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How to promote your events via social media

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Social MediaThere are few people left today who doubt the power of social media, particularly in the events world.

We’ve all seen at first hand how the best events inspire outpourings of excitement, playing out on social networks for the world to see. We’ve also heard about the disasters that go viral. People love to talk, and social media gets them heard.

So how do you harness all this social energy and use it to promote your event? Here are our top tips on how to promote your events via social media.

Establish your presence early, and in the right places

Don’t underestimate the importance of an early start. There’s a lot going on in social media. The longer you have to capture and retain attention, the better.

Put some thought into who your audience is and which networks they use. A delegation of managers is unlikely to be highly active on Instagram. Unless they are in the fashion industry, in which case they probably will be.

Get your fish in a barrel

The old adage about shooting fish stands true. But first you need to get them into the barrel. This means building a pool of interested people whom you then market to over time, until a proportion convert into attendees. An email database is a perfect example. So is a Facebook event page.

Everything must be visual

Seeing is believing - another old phrase that applies to new media. Show potential delegates what they can look forward to. Assuming it’s not a debut event, you will have images and video to share from last year. And if it’s the first one, share shots of the venue, speakers, dinner menu - anything to help build a picture of what’s in store.

Offer behind-the-scenes and exclusive content

As event planners, we sometimes get too hung up on the polished product. It’s time to lift the lid and reveal the setup. Use social media to share off-the-cuff shots of a venue visit, for example, or a menu tasting. Make your followers feel part of the process.

Leverage partners’, speakers’ and delegates’ networks

Create shareable content (images, videos) and provide them to anyone involved with the event. Encourage them to share and post about the event to their own audiences.

Have one hashtag, and be smart about it. It should be short, catchy and ideally unique. Twitter and Instagram are the most hashtag-friendly networks. Facebook also supports them.

Encourage FOMO

The ‘fear of missing out’ can be an event organiser’s best friend. For ticketed events, provide regular updates, reminding people that they need to book before it’s too late. Another effective technique is a flash sale - offer a time-limited price reduction and watch the bookings spike.

Incentivise live sharing at the event

Encourage your attendees to share their experiences live. Why not put a twist on the traditional raffle by offering a prize to the best photo of the evening? Providing an incentive drives positive social media activity, promoting the event to next year’s potential attendees.

Read more event tips: 12 ways to make a delegate feel special

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