Over the last decade, social media has changed the way we promote events.
Today’s digital age proves that when executed properly, these platforms are an integral part of encouraging a strong event engagement.
Whether it’s building the pre-event buzz, making sure your event is jam-packed with people or following up from the aftershock, keeping an active social media presence throughout the entire process is paramount.
To encourage a successfully planned event, it’s important to weigh everything up. Defining the purpose of your event, as well as determining location, budget and timing are all key factors. But it’s the influx of social media that changes how we engage with brands and influences, and ultimately creates the conversation between the event and its attendees. Making social media a part of your marketing strategy is an all-year-round thing. In the lead up to the event though, it’s crucial to amplify your presence and refine goals.
With spring in the air and the warmer days just around the corner, summer has solidified its place as the season for hosting events. Now is the perfect time to start planning your next event! Pay attention to detail, create an event plan, book in catering and suppliers, invest in quality visual and audio equipment and make sure you’re utilising social media management to the fullest. Want to execute perfection in your event? Here’s how to use social media to make it happen:
Build the Buzz
Utilise social media to drive event sales by building the buzz well before the event starts. Create shareable assets and content that’ll encourage attendees to partake in and interact with. Use this content to initiate competitions and give away free tickets to the event. You want the content to boost attendance and engagement – and nothing motivates us more than an opportunity to win something as an incentive on top.
Leverage the followers and exposure of event speakers by interviewing them pre-event. Not only does this create a huge hype, but it can be turned into fantastic ‘special’ content too. Think podcasts, interview blogs or text blurbs / quotes which can be shared in the leadup to the event. Take advantage of event hashtags (and create a unified one specific to the event), get media exposure, boost the Facebook event page, schedule social content at key times and get on board with advertising to build the buzz as well.
Check Social Media Reviews
At the heart of every successful event is a team of reliable suppliers. For things to run smoothly, it’s important to choose the right vendors and hire equipment for the job. A private caterer, professional photographer / videographer, stage, visual or audio hire and entertainment are just a few of the essential merchants you may need to engage with. Once you’ve narrowed down the list to the favourites, use social media to check customer reviews.
Before you hire a supplier for the first time, taking the time to research is vital. The little details matter – and investing in the right vendors can be all the difference between an event that flops to one that oozes victory. According to these stats, there’s a significant increase in the number of people conducting research on a business via social media (59% in 2016) before choosing them. It’s a key part in measuring the quality of a local business and its reputation and reliability. Check your chosen company’s website and social media pages for testimonials and customer reviews as this information can be extremely valuable in finding the right people to help with your event.
Share Video Teasers
People can’t get enough of video these days because they engage the senses in a way that other online content can’t. Use video teasers to generate the pre-event excitement and show your audience what they can expect. If the event is a repeat, you can use highlights from last year to entice interest. Make the video fun and use an attention-grabbing image for the thumbnail to encourage viewers to press play. Get creative with visual testimonials, quotes from experts and guest speakers and other footage relevant to the event.
Create Shareable, Social Media-Ready Images for Your Website
Great content is vital for social media to perfect your event, but mix it up. Shareable, social media-ready images create visual interest and keeps event attendees enthusiastic about what’s coming up. For many of us, the main interactions with customers come from our blog or website – but that doesn’t mean social media doesn’t tie into it.
You want to make it easy for attendees to share images and information about the event to their networks. The easier and more enticing it is, the higher engagement and publicity you’ll create. Utilise a specific page on your website to serve as home base for all things event related. Use it to upload all the content created for the event and make sure it’s shareable, with engaging images and sign-up opportunities. This way, you can gain all the valuable website metrics and potential leads for the event, as well as take advantage of both online platforms. If you do create an event-specific page on your website, make sure it’s consistent with the rest of your branding and marketing strategies too.
Don’t forget to create a social buzz at the show too. Sharing behind-the-scenes content, whether it’s pictures or backstage video footage, is a great way to get people super excited (and perhaps even sell those last minute tickets!). Post images of the preparation stages way before the event starts and make your audience feel like they’re in on some great, big secret. People love that VIP feeling and going behind the scenes is the ultimate way to make them feel involved.
There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing a successful event and sharing the process, even if it’s somewhat chaotic, humanises your brand and offers people a valuable inside glimpse of what your company – and your event – is all about. Depending on your audience, use Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat for live video stories for an awesome real-time resource.
Keep the Conversation Going
The event buzz should continue long after the event has finished. Keep the conversation going with post-show blogging and recaps through video snapshots and images that can all be promoted on social media. Celebrate your press mentions on social media channels and ask for feedback from event attendees. Encourage people to fill out a satisfaction survey and if the results are positive, pull them into a visually appealing Infographic to show them off.
Events are a fantastic way to build a positive brand awareness and bring in loyal followers – but only if they exude excellence. Through the use of effective social media management and user-generated content, perfecting your next event is definitely on the cards.