Up until now, if you wanted to let people know about your event you would send out post cards, distribute flyers in the local area, send a lot of emails and maybe even run a cold calling campaign. These are the foundation steps of event promotion, and they are still effective today. However, there is a new kid on the block to help promote your events, and its name is social media.
But how could using social media help boost your event attendance? For a start, the wide reach of social media makes it much easier for people to hear about your event. Social media gives you the ability to reach out to thousands of people at the same time and tell them about your event – for free! It gives you the the ability to access your current attendees and ask them to promote your event to their friends and colleagues, and it makes it easier for key influencers in your industry to chime in – discussing your event online and passing the message on. This ripple effect can be huge, and results in many more people knowing about your event than would ever be possible by traditional methods. So the big question is, how can you use social media to get more people to attend your next event?
1) Create Your Hashtag
While the hashtag hasn’t really taken off on Facebook, it is a huge part of the Twitter and Instagram experience. You can either use existing hashtags like #conference to get people involved, or to make a real impression, create your own branded hashtag. For a really impactful campaign, use both. Every tweet you send about your event should have your hashtag attached. Soon you will see people start picking it up and using it themselves - for example, ‘I’m going to the #picklemarketing training session this week!’. Once this happens, you can use it to generate conversations and excitement around your upcoming event. Not only that, but a hashtag can give you free advertising with the potential to go viral very quickly. The more your hashtag is used, the further it spreads, leading to more people finding out about your event and booking to attend.
Think about your event like a film. You have a set release date, but you need to build up lots of excitement and intrigue so that people will come and watch it. You get teaser trailers, hints dropped on social media and vague posters appearing months before the release date. These promotional campaigns start early, and don’t reveal everything at once. By the time the release comes around, thousands of people are desperate to see the film. Your event is exactly the same.
Start revealing little bits and pieces a few months before the event to peak your customer’s interest, and never let them forget you have something planned for the future. Post teasers on social media, sections of any promotional posters you have and short snippets of information. Not only does this give you lots of time to allow delegates to sign up, but it also means you can distribute information across multiple channels in new and unique ways. The more you promote, the more interest you are likely to get, so make sure you start early.
It’s not really surprising that frequent posts across a variety of social media platforms increase event attendance. After all, the more posts you have talking about your event, the more excitement you create, which leads to shares and retweets and more people seeing your posts. Make sure you are posting regularly about your event so that people learn about it and don’t forget it. Avoid spamming people with the same posts all the time or sending out updates 8 times a day – that will just lose you followers.
It really is as easy as that! Social media offers you a simple and effective way to access thousands of people in a non-invasive way, and is proven to get better results than more traditional event marketing techniques. If you need some advice or support in using social media to market your event, why not ask us about our social media training options?
Add a Comment