How to Effectively Promote Your Event with Social Media
April 15, 2020
You’ve signed a contract with the venue and booked an amazing keynote speaker. You’ve met with the tech so your lighting and music will be perfect. You’ve got subject matter experts delivering workshops with killer content. You’ve hired your caterer and have a list of volunteers ready to help you set up and tear down. This is the year that your event hits the next level!
But you just had a thought. A thought that leads to a hint of panic.
What if nobody shows?
Great news. Social media is a highly effective way to promote and amplify your event. Provided it’s done well, a good social media strategy can make you the talk of the town rather than the best-kept secret.
Bottom line? To get the registrations, to get the buzz, and to break attendance records, you’ve got to promote your event— and you’ve got to promote it on social media platforms. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are six basic ways to media event promotion with social networks -- that actually work.
Social Media Promotion Tip #1: It’s All About the #Hashtags
Social media has taken the humble pound sign, once the keyboard symbol we used only occasionally, and turned it into a darling of the marketing industry.
Your Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with hashtags, and with good reason. With a hashtag, savvy marketers know they can turn any word (or words) into a searchable link that anyone can find. And any time someone uses your hashtag, you’ll be able to track who said what about your event and when. So not only can you publicize your event, you can see all the conversations and activity around your unique hashtag. Find those conversations and build on them in your next social media post.
Social Media Promotion Tip #2: Achieve Hashtag Greatness
The key to creating a great hashtag is to keep it short, as unique as possible, relevant to your event, and easily shared.
A long event hashtag is difficult to read and can create unintentionally awkward or funny letter combinations. Plus, how can your community amplify your event if they can’t spell or even remember your hashtag?
Make it specific to your event. A general hashtag isn’t intriguing or informative about what you’re trying to promote. If you can use a word or short phrase that’s unique, even better!
All these things make for a very shareable marketing morsel to tease your audience into finding out more about your event.
Social Media Promotion Tip #3: Promote Early, Promote Often
Buzz doesn’t happen overnight. To get people curious and talking about your event, you’ve got to give yourself a long runway to build up excitement and momentum, and the time to produce high-quality, entertaining and informative video content. (Hint: Short, animated videos are just one way to keep ‘em coming back for more.)
Plan on starting your campaign at least two months in advance. It’s a good idea to set up a schedule to keep your posts regular and consistent with the message you’re trying to get out there.
Here’s the other thing. You and your fellow event producers have to actually use your hashtag, and use it often. Plaster that baby everywhere. On your webpage, on your YouTube channel, in your marketing materials. Tweet it, share it on Facebook and LinkedIn, and embed it in your Instagram story. Make Facebook ads that feature it and show it to your target audience. Now is not the time for restraint and humility-- you’ve got to toot your own horn, so don’t hold back!
Social Media Promotion Tip #4:Create an Event Page
Creating an event page can boost engagement, create a central location to share information about your upcoming event, and serve as a powerful form of social media marketing.
You can easily create a Facebook event page, as well as event pages on your other social channels.
Social Media Promotion Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Make the Ask
Make sure to ask your keynote speakers, your workshop leaders and prominent attendees to share your hashtags, photos, tweets and videos.
But you should remember you’re asking them to do you a solid, so be sure to give them something in return. Follow them, like their pages, and retweet their posts. It’s bad marketing juju to make frequent asks without offering something in return.
You don’t want to become “that event promoter guy” who focuses solely on putting butts in seats and ignores building reciprocal relationships in the process. Trust us. People catch on quickly and no one wants to retweet someone who doesn’t care about them or their projects.
The old adage is true: you’ve got to give a little to get a little. Then don’t be shy about making the ask!
Social Media Promotion Tip #5: A Picture (or Video) is Worth a Thousand Words (and Shares)
Guy Kawasaki, American marketing specialist, best-selling author, and one of the original employees who worked on the 1984 Macintosh campaign, once described Facebook as a “photo economy.” And who are we to argue with Guy Kawasaki? (Also, it’s true.) And statistics have proven, if photos attract eyeballs, videos get and keep their focused attention.
If you’re serious about your mediasphere campaign, you’ve got to put together some gorgeous (or at least eye-catching) photos and some compelling video. Ask prior year attendees about their experience and why they’re excited about this year’s event. Then post it to all your social media channels. Ask keynote speakers to say a few words in advance of the event.
Also, time-lapse videos are a proven winner in the social media event marketing arena. People actually watch them to the end.
If you’re ready to level up with your next event, and you want to present professional-looking, high-quality social media content with consistent messaging, contact Next Thought Studios or click here for an instant quote. They’re experts in creating social media content that gets results.
Janelle Bevan, M.A.
Janelle has produced and project-managed a wide array of videos ranging from corporate commercials to long-form documentaries. While completing her Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, she served as the graduate assistant to the department chair for Creative Media. Janelle has worked with many nationally recognized organizations, creating documentaries for the National Association of Broadcasters, designing and editing instructional videos for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and producing the 2015 Broadcast Education Association awards show in Las Vegas. Janelle is a six-time Telly Award winner and won a 2016 Emmy for her documentary featuring a collaboration from three executive producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Janelle served as NextThought’s Director of Post-Production and Media Management and helped facilitate over 1,000 videos during her time at NextThought.