Event planning can be a handful, especially when you’re investing a generous amount of time and money into making sure everything – from the seating to logistics, turns out just perfect. While you’re busy getting ready for the big day, the idea of marketing your event and selling sufficient tickets may seems daunting. If you’re riddled with the obvious question of where to start, you can always count on the variety of social media platforms to help you spread the word.
Most businesses – big or small, use social media to communicate with their target audience, offer valuable services, generate leads, and increase conversions. Here are a comprehensive list of things to get you started on your event marketing journey, using social media:
1. Leverage past content analytics to improve your upcoming content:
Analyzing the effectiveness of your social media content after publishing is something most businesses do, however, wouldn’t it be nice to know how your post is going to perform before you send it out in the world? The ability to identify the virality quotient of your content greatly affects the impact of your social footprint, and the amount of attention your event gets.
For developing content that effectively resonates with your audience, you should first leverage actionable insights from content that has previously been wildly successful in terms of social sharing. Are videos getting more eyeballs than still images? Does an infographic record more clicks than how-to articles? Buzzsumo is a great way to get answers to your questions regarding the the top-performing content trends.
Simply enter a keyword (for example: big data) you’re trying to target, and Buzzsumo will curate a list of online content relevant to your keyword, that has gotten the most engagement across multiple social networks.
Not only this, you can also filter your list by time period, content type, language, word count, and other parameters, for a more thorough breakdown of content that is almost guaranteed to work.
2. Organize your calendar by defining Content Categories :
One of the best ways to increase engagement and grow your following on social media, is to consistently produce content that’s valuable, interesting and relevant to your audience. Nobody likes being constantly pushed to buy something – so, rearrange things a little bit. Publish a free ebook catering to hyper-specific user interests, an infographic related to your industry, a short video from the previous year’s event, behind the scene pictures of organizing your event, or a gif with a clear call-to-action towards the end!
Need help with creating content categories, and staying on track with different types of posts? Edgar helps you manage unlimited content categories, schedule repeat posts indefinitely, upload custom images for specific social channels, and build an ever-growing content library.
Not only does Edgar save you time, you can now focus on the bigger picture when it comes to social media marketing strategy and stay on top of your game by delivering content that leaves a lasting impression.
3. Start organic conversations by going ‘live’:
Sometimes, nothing works better than actually talking to your audience, and giving them a platform to directly interact with you. Social channels like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter (Periscope) and Google+ Hangouts allow you to go live and start a conversation with your consumers.
Organizing a conference or workshop? Get your speaker or panel moderators to host a live Q&A session, where they take questions from the users in the comments. Gearing up for a music festival? Have one of your artists go live to play a little something and talk about the upcoming event!
On Facebook, you can also hold a live public poll and ask users to cast votes using the various reaction emojis. Best part? All your followers get a notification when you go live, that encourages more and more people to tune in.
4. Host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything):
Aptly called the ‘front page of the internet’ – Reddit AMAs have quickly become an appealing and powerful platform for starting a conversation about your upcoming project. From Barack Obama to Bill Gates, thousands of established and completely obscure people have benefited from the ‘Internet spotlight’ by promoting movies, helping political causes, increasing book sales, or getting a word out about their personal interests.
With over 3 million subscribers, Reddit AMA is a growing community of users that will ask you honest, earnest and thought provoking questions about you, your brand, and what you’re trying to promote. Unlike any other media form, Reddit can be pretty intimidating for first-time users, but you can count on it for decent impressions and exposure, if you play your cards right.
5. Automate Curated Content to communicate with your audience:
Content creation often takes a back seat when you’re planning an event, running a small business or still figuring out your content strategy. Alienating your audience with an erratic publishing schedule, burns the metaphorical communication bridge you worked hard on setting up.
Maintain a baseline of curated content, so that you stay on the frontline even when you’re busy writing proposals, collaborating with your organizing team, making sales calls, and brewing your third cup of coffee! While there are several tools available to make this happen, Hootsuite and Buffer appear to be the most reliable.
Hootsuite Publisher allows you to select upto three topics of interest and finds content from across the internet that matches your requirement. Connect your Twitter account, review the curated content suggestions, and queue them for publication!
With Buffer, you can not only schedule a steady stream of curated content, but also integrate multiple social accounts for the same channel, a feature that comes in handy when you’re operating more than one Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or LinkedIn page.
6. Use LinkedIn Publisher and Medium to publish long form content:
Most people read between 5-10 blogs a day, and 31.1 percent of consumers find a brand’s blog to be the second most influential factor while making a purchase. If you don’t have an official blog for your event, you can easily hop on to LinkedIn Publisher or Medium to share long-form articles that is both informative and rewarding for the readers.
