10 social marketing tips for filling your next event

| Thursday May 26

Inexpensive and relatively simple to do, these tips are guaranteed to help build your event into a winner.

#1 Make someone specifically responsible

Don't expect your marketing team or the business to accidentally coordinate an effective social campaign. Put a single individual in charge of executing the messaging, managing responses and analyzing daily metrics. Social requires advanced planning, a close eye on activity and adapting to outcomes on the fly - none of that will happen unless there's a person specifically responsible.

#2 Experiment, automate and measure - don't have too rigid a plan

Unless you already have intimate experience and empirical evidence as to what works, plan to run messaging experiments. That means testing different images, headlines, posting times, social channels and story angles - which is much easier if you also automate in short bursts by scheduling your posts (ideally using a tool) and then measure engagement, response and conversion. Adjust your plan accordingly, tune your message, set up the next burst and repeat.

#3 Expectation creates excitement - tell your story gradually

For smaller events, about 35-40 days out, start telling the story around your event. Hold back a few key elements so you can keep news buzz percolating along with additional enticing teasers intended to slowly reveal the big picture. Close to the event, recap on your story, reminding your audience what to expect. Clever story telling provides the substance for credible social messages.

That means figuring out your core story and the various additional perspectives added by your presenters, attendees or even the venue. Weave their stories into yours.

#4 Secure your brand with a memorable event URL

Make sure you can point your own domain to your event website or page, or at least include your brand or event title in the URL. That will give you more value out of organic search and ensure you have a printable, memorable way for people to find you.

In a perfect world, you want a clean experience from social or email, to your content and event pages and through to registration or ticketing. The best way to achieve this is with a platform that can provide all these requirements - making it easy to measure what works and give invitees a fast simple process for responding.

Driving email or social messages to a Wordpress website and then to a separate event registration website usually means you lose important tracking metrics and the ability to persist customer profiles from email to registration or ticketing.

#5 Increase your reach by watermarking images

Use watermarks of your event title, business brand or twitter hashtag on images in your social content posts. This will ensure social shares achieve greater reach and more impact.

#6 Pick a long life hashtag at the start

Events have a short life span. Your event hashtag should be part of consistent long term messaging strategy. Short and memorable is better. Tacking the year on the end is usually pointless and wasteful. #EatFear is better than #EatFear2018. But more importantly, buzz around the tag should drive visibility of an on going marketing strategy - not just the event.

Settle on a hashtag as one of the first steps when you're setting up your event and start tweeting. Get the hashtag on everything - your event page, tickets, emails, posters, ads and social messages. Encourage attendees to use it.

#7 Create great content easily from your event

Photo opportunities abound, but finding someone on the day to snapshot the smiling faces can be challenging. Another approach is to take a fast video sweep of the room - a one minute walk through pausing on various people is perfect. Interact with them briefly and keep it smooth as possible. Upload to YouTube then use the slow-motion video option in Youtube to create the magic and generate a 3-4 minute clip. Youtube also makes it easy to add music. You've instantly got a great very shareable fun clip which is also a useful promo for next time.

#8 Plan to post and tweet during the event

Speaker quotes, crowd shots, sound bites and if you're really on a winner, a testimonial or two. This kind of content is gold. Better to post something short, simple and sweet than nothing at all. Don't put it off just because it's hard to do something perfect.

#9 Post event photo sharing

Let your attendees know where they can find the photos you took at the event - and make sure they are watermarked with your brand, hashtag or event name and easy to share. Now you have a team of people doing your social marketing for you!

#10 Publish your slides, videos and hand outs

Give your sponsors greater value and your event longer life by ensuring any collateral created or shown during the event that can be shared is either on your website, or a web location that's accessible by attendees for easy downloading and sharing. Attendees can be promised early access as a reward for being there on the day. You might even offer special additional material that can be used as a sweetener to up the value of turning up.


Old Radio Photo : Joe Haupt