Tips to use Social Media to Promote an Event
There are many curmudgeons and luddites out there whose opinions on social media range from bitter to hostile. The reason, primarily, is that they believe social media—the Internet in general—separates people from reality. However, savvy brands using social media know that the opposite is true. Social media can actually be an extremely powerful tool in bringing people together in real-life situations.
Take events as an example. If you’re using social media to promote an affiliate business, to offer seminars, or any other type of enterprise where you’ll benefit from a live event, then sites like Twitter and Facebook can be harnessed to take your events to the next level in popularity. Here are a few tips to help you achieve that.
Use Social Media to Promote an Event:
Event-Promotion Made Easy with These 6 Social Media Tips:
1: Use the Power of Video:
The big social sites out there may have overtaken YouTube in terms of traffic and membership, but you’ll notice that Facebook now has its own videos, and sites like Twitter create spin off video-specific sites. Video is extremely powerful, and you can use this power to promote your event.
Reading about an event does tell a potential attendee quite a bit, but showing them the event is a much greater selling point. With video, you’re able to spread things like enthusiasm, honesty, necessity, and other aspects and emotions that may create more interest. With text, getting that same level of emotion and engagement across is something even Hemingway struggled with.
With a video, you can:
- Add entertaining music
- Create cool visual effects
- Add a comical or light hearted script
- Actually get actors to help you sell
- Garner more interest than text or photos
- Offer a live look at previous events
2: Add Incentive for Sharing:
Whether it’s a status update, a tweet, a YouTube video, or a short Keek spot, you want as many people to see your promotional materials as possible. This is where incentives can really pay off. What if you offered free admission or a free gift to an attendee who brought a couple of people? What if you offered a coupon or prize to every person who shared your post with X number of people?
The idea here is to take an affiliate marketing spin on event promotion through social media. You can actually set up a legitimate affiliate brand and create banners, hand out affiliate codes, etc., to ensure things run smoothly. No matter how you slice it, though, you should think about adding incentive.
Incentivizing sharing offers a few benefits:
- People will compete to spread your message
- More people finding out about your brand and event find out about the sharing; i.e. the sharing exponentially spreads
- You can dominant News Feeds and trending tags
3: Add Incentive for Attending:
Of course, there is always the possibility that the people who share your message won’t actually attend the event. This is going to happen regardless; what you want is a higher percentage of attendees vs. viewers and sharers than would otherwise manifest. You get this by extending the best benefits to the people who actually attend.
What exactly is a good incentive for people to attend a live event? For haughty events like the Oscars or P Diddy’s White Party, it’s typically a gift bag with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. You’re not operating in opulence, of course, so think about things that turn a business event into more of a party atmosphere that people want to attend.
Think about offering incentives like:
- Free food and drink
- A free app, eBook or other download
- Gift cards for iTunes or other inexpensive yet popular locales
- Cover charge discounts
- Different games and contests during the event
- Popular keynote speakers
- Entertaining presentations
- Different and exciting themes
4: Use the Power of Paid Advertising:
Reaching people to tell them about your social media event may require more than sweetening the sharing pot. And in terms of people wanting to show up for free gifts and a fun time, they still have to know about it. This is where the power of paid advertising comes in and offers an assist.
Although people may like to believe that a little bit of sharing can go a long way, it’s only a blip on the radar compared to the power of advertising on a site like Facebook. For Facebook specifically, try a few ad-based tips to promote your event.
- Find a super ad-management app
- Split test different varieties of ads
- Personally control which ad(s) is/are released
- Control your target markets and aim narrowly at those most likely to be interested
- Try various ad types to see which gains the most traction
Social media in general is much larger than Facebook, so let’s speak about a couple of other sites with this tip. Google+, Twitter and Facebook all use hash tags to catalogue content. A popular hash tag tacked onto a tweet puts it in with all other relevant tweets, and it becomes searchable by anyone wishing to see what else was said under that tag.
If you have a popular, established brand, you can create or use an existing hash tag of your own to help promote your event. If not, you can think about reaching out and borrowing someone else’s thunder for the purpose.
When using a hash tag, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure the hash tag is directly related to your niche
- Keep an eye on the tag to ensure its use remains consistent
- Watch other taggers to measure your personal impact
- Don’t use a tag that’s too popular or not popular enough; go Goldilocks
- Use the tag in your paid advertising, and encourage it in your sharing
- Strive for tag consistency on your end; i.e. use one tag to promote your event
6: Offer a Look Inside of the Event:
This tip is about informing people of the event in detail – giving people a look behind the proverbial curtain. To do this, you can use some of the methods mentioned above to get the word out there. Videos, tweets, sharing, hash tags, etc.; the idea is to get more people interested in attending.
- You can show people an assortment of things about the event, such as:
- Footage (video, photos) from previous events
- Testimonials from past attendees or customers
- Third-party press releases and other news spots
- Information about the venue
- An itinerary of the events, raffles, food, etc.
- A preview of possible prizes
- Previews of any videos that may run
Promoting an event using social media, when done properly, will not only pack your event but will also build more brand recognition and more of a following. These tips are easy and practical, and anyone with a basic video editor, a social media account and a little bit of time to use ad-management software can benefit greatly from implementing them.