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Want to harness the power of social media to promote your next event? Leveraging everything that social networks have to offer is a fantastic way to boost momentum and awareness by looping-in influencers, attendees and other organisers. And the best part? Social media is completely free! Want to find out more? Then keep on reading.

Reach out in the right way…

Resist the temptation to automatically restrict your event promotion to Facebook and Twitter just because they’re the most popular sites. Social media channels like LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest also allow for a highly targeted market, so it pays to come up with a strategic plan and post on the sites your key demographic use most.

Get started…

Create pages on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus that are specifically tailored to your event. If you have the opportunity to use a mobile app for your event, let attendees know how to access it and whether it’s through a URL, QR code or the App Store. When sharing event-related content, be sure to mention prominent attendees or organisers to draw in more attention.

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A one-of-a-kind hashtag allows people to stay up-to-date with your event. Once you decide on a unique and memorable hashtag, make sure to stick to it and use it constantly. Attach the hashtag onto promotional materials (like emails, social media profiles, direct mailers and your website) and don’t forget to include it in all event-related tweets.

Generate buzz…

Promote your event early and encourage attendees to share their event registration with others on their social media. Try turning your customers into promoters by using double-sided referral programs and by giving them a trackable link to share with their followers or email contacts. You can follow their lead by providing ticket buyers with a trackable link to share with their social media followers and email contacts.

Fuel interest…

Keep your event in people’s minds by posting sneak peeks or interesting behind-the-scenes material. You can also create social buzz by giving potential attendees real-time access to guest speakers, panelists and industry experts who’ll be in attendance, or by creating photo or caption contests with event-related giveaways (like free tickets or VIP experiences).

Spread your message…

Leverage the influence of your guest speakers to help get the word out. When you tweet, make sure to tag them, in the hope they’ll retweet your content. Ask them to share a ticket discount code with their followers in the lead-up to your event, or encourage them to take pictures with attendees on the day, which can then be used in your post-event blogs.

On the day of the event…

During your event, make a point of encouraging everyone to use your event hashtag. Maximise interest by uploading content in real-time, live-streaming the event, hosting social-based activities like scavenger hunts using Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram, or by offering LiveTweet sessions where people who aren’t in attendance can still take part online.

Final tips and tricks…

Remember that it’s best to think of social media as a conversation, not a megaphone. Asking questions, encouraging comments and being part of the online conversation will optimise your marketing efforts as well as your attendees’ overall event experience.

Bio:

Jacinta Butterworth is a content marketer at #tagvenue, the venue search engine making it faster to find and book spaces for events.