Social media is like a party. First, you need to select a party location (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn). Then you need to send out some invites (ads & posts). Once the invites are sent, you need to put up your party decorations (timeline images, avatars, apps), and when people finally arrive you need to be prepared with the wittiest conversation around so when they leave the party they can’t help but talk about how good your party was. This is all great, but most brands and businesses drop the ball when they actually host a real party. Today, we’ll discuss how to market events on Social Media so that you get the most amount of attendees and so that you can remarket them after.
How to Market Events on Social Media
Lots of marketers tend to forget about the real party when social turns to real life. The whole point of social media marketing is to connect with people in real life. This means that when your brand moves from the digital space to a physical space for an event, both need to merge. A good social strategy during live events can grow your brand, build brand ambassadors, and make for a better experience for your guests. The following recommendations will make sure that you achieve these goals.
Use Event Hashtags
You should already be using branded, geo-tagged and industry hashtags with your Twitter and Instagram posts. For events, you need to switch up your hashtag strategy to include an event exclusive hashtag. First, you’ll need to come up with the hashtag. It should adhere to these points:
Short, Sweet & Easy to remember – this way people can easily use it
Unique – so there is no brand confusion
Geo-targeted – if your event is at a physical location, this is a must
Vetted – check the hashtag online to make sure it does not have a negative history
Date Specific – If you are running a recurring event
You can deviate from one or another, but you always want to keep things as simple as possible. Then you need to take a few steps:
Promote the Hashtag – Use the hashtag on social media posts, newsletters and invites to let your attendees know what hashtag they should use on their posts. Reinforce this with physical signage at the event.
Use the Hashtag – During the event, make sure you lead by example by live posting to Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags. If you take pictures of attendees, ask for their social handles so they can be tagged in your images.
Track the Hashtag – As in the image above, you will want to track the hashtag on social. Then, you will want to engage the content creator (after all – they attended the event) and share their content to social media.
Get to Know Your Guests
Make sure that the majority of people who are invited are active on social media and have a healthy following. Then, create an online RSVP system where you ask your guests for their social accounts (Twitter, & Instagram). This will also allow you to monitor Tweets and Instagram posts.
Those who are on Twitter can be added to private lists for the event so you can monitor their tweets. The best part is that you can thank them for coming after, and once you get to posting pictures to Facebook, you can send them direct links to the content creating yet another point of contact. Interaction and monitoring should begin from the moment the invites are sent. Although your event may last only one day, social media is forever.
You can also use a tool like Google Alerts for the event hashtag as well as your business or event name. This will let you know whenever the hashtag is used across social media.
Most likely, you’re not running this event by yourself. There are probably other businesses involved – even if not directly. For example, if you are organizing a charity event featuring chefs and wineries, invite them to participate in the event, include social expectations and social rewards.
Like/follow/engage each other’s pages
Push out the event on each other’s social media accounts
Write blog posts for the event and share each other’s blog posts on social media.
This event will benefit all associated brands, so don’t be shy about educating those involved in the best social practices. Each time either of you amplifies a message, your brands grow stronger and you will build online and offline relationships. Email them weekly with the work that you have done so they know that this is a give and take relationship. This is all about teaming up and being heard.
Make an Entrance
First impressions are everything and everyone that comes to the event will have to come in through the entrance. Make sure that at minimum your event hashtag is prominently displayed here. If you really want to go above and beyond, set up an Instagram selfie station that includes your event’s hashtag.
Think about how you can use walls and empty areas to build your brand. Use these spaces to display your slogan, twitter feed, event information, etc…But keep in mind to make them beautiful. I recently went to a gorgeous Loire Valley Wines event where they took empty space and built their logo out of flowers. They then set up a camera so people could have their pictures taken…but they only got a copy after giving their twitter handle & tweeting their pics. This is social media done right. If there are tables, make sure that each table has the appropriate hashtags and qr codes. Educate everyone at the event on what the social practices are so that everyone is on the same foot.
You know how at a wedding they give you favors, little trinkets to be remembered by. This is great standard practice for your events. When you select your favors, pick something useful that can be branded and that is relevant to your industry.
If possible, utilize a projector to push out a live twitter feed monitoring the event’s hashtag.
The last thing you want when that influential is about to tweet a picture at your event is for their phone to die. Make sure that you set aside an area where people can chill out, re-charge their devices, and keep themselves entertained with some branded reading material (branded with your hashtag, of course). Hire someone to hang out in this area, chat with people, and help them if need be. It’s all about the details.
Set Up an After Party
Chances are, after your event, people will have networked and will want a place to go. Make arrangements with a place nearby to set up a happy hour. Let them know ahead of time that you will be bringing a large group of people after hours who are all social influencers. You could ask them to give anyone who came from your event a discount when they tweet with #YourHashtag #Afterhours. They will appreciate your business, and you may even make another social friend.
Thank You Notes
If you had a party, you’d customarily send thank you notes. Instead of traditional thank you notes, thank your attendees via Twitter. This should be pretty easy if you’ve already added them to lists. Then keep them in mind once the pictures and videos from the event come out.
Promote Your Event with the Best Social Media Tool
Doing all this is time-consuming. That’s why you need an effective all-in-one social media tool like Socialdraft. With Socialdraft you can:
- Schedule posts to multiple Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, Pinterest boards, and LinkedIn pages
- Schedule one time, duplicate, and recurring posts
- Engage your audience on the all-in-one feed
- Pull reports
- and much more