We know connections are a big part of an event planner’s definition of success. But how do you expand your connections and gain more attendees at your next event? Social media may be your answer. According to EventMB, event planners listed social media in 2018 as the most effective marketing tool. With 3.196 billion people on social media, you can expand your event’s influence and audience through platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Here are some tips on how to do just that on social media platforms most used by event planners.
You can engage your followers and drive new traffic to your event using Facebook. Although Facebook has been around longer than most social media platforms, the social media giant is not dying down. In fact, Facebook was listed as the most popular platform for event planners to use to promote their event, according to EventMB.
For event planners, Facebook is a must-have tool to boost your events marketing productivity.
- Facebook allows you to create a page specific to your event. The page prompts you to fill out event specific information (date, location, and description) and then to invite all of your Facebook friends or followers to the event. All you have to do is type and click!
Marketing Your Event
- Once you have created the event’s page, you can focus on marketing your event. You can start by sharing your page on other social media platforms, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, and encourage your friends to invite their friends. You can also post promotional information, pictures, video, and surveys to your event’s page. Creating image-driven or conversational posts, like “What do you think of …”, can help engage followers and create excitement for your event.
- You can also use Facebook Reports to analyze your profile’s engagement and see which posts received more impressions than others. Facebook also provides you with your page’s latest demographics. Facebook demographics break down your followers (by gender, age, location, income, and education) so you can determine who you should target your material for.
- Though Facebook is a great tool to use prior to your event, you can also use the platform during your event. Using Facebook Live, you can stream live content for your followers. Users can interact with the livestream by commenting on or reacting (in emojis) to the stream. Once you finish livestreaming, the content will remain on your page for others to view and share. This is a great way to reach an audience other than the attendees at your event.
Have you ever wondered what your attendees are thinking during your event? Do they like your speakers? Do they have questions? The little blue bird, Twitter, can answer these questions and more.
Learn how the benefits of Twitter extend beyond 280 characters.
Promoting Your Event
- To build buzz around your event, your tweets should contain new and original content that’s relevant to your event and target audience. You can include pictures or videos from previous events, announce an event session, and other exciting announcements.
- Remember, the nature of Twitter allows you to converse with your followers to strengthen your relationship with them. So be sure to engage directly with your audience by responding to questions or retweeting a follower’s picture of your event.
- Twitter also has a targeted advertising platform that can help you gain event attendees. To create a promoted tweet, Twitter has you choose a goal (followers, engagements, leads, etc.) and create your tweet with text and a picture. After, you can select your target audience by gender, language, demographic or location. So, if you are holding your event in Norwalk, CT, you could have your post targeted to users in the Norwalk area. There are also platforms like TweetDeck and FollowerWonk that provide you with analytics that you can use to help create more targeted content.
- Twitter hashtags are used to track a topic or event. As an event planner, you can create a Twitter hashtag to promote and track the conversation around your event. Your hashtag should be short, so it doesn’t take up too many characters in your tweet. Make sure you incorporate your hashtag in event promotion, so attendees are aware of and can use the hashtag prior to the event.
- Similar to Facebook Live Streaming, Live Tweeting is a way to engage people who are not there and make memories with the people that are. Designate a person or two to Live Tweet your event. They can quote speakers, take photos, answer attendee questions, and re-tweet posts. Live tweeting can help create more uses of your event hashtag and retweets.
- To encourage your attendees to Live Tweet at your event, you can also include a Twitter wall. The Twitter wall can project attendees live tweets on a display. You can even turn the wall into a contest where the top tweeter and their posts will be shown on the wall.
Chances are your business already has an Instagram account and loyal followers (if not, setting up an account is super easy). But you may not be fully using Instagram’s features for your event marketing. We’ll show you how.
- Similar to Twitter, hashtags are used on Instagram to hyperlink the word or phrase. Users can then search or click on the hyperlink to access any content that is tagged with the hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to establish your brand or event, host an Instagram contest, and organize photos from your event.
- Instagram is also a great platform to create and share your brand or event’s narrative. You can announce keynote speakers, show attendees interacting with the product or speaker, and post inspirational quotes to your page or Story. This material will create your event’s unique narrative, which may help attract attendees.
- Luster, a rentable photo booth, connects to Instagram and prints photos using your event’s hashtag. At your event, you can encourage attendees to post a photo using your hashtag and in return, they will receive a photo souvenir.
- Instagram also has a Livestreaming feature, like Facebook, that event marketers can use. Instagram allows a page manager to stream live content of an event for their followers to view.
- For event planners, this feature can be useful to reach people unable to attendee an event and allow them to experience the event in real time.
- You can also post content to your Instagram “Story”, which expire after 24-hours.
- Looking to quickly reach a wider, target audience or gain more followers? Instagram ads can do this!
- Instagram gives you three options for ads: a single photo, a 30 second or less video, or a multiple photo post, known as a carousel. These ads have a “learn more” button which connects to your website or Instagram page.
Used daily by 158 million people, Snapchat, a smartphone app, allows users to share photos, videos, and texts with their friends.
Due to the app’s popularity, businesses have begun to integrate Snapchat into their marketing strategies, and you can too in your event planning. We’ve come up with some ideas to help you integrate this not so scary ghost into your next event.
Before the Event
- To gain Snapchat friends, you can share your handle name on other social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or your website). Entice your followers with special content offered to Snapchat users. Event planners always want to create a buzz before their event. Using Snapchat, you can do this.
- Once you have a network of Snapchat friends, you can excite potential attendees with “Snapchat only” sneak previews of speaker lineup, featured products, and announcements. You can also post content to Snapchat’s “Story” feature to entice your audience. Your Snapchat story lasts 24-hours so your followers can view your story multiple times.
- You can also use Snapchat to provide your attendees with a behind-the-scenes look at event preparation. Creating a surprise to expect at the event through pictures or video content can also help build attendee engagement.
During the Event
- We know interacting with attendees at events can be hard, but Snapchat can help. To engage attendees during an event you can create a Snapchat contest where the best snapped photo or video of your event on Snapchat wins a prize.
- Are you worried people won’t take a lot of photos at your event? Entice them with a Snapchat geo filter. The geo filter can be designed with your event logo and are location specific. These geo filters are location specific and can stay active for 30 days. So Snapchat users at your event can take photos or videos with your event’s unique filter and snap it their friends. People also save their Snapchats with your geo filters and post it to their other social media platforms, like Facebook. Geo filters are an easy way to establish and expose your brand to your attendee’s and their friends.
- Snapchat is also a great way to reach people who could not attend your event but have FOMO (fear of missing out). You can post live videos, updates, and highlights to your story for all your followers to view.
After the Event
- Even after the event ends, we know your job is not done. To further build the relationship between your attendee’s and brand, use Snapchat to send attendees personalized Thank You’s and ask for their feedback. You can also use the community of followers you’ve built to market other events and products. The possibilities are endless.
What do you think of these social media platforms? Would you incorporate them into your next event? Have you had success implementing these platforms into events? Let us know by commenting below!