The proof is in the pudding: event marketing packs major value for businesses, including new referrals, quality leads, deal closures, and upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
In a special report by Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic, nearly all consumers surveyed said they felt more inclined to make a purchase after attending an event, and 95% of marketing professionals agree that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in what has become a predominantly digital world.
2018 Social Media Marketing Planning Guide
However, that does not mean that digital tools — namely social media — shouldn’t play a major role in the success of your event before, during, and after. On the contrary:
- 88% of companies use social media to drive event awareness.
- 70% of top companies and brands say social marketing related to event programs is critical.
- 66% of people attending a live event engage in online activities during the event.
- 34% of event attendees post about the experience on their feeds.
- 33% of attendees take photos during the event.
The success of your event depends on how well you promote it, and a solid social media strategy is critical to not only your promotion plan, but also the experience your guests have. Here are the top ways to harness the promotional impact of social media for your event.
Create a Content Calendar
In their event promotion guide, Eventbrite explains how “your social media strategy should depend on the size and scope of your event, but if you’re looking to expand your reach without blowing out your budget, it’s time to go all-in with a comprehensive social strategy.”
A comprehensive social media strategy should include the following:
- An official hashtag
- Cross-platform promotion
- CTAs and links from your social media to your ticketing provider
To make the task of managing your message across multiple platforms less overwhelming, schedule out your content ahead of time.
It will take a lot of work up front, but it will pay off in the end, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Monitor Your Performance
A content calendar is a great tool, but don’t overlook the value of tracking and analyzing performance along the way. Simply Measured social analytics gives you insight into which posts are being shared the most, which days and times give you the highest engagement, and which content is receiving negative feedback.
Put simply, your performance data will help you figure out what’s working and what’s not. This data is critical when auditing your strategy and finding ways to improve and modify your approach.
Retarget and Generate FOMO
Sometimes, the hardest part of the promotion battle is pushing those people who are interested over the edge into sign-ups and RSVPs. To help capture them, utilize retargeted ads. When compared to display ads, the average click-through rate for retargeted ads increases by a whopping 900%.
When drafting your retargeted ads, create a sense of urgency by using a countdown, teasing early-bird pricing deadlines, or using certain phrasing that generates a bit of healthy FOMO.
Make It Share-Worthy
This may seem obvious, but take the time to understand what entices your specific target audience and attendees to share, and make sure to incorporate elements that lend themselves perfectly to those impulses throughout your event. Your top priority should be keeping attendees engaged both before and during the event.
It's official! 1⃣st round of #createcultivateLA welcome boxes are out the door! Don't forget to snap + share a pic of your goodies.We'll be sharing some of our faves right here! Psst… we have some pretty major conference announcements coming your way in the morning. See you back here bright + early! @chloececilia
Before the day of the event, tease out special guests and line-ups or other features that are sure to get people excited. At the event, have signs that clearly spell out the hashtag to encourage users to live-share on social and to help keep the messaging consistent. Also provide a free Wi-Fi network to further encourage attendees to engage and share throughout the day.
Capitalize on the After-Party
Don’t let your event end when the last guest leaves. There are a number of ways to maximize the value of your event by sharing exciting, highly visual recaps on social and continuing to engage with attendees.
Encourage people who attended to re-share the photos you publish and request their feedback. Also make sure to celebrate and share any natural press mentions that result, thanking your guests for making it such a success.