made its way into the hands and minds of many people and plays an impactful role in the way people experience and enjoy nearly every event that takes place. Hosting a party? Promoting a charity? Fighting for a cause? Using social media for event marketing opens endless amount of doors as a marketer, helping to spread the word and connect with your target audience. To gain the most leverage from using social media for event marketing, it is important to put a plan in order. Build a strategy for both the beginning, middle, and end of your campaign. With the proper tools and a strong plan of action, you will be headed for success with your next event.
Before the Event; #hashtag
Some may think of hashtags as just another trendy millennial fad, a fun way to enjoy social media, or just a confusing, poor use of grammar. Those views could not be farther from the truth. Hashtags are a powerful marketing tool that can be used to flood all event information, social media interactions, campaigns and promotions into one centralized location and is one of the most vital components in using social media for event marketing. Once your date, time and location are set, it is time to create a hashtag for your event.
- Creative and Catchy: When creating your event hashtag, be creative and catchy. A play on words associated with your brand is a great direction to take, however, avoid using something that may only make sense to a small audience. Your goal is to get your phrase stuck in people’s minds.
- Format for Success: Remember, many social media channels only allow you a certain number of characters per message. While staying creative, be sure your event branded hashtag is not too long. You want to allow space to deliver your message as well.
- Be Unique: Probably the most important step of this process. Designed to help your event guests isolate information, you want to be sure your hashtag is unique. Using a generic hashtag that others not speaking of the event may be using can cause your attempt and standing to fall into the mix. Be unique.
You’ve created a hashtag, compiled your ideas, created event content, it is now time to build your distribution plan. When using social media for event marketing you want all of your efforts to have purpose and reason, allowing no post, message, or dollar to go to waste. Which social media channels will you be using? How will you get the best leverage from each of them? Facebook will be one of your most powerful, event focused tools. Start by creating an event page where you can post all relevant information, and interact with those who have confirmed that they will be in attendance. Your event page will give you a description area to provide links and other pertinent event info. Using Twitter, you will want to compile several tweets that include location, time, and a shortened URL for the official event page as well as your creative unique hashtag. You will want to include any notable speakers, guests, performers, and introduce them to your events audience. Schedule these posts to go out at different times across the board and do not be scared to use them more than once, even several times. Instagram is a great tool to reach a wide variety of people. Using your unique hashtag as well as others allows you to reach many people every time you post a photo. Pictures of event flyers, well-known guests, and the venue are all great photos to post. It is a great place build excitement and set a mood for the upcoming event.
Promote your Social Socially
Not all traction for your event is going to come from social media. While Inbound Marketing is the way of the future, there are still some great old school marketing tactics to hold on to. Promote your social channels with hashtags and handles on all of your physical marketing and advertising inventory. (posters, flyers, signage, etc.)
Free ticket giveaways is an excellent way to gain traction on social media and potentially catch a following you may not have previously reached. Not to say all people are cheap, however, when spending money on an event or donation, human nature likes to be presented with a possible reward. By no means should you give away your entire event, but a few social media raffles are always a great way to boost your audience size.
During the Event
You have put in around the clock effort to use social media for event marketing. Now that your big day is here, that does not mean it’s time to end your promotion. During your event is when your channels really come to life. This is your chance to show off those who made it and capture the attention of those who did not to boost your attendance of future events. No need to swell you ego but a little showing off never hurt. Live tweet, show Instagram how much fun you’re having, talk about the drink that just spilled all over your dress, or inform followers of how much money the charity has raised. You can also organize some on-site promo ideas to get your guests engaged socially as well. (Take a photo in our booth and post it using #example and become eligible for a free gift.) Using social media for event marketing has the best ROI when you use it live and direct from the event. Your campaign doesn’t stop when the event starts.
The Event is over, the Campaign is not.
Using social media for event marketing can help you drive great attendance, share live from the event, and even improve your next. Planning to organize another event in the future? It is important to get feedback and critique on what worked well and what did not. What did people enjoy? What would they change? Having a monitoring team in place is an excellent idea. You will most likely receive some comments throughout the event from people voicing their opinion on your performance. It is important to have a social monitoring team in place to then reach out to those who did not directly voice an opinion in person. Getting a well-balanced collection of feedback will only help to improve your events in the future. After putting forth such effort to promote and then host a flawless event, having any energy left once concluded can be a challenge. However, the analytics you can pull from your various social channels is information much too valuable to be let go. Was Facebook your main point of contact? Did Instagram bring a new crowd that you had not previously reached? Maybe Twitter was your #1 for increasing attendance. Taking all of this in can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we partnered with Hubspot , allowing us to monitor all of our social streams from one centralized location. Using social media for event marketing is one no small undertaking, luckily, we’re known for doing nothing in moderation. Visit us at www.fatguymedia.com to find out how our teams can work together to bring your event to the next level!