With 1.6 billion users on Facebook, social media is an obvious platform for event promotion. Social media allows you to use organic and paid advertisements to broadcast information about your event to a wide audience. As such, social media should play a key role in any event marketing strategy.
However, it pays to know what and how to post or, in other words, have a strong strategy behind your social media posts. An effective strategy depends on gaining an in-depth insight into your audience. What platforms do they use? When are they online? What type of content do they engage with?
Step 1: Select the Right Platform
Your choice of social media platform will largely depend on the type of event and ideal audience members. However, the majority of social media strategies use a mixture of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Every platform has its own strengths. For example, LinkedIn is best for promoting a B2B event, while Snapchat can help attract a younger crowd. Before deciding, make sure to properly evaluate the audience you're trying to reach.
Step 2: Prep Your Accounts
Prior to creating any social media content, it's important to build some foundations. Make sure that your social media pages are updated and linked to your website. You want to put your best foot forward to appeal to the widest audience.
At this stage, it's also important to create a unique hashtag for your event. Feature this hashtag in your cover photo and make sure to use it in all social media posts. During the event, make sure that your hashtag is clearly displayed so that guests know to use it in their posts.
Step 3: Create Content
Social media content should go beyond a conventional sales approach and seek to meaningfully engage with potential attendees. Typically, event content falls into three categories: before, during, and after.
While you may think that social media activity peaks during an event, Eventbrite reported that 40% of overall engagement occurred before the event. Of this 40%, 17% involved anticipation-focused content.
To help generate buzz about your event, social media content should focus on promoting speakers or special guests, providing attendees with event teasers, and can even involve special promotions/competitions.
Social media engagement is obviously at an all-time high during the event. But, Eventbrite has helped shed some light on the type of content that people are most likely to share and engage with during an event. They report that 85% of this engagement consisted of multi-media (video, images, and quotes) content, while only 15% was text based.
To ensure maximum engagement during an event, help guests capture the perfect image with a fun photo booth, tweet/share thought-provoking quotes from guest speakers, or provide a look behind the scenes with videos or photos.
While only 18% of content is generated after an event, it's still a great way to build brand awareness and capture leads for your next event. Social media is also an ideal platform for sharing your accomplishments and bragging about how epic the event was. Make sure to post any press coverage and ask for crucial feedback from attendees.
Step 4: Measure & Evaluate
Throughout this whole process, you should constantly be measuring and evaluating your social media engagement and process. Data can help ensure that campaigns are effective and address any issues before it's too late. Helpful social media KPIs include engagement, ticket sales, ROI, and CTR. By closely monitoring your social media progress, you'll be more likely to sell every ticket for your stellar event.