Event marketing typically uses all different types of channels, including email, video, Google ads, and social media. But while some platforms are pretty straightforward, social media gives you a wide variety of options to choose from to market your event. With so many choices, how do you build an optimized social media event marketing plan across all options?
Social media marketing for events can be tricky. Let’s go over some examples of how you can use social media to take your event marketing to the next level.
You have probably been invited to a few of them. A notification appears on your Facebook page – You’ve been invited to so-and-so’s surprise birthday party! Many people use Facebook Events for social gatherings like birthdays, anniversaries, and various other events. But don’t be afraid to capitalize on this feature for your corporate event marketing.
Facebook Events are remarkably easy to set up. They can be used to count RSVPs for your event, but I would recommend using the group to direct attendees to a landing page instead. Not all of your attendees will have a Facebook account. The best way to get a full count is to use social media to direct interested users to a separate RSVP page.
Facebook events are controlled by the host, but also allow attendees to comment and ask questions on the event page. This makes it an ideal way to engage with potential attendees, provide more information, and address any concerns.
Since LinkedIn is more of a business platform than a social platform, LinkedIn Groups are a great way to market a professional or corporate event, especially if you’re hosting a series of events.
LinkedIn Groups are designed to provide a place for conversation, questions, and ongoing engagement with a group of people. We use our LinkedIn group for our Assembly Events series as a way to connect with potential attendees and past attendees. We’ll continue the conversation from our roundtables with engaging questions and follow-ups for anyone who didn’t have time to get their questions answered at the event itself.
We also use the LinkedIn group to contact specific contacts who we think would be particularly interested in our next event. We will post engaging videos promoting/explaining the group’s upcoming event to generate some interest.
Think of a LinkedIn group as a small captive audience for your event or series of events. They’ve either accepted an invitation to join or requested to join the group, which means they’re interested in what you have to say, making it ideal for event marketing.
Organic vs Paid
Organic media can be a tough sell. With only organic posts, you only reach a small percentage of your followers on any social platform. Essentially, social media is getting paid for business and event marketing. However, organic posting is still extremely important when marketing an event. Even if you only reach a few people, you still present yourself as an active organization creating engaging content.
You can also use your organic posts as fodder for your paid content. With organic social media, you reach a small percentage of your own audience. With paid social networks, you go beyond your audience to reach new people and generate new interest in your organization and your event.
Whether or not to add paid social media to your event marketing plan depends a lot on your budget and the scale of your event. How many participants are you looking to get? If you are marketing for a big event, some paid social media ads will definitely be a good idea.
When you’re marketing an event, it can be difficult to balance the frequency of posting to your page. How do you strike the perfect balance between promoting your event and publishing other engaging content and thought leadership?
The last thing you want is for your social media channels to become free-for-all event marketing. Every post can’t be about an event — otherwise, you’re constantly asking your followers to do something for you with nothing in return. You need to carefully balance event marketing promotions and your regular content. Post enough that followers know about your event, but not so much that they miss hearing about it.
Pay close attention to your engagement rates across all channels. Are you losing followers? Receive fewer likes and clicks?
Social videos are great for event marketing. They give you something akin to “face time” with your audience and allow you to grow your event in a different way than through your typical written content. Videos also typically receive higher engagement on social platforms, and they’ll have a longer lasting reach – people will interact with them for weeks at a time, compared to the day or two you typically get written content before. it does not disappear. We had a video with an increasing engagement rate for up to two weeks.
The videos also give your audience a preview of what the event will look like. You can offer them a behind-the-scenes tour of the venue, a seating set-up, or a presentation. Spark their imaginations with a few tip snippets and hint at other upcoming events during the event itself.
Work with an agency
Using social media for event marketing is a mix of art and science. The more you use it, the better you can leverage social platforms for better attendance at the next event. Don’t underestimate the power of consistent publishing in a wide variety of formats. The more widely and consistently you can distribute your event marketing, the better off you will be.
Event marketing takes time, effort and experience. As a business owner, don’t waste your time looking for the best way to use social media for event marketing.