Whether your company puts on just one event each year, or one every week, social media is disrupting the industry in a big way. From Facebook to LinkedIn, social media brands have the power to drive engagement and attendance for events; and this only grows when you consider adding innovative platforms such as InGo and Aventri.
By optimizing social media promotion with a few best practices, you can drive attendance as well as attract new audiences to your event. Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify Social Influencers
92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations over targeted advertising. If you can get some of the major ‘social influencers’ in your industry to start recommending your events to their networks, you will see the increased buzz driving your attendance levels to increase.
However, these people did not become influencers by simply doing what they are told, so you’re going to need to incentivize them. Offer them free VIP tickets to your event, or a speaking slot. If they are actively participating in the event, either as a guest or a speaker, they are more likely to help with the promotion. Other ways include writing content which features them, and other ego-stroking methods. Start conversations with these people early on and build those mutually beneficial relationships. Often, these people are pillars in their respective communities, and will be multi-year attendees - being able to leverage their networks is critical.
Optimize Social Messages
Another factor you need to consider when using social media is the effectiveness of your posts. A few sentences, no matter how well crafted, can easily be lost in the maelstrom of a busy social media newsfeed.
Make sure your posts really pop with clear, relevant, and high-quality images. Humans process images many times faster than raw text, and visual imagery is more easily stored in long-term memory. Make sure your images are optimized for each network you’re using. Innovative tools such as Canva lets you use predefined image templates to achieve just this.
Your posts should have a strong call to action and any images used need to be consistent with one another and your brand image. You want potential attendees to recognize your brand in their feeds, instead of just scrolling past.
Select a Hashtag for your Event
Creating a unique hashtag for your event is a great way to create buzz ahead of the big day, and keep it going during and after. It helps people identify your event and brings together all your social media posts, and those of your guests, under one banner.
Keep it short, memorable, and intuitive. Don’t make it specific to just one event, but rather make it about your brand. You want to be able to use the same tag year after year and have your followers associate it and your company. Use the hashtag in all related marketing material, both physical and digital, and make sure to promote it onsite at the event.
Add Transparency into Who is Attending
Another good way to inspire other people to register and attend is to make your attendee list visible on your main registration page. This will allow anyone who is on the fence about attending see which of their friends, colleagues, or even competitors are already going and you can let peer pressure do the rest.
We’ll let you in on a little secret, most people aren’t coming to your event for the booths, they’re coming for the people. Modern event attendees, especially millennials, are looking to connect with likeminded people and create new and mutually beneficial networking opportunities.
Platforms such as InGo, make it easy for your audience to invite people from their existing networks. Once they’ve registered they can see at a glance who else is attending and send out invitations to anyone else they think may be interested.
Allow Attendees to Register Socially
Social registration speeds up the registration process by auto-filling known information, while also providing a method that attendees recognize and trust.
With a few clicks they can use their Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin detail to register, and autofill the necessary forms. Not only does this break down some of the barriers to registration (nobody likes form filling, especially on mobile devices), but it also allows people to share news of their attendance directly to their social media feeds and direct messages.
When used properly, social media can be the fuel which helps your event registration race over the finish line in style. With performance enhancing platforms such as InGo and Aventri in your toolbox as well, you can build a community around your event which will be a steady source of attendees year after year.
InGo and Aventri have been partners since 2015, helping event planners target their marketing efforts to grow their events. To date, InGo and Aventri have inspired 100,698 word-of-mouth advocates to generate 75,769,713 trusted impressions on their networks, which has influenced over 108,000 registrations.
InGo is the fastest growing, most effective social marketing provider for events, used by 15 of the top 20 event organizers in the world. InGo's effectiveness comes from empowering registrants to send personal invites within their networks. These trusted impressions help planners identify new audiences to market their events. For more information, visit www.ingo.me