Social media is one of the easiest, most effective resources for marketing events. However, it is often underutilized by professionals for a range of reasons. Many of those planning small and medium events aren’t sure whether social media could work for their conference or meeting. They’re often surprised to learn how strategically leveraging social media can streamline their process and offer great responses to their marketing efforts. You can do it, too.
First, consider whether your event should have a social media page. If your event is open to the public and is expected to occur annually or more often, this is typically the right decision. It also works for events that might not be open to the public, but to those within a specific industry or role. Next, determine which social media channels best fit your event. The most common option is Facebook, but, depending on the topic of your conference as well as your potential guests, it could make more sense to use LinkedIn, Twitter, or another service.
In the weeks and months leading up to your event, use social media as an opportunity to keep your event fresh in the minds of former guests with updates on dates, speakers, venues, and other details. Also consider encouraging followers to use a specific, unique hashtag with your brand or event’s name in it, which boosts awareness for those who don’t follow your page yet.
This is also a great time to launch a paid advertising campaign on social media. Even small budgets can outperform estimates with a few well-written lines of copy and a great image. Social media advertising is much simpler than many users anticipate, and there are options that work for every type of event. Just keep in mind that Facebook has additional guidelines for ads that are related to political issues and groups.
When your event finally rolls around, be sure to post lots of pictures and videos. Encourage your guests to do the same, using the same unique hashtag you decided on before the event. This not only ensures social media followers know how great your events really are, but it gives you plenty of posts to re-share as a reminder when your next conference is coming up.
Another great way to encourage your guests to engage with your hashtag or page on social media is by offering an incentive. 92% of attendees are willing to provide event feedback when a reward is involved, according to the Event Marketing Institute. This could be a free t-shirt, entry to win a giveaway, a product discount, or free registration for a future session or event. Your guests will be much more willing to share their great conference experience online, which will help your audience grow in a natural way.
As industries and organizations rely more heavily on digital resources for communications and marketing efforts, it makes sense to look for new solutions to the concerns event planners have had for years. When it comes to leveraging social media to raise awareness of your event and create engagement, the options are virtually limitless. Whether you have plenty of time and budget to schedule a social media campaign, or you prefer to keep things smaller, you can help your event gain traction through social media quite easily.
Here at the Conference Center at GTCC, we love helping our clients plan and execute great conferences and meetings. Whether you’re hoping for something classic or unique, our dedicated team of event planners is ready to help. Give us a call today to learn more.