Medium lets you import existing content from anywhere on the web, analyze content performance and even run your own publication. On the other hand, LinkedIn Publisher helps you target a more business-oriented audience, establish yourself as an expert in your industry, and catch attention of the decision-makers. Both platforms feature extremely powerful editing tools, that are user-friendly and make the your long-form content stand out.
7. Incorporate Influencer marketing for more outreach:
Someone has rightfully said, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know.’
Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept, and has helped countless brands acquire customer loyalty and attention. Identify individuals that have a large following, credibility in your target market, and possess the ability to influence potential event attendees.
Original marketing content produced by these influencers not only creates the necessary buzz for your event, but also ensures social reach, and consumer trust. The investment can be cost of a product, in exchange for word-of-mouth event promotion to the masses from influencer accounts.
Here are a few platforms that help you locate influencers relevant to your cause:
- FollowerWonk digs deeper into Twitter to find and connect you with influencers in your specific niche, by giving you a breakdown of their location, followers, bios, and more.
- Alltop aggregates the most popular information and news across the internet in real-time, helping you stay on top of what’s happening and discover influencers in your industry.
- Thunderclap is a crowdspeaking platform that allows you to create a ‘buzz’ about your event by letting people with active social following mass-share a single message on their feeds.
8. Outline budget for paid advertising:
Setting aside a realistic budget for advertising campaigns should be an important part of your overall content strategy. Paid advertising helps you discover an untapped audience, get their attention and drive conversion rates. With flexible, eye-catching, and visually appealing ads, you can encourage people to visit your event website, purchase tickets, or download your app.
According to Facebook, people spend more money on their coffee, than they do on advertising, laying emphasis on the fact that you don’t need a minimum budget to start your ad on their platform.
While Facebook Ads Manager is a comprehensive tool in itself, you can also check out Qwaya and AdEspresso to streamline your social media campaigns, by A/B testing on a combination of images and texts, to generate the best performing ad variations.
9. Increase productivity with third-party collaboration tools:
For a well-thought out social media strategy to work, you need to have a team marching to the beat of the same drum. As a project manager, you should prioritize streamlining your workflow that involves timely communication, managing stakeholders enquiries, coordinating dependencies and contingencies, meeting timelines, tracking productivity, documentation and setting up a feedback cycle.
So, how do you get everything done, without resorting to micro-management? This is where third-party project management tools like Slack and Asana come in, that help you collaborate across all verticals with your team.
Slack not only integrates seamlessly with your other apps (Google Drive, RSS, Dropbox, Dribble, etc) but also allows you to find all your files, messages, calls, and team-mates all in one place.
With Asana, you can organize your work into prioritized to-do lists, keep your team informed of task progress, and add custom fields to any project.
10. Optimize content with images:
Time to gather around for a quick science lesson, folks! Here we go: The visual cortex located in the back of your your brain, tends to process visual information around 60,000 times faster than words!
When you’re creating content that gets noticed and read, nothing grabs a consumer’s attention like a compelling image with a strong call-to-action does. The best images communicate opinions, convey emotions, evoke an atmosphere, spark an experience or memory, and most importantly – add meaning to your words.
If you’re looking for non-copyrighted images to go along with your social media content, here are a few websites to help you out:
- Pexels provide high-quality stock photos that are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0), and are completely free to use.
- Canva is a graphic-design platform, featuring a drag-and-drop format that is perfect for anyone looking to create customized images in just a few steps. With over a million fonts, graphics and photographs, Canva is a non-designer’s shortcut to design.
- Freepik offers exclusive graphic resources and illustrations to users for both commercial and personal projects
Always remember that your target audience and industry greatly influence the performance of your marketing campaigns on a particular social media channel. The engagement and response rate differs from platform to platform, so evaluate your success metrics carefully and put your money where your mouth is. Attention-grabbing copy, relevant visual content, and a direct call-to-action should continue to remain your prime focus of your social media strategy, while you experiment with the automation tools suggested above to maximize your return-on-investment.
When you’re trying to effectively manage various aspects of event organization, scaling a long-term strategy can be a drain on resources. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket and analyze what’s working and resonating with your prospective attendees, to drive more ticket sales. Keep an eye out for the latest trends, news and announcements to improve your event marketing efforts. Lastly, while you’re busy spreading the word and holding down the backstage, don’t forget to to reward yourself and have fun!