Many people cringe at the thought of social media event promotion. I should know – I used to be one of them. I always ended up trying to “recreate the wheel” when faced with the task of event promotion on social media.
What a waste of time!!! There are a LOT of resources out there so make it easy on yourself. Just take some time to stay current on the most user-friendly tools that are available to you. Use an existing template to get news of your event out there.
For the purpose of this post I’m going to assume that you have already established a budget and theme for your event. If you haven’t then go do that now – I’ll wait…
Use Existing Powerful Tools when Promoting an Event with Social Media
OK so it’s time to promote your event. The following quick tips will kick start the marketing of your event to your preferred target market.
- Brand the event. Create a logo (something that generates interest and excitement) and start using it –everywhere.
- Create an event page. Set up a separate page for your event on Facebook and Google+. Not sure how to do that? Check out how to set up a Facebook event page here and a Google+ event page here.
- Create a unique hashtag for your event. Most all social media events have hashtags. Ever wonder why? Because in today’s short attention span – sound bite world a # gets attention. If you’re not comfortable with hashtags and how to use them effectively then I suggest you read this Wikipedia entry. Be sure to research the #hashtag that you plan to use BEFORE you send it out into the ether. Somebody else might already be using it and that’s never a good thing. I use Hashtags.org to research my possible hashtags. Use the hashtag everywhere; on your email signature, in your profiles, on your newsletters, etc.
- Facebook Ads. You don’t need a huge advertising budget to create a Facebook ad. Facebook will actually give you an estimate of how many people will be targeted based on your spend which means you’re not wasting valuable dollars on a blanket ad to people outside of your target market. Facebook sends these targeted ads directly to the people who you want to reach.
- Create a “call-to-action” for your event promotion. People and promoters love a good “call to action”– go figure! If your event is big enough you can also reach out to your event suppliers for help. Giving potential attendees the chance to snag a free air ticket and/or complimentary hotel nights will get a lot attention. And of course – early bird registration discounts are always a hit.
- Promote your speakers. If you’ve invested to bring quality speakers to your event then promote the heck out of them. A GREAT speaker can be a huge draw which is why many conferences schedule their keynote speaker at the end – to keep the attendees there for the entire event. If you can, have your speaker write a guest blog previewing his/her topic. If possible have the speaker include the event #hashtag in his/her post.
- Write regular posts and always mention your event. As part of your social media exposure, and especially in advance of your event, schedule a number of blog posts about the event. In addition to posting on your own website, reach out and write guests posts for others in your industry. Oh and don’t forget to use your #hashtag within the posts.
Promoting an event with social media is a really cost effective way to build excitement around your upcoming event. Plan ahead, use available tools to target the right people, have a consistent message and always use your #hashtag. It’s not as hard as you may think. The tools are out there. Use them and then see if they make a difference for your next event.