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Here’s how to make social media actually work for your event

In this article read about rules on how to promote an event on social media

a close up of a computer screen with social media icons

It’s common knowledge that social media is an essential marketing tool for events. But because the majority of us use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in our personal lives, this can lead to the misconception that it’s easy to make them work for promotion. A Tweet here and a live stream there should be enough to get the crowds flocking to our event, right?

a close up of a computer screen with social media icons

Well… not always. 

Ever posted a ton of random content about your event online and wondered why you’re not getting nearly as much engagement as you expected? Like with all marketing activity, the answer probably lies in the strategy (or lack thereof) behind your posts. It’s not enough to just push content out as and when you feel like it. You need to carefully consider who’s going to see it and when, and why those people are going to care.

With that in mind here are eight rules for making social media work hard for your event.

  1. Create a schedule
  2. Craft a voice for your event 
  3. Decide on a simple hashtag
  4. Create rich content – not sales content
  5. Target your posts
  6. Embrace live video
  7. Don’t forget your Call To Actions
  8. Create a Facebook event

Read more below.

How to promote an event on social media

Create a schedule 

Before you start pushing out posts for your event, it’s wise to create a schedule of your social media marketing activity. Start as early as possible so you’ve got plenty of time to plan and implement each actionable item on the list. This could include things like creating a web landing page for your event, when to start implementing your event hashtag, and key stages at which you’ll be posting content in the lead-up to your event. 

You could also create a content calendar outlining what kind of posts you’ll be doing and when, for example a small interview with your headlining music artist or speaker could be released when you announce your event’s line-up. Planning this out strategically will put you in a much better position to maximise on your audience’s attention and convert views into ticket sales. 

Craft a voice for your event 

Any brand activity requires an appropriate and consistent tone of voice, which applies to events promotion too. Decide early on what tone you want to set with your social posts, and stick to it throughout all promotional activities. Are you going to be using a personal voice that’s full of energy? Or a more professional tone that steers clear of colloquialisms and overly-friendly speak? It may seem like overkill, but putting some time into this will help customers recognise your brand as your event approaches, increasing the chances of them engaging with it. 

Decide on a simple hashtag

Don’t get too caught up in making it clever or ‘witty’ – sometimes the best hashtags are the simplest as they’re the easiest to remember (and to type). You could do an abbreviation of your event name and the year it’s taking place, or even just your event’s initials and its location. A simple, concise combination (that’s unique, of course) will suffice – then you just need to make sure you stick to it and use it consistently across all posts and channels. 

Create rich content – not sales content

People engage with content that actually interests them far more than overbearing sales messages. While pushing out something like your line-up can grab people’s attention, sometimes just describing the bare bones of your event isn’t enough. Concentrate on sparking your audience’s imagination through creating image or video-rich posts that are valuable in their own right. Videos of crowds going wild always work wonders for building up hype around music events, so make sure to cash in on any footage you’ve got of past events. Or for conferences and talks, try posting meaningful images with teaser quotes from your event’s speakers.

Target your posts

Targeted advertising is as old as advertising itself, and your social media strategy shouldn’t ignore the power of connecting with the right audience. You can pay to target your posts with promoted content on pretty much all social media platforms – so you know you’ll reach people with an avid interest in your type of event. Or, for example, those who are within the age group you expect your attendees to be, or who live in the right location. 

If you don’t want to pay to target your posts, you can still narrow things down by using appropriate hashtags around your content. Get familiar with what these are, and make sure to save a list of them so you can copy and paste them into each post. 

Embrace live video

42% of social media marketers have already developed a strategy for utilising Facebook’s live video feature, and users spend three times as long watching a live video than a pre-recorded one. In short – if you ignore the power of live streaming during or in the run-up to your event, you’re missing out, big time. 

Live streaming during your event can naturally help you to promote the next one you run, but what about live streaming teasers before your event, too? You could film special behind the scenes content with key speakers or artists. Or for classes and workshops, you could live stream impressive shots of, say, yourself doing super-cool yoga moves. Or one of your guest-teachers creating live art. This is a really great way to engage with potential attendees, making them feel like they’ve got the inside track on what’s bound to be a special event. 

Don’t forget your Call To Actions

Whether you choose to go for paid social media ads, organic posts or both, make sure you always include a clear call to action (CTA). Try interspersing ‘buy tickets’ CTAs with less salesy ones like ‘read full article’, ‘watch full interview’ or ‘see our line-up’.

Create a Facebook event

People will often search for your event on Facebook regardless of whether they’ve seen an official page for it, so make sure you set one up when you launch things. It should have a great cover image, a rich and enticing write-up of your event, and you should also post regularly on the page with relevant content to excite your attendees and potential attendees. Finally, don’t forget to link to any other event pages you have, like your Ticket Tailor page, or event web landing page.

Making social media work for your event is all about building interest and capturing people’s attention. No matter how great your content is, it can end up falling on deaf ears if you don’t put some time into planning things first. With a bit of careful strategising and research, though, you’ll be well equipped to raise awareness of your event, and ultimately to sell those all-important tickets. Bingo.

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