Planning to host an event in 2020?
Whether it’s a seminar, a small meeting, or a large conference, social media are powerful tools to help you promote any event. According to Eventbrite nearly 25% of traffic to ticketing and registration pages comes from social media.
Read on to learn about how you can leverage the power of social media to create buzz around your upcoming events. Make sure to start your preparations as early as possible to maximize promotion.
1. Create a Dedicated Landing Page
A landing page is a web page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. Create your event landing page using one of the many free tools available to you, or use an online event management service like Eventbrite.
Through the Eventbrite website, you create a single point of entry landing page for your event. From there, you can start selling tickets while Eventbrite collects registration information. (Note: there are no fees to use the service when you have a free event, but if you wish to collect money through sales, you’ll get charged by Eventbrite).
Further Reading: 15 Tips To Help You Create An Effective Landing Page
2. List Your Event on Facebook
A Facebook event listing provides an easy way for attendees to share your event with their friends.
To create a Facebook event, follow these steps:
· Click Events in the left menu of your Facebook News Feed
· Click Create and fill in the event name, details, location and time
· You’ll then be taken to the event page event where you can invite guests, upload photos/video share posts and edit event details.
3. Promote Your Event with Facebook Advertising
With Facebook organic reach falling — the vast majority of your Facebook fans do not see your content unless you pay for them to see it — ads can help you target a specific demographic so you can better reach your ideal audience.
You can also advertise your event on Twitter and Instagram if this is a better demographic fit for you.
4. Assign an Event Hashtag
Hashtags are a great way for people to follow along with your event through a simple search on their social media networks. You should have your hashtag ready to go from the moment you begin promoting your event. Ideally, it should be something you can use after the event — so there is no need to include the year when creating it.
How to create an effective conference hashtag
- Make it short — leave some room for re-tweets.
- Make it intuitive and relatable to your event but not so generic that it’s confused with something else.
- Make it easy to remember and type — most people will be tweeting from a smartphone or tablet.
- Make sure it isn’t already in use. You don’t want to duplicate an existing hashtag which may result in two simultaneous but very different conversations colliding on Twitter. Do a Twitter search to find out.
- Make sure your chosen hashtag doesn’t have a meaning that can be misconstrued (check urban dictionary).
- Monitor the hashtag on a daily basis so you can engage with people who use it — and also to see if someone else is using it for something unrelated.
5. Promote Your Event Hashtag
Once you’ve decided on a hashtag, your next step is to promote it. Display your hashtag as a Twitter feed on your website and event landing page. Tag all your event-related tweets, images and other social network updates using the hashtag. Print the hashtag on all your event material and include speakers’ and attendees’ Twitter names on conference badges. Incorporate social sharing buttons at the end of your event’s registration process which includes the hashtag.
6. Make a Promotional Video
Video is an engaging way to promote your event in mere moments. In fact, according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words! Use video to generate interest, highlight the value of attending, offer a sneak peek of what attendees can expect, and recap on a previous similar event.
Host your video on YouTube and Vimeo (although it has a smaller number of users, Vimeo offers HD playback and no disruptive ads). Upload it to Facebook and to your event landing page (video has the potential to increase landing page conversions by up to 80%).
7. Organize Free Ticket Contests
People love free things so create buzz by giving away some tickets to your event through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter contests. There are many ways to do this but the simplest is to invite people to share why they want to attend and post on the relevant social network using the event hashtag.
8. Share Guest Speaker Expertise
Show people what they can expect to learn from the event by sharing your guest speakers’ expertise through blogs, quotes, and interviews in the months and weeks leading up to your event.
9. Host a Pre-Event Twitter Chat
Twitter chats are conversations on twitter scheduled at a particular time and based around a topic defined by a hashtag. Consider hosting a one-off, or a series of chats focused on your event theme(s). Invite your guest speakers to host or co-host these chats.
10. Design a Snapchat Geofilter
Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters lets you design custom filters people can use on their snaps based on a custom location you define (most cities have geofilters, and Snapchat also creates seasonal geofilters for cultural events). To create a geofilter, you will need to submit an illustration to Snapchat for review. For any photos or videos taken on Snapchat at your event’s location, users can layer your filter over the image.
After Your Event
Your promotion shouldn’t end when the event does. Now comes the time to consolidate your efforts and build on your success.
Analyze tweets tagged with your Twitter account and hashtag for feedback on which speakers and topics resonated with the audience, how attendees rated the physical environment (layout, sound, lighting, etc), catering, hospitality, parking, and any other details which will help you make your next event even better.
Publish event highlights, videos, blogs and images of key moments from your event. Upload presentation slides to SlideShare and tweet a link to the slides using the event hashtag. Embed the slide-decks on your blog or website, alongside attendees’ tweets, your Storify and Twitter Moments.
Finally, don’t stop interacting with your online audience. Respond to post-conference feed-back, thank attendees, tweet links to session recordings, blog posts, and slides. It’s entirely possible to keep the momentum you’ve created going and by whetting people’s appetite you should be able to entice even more people to attend your next event.
Here’s your event success!
You might also like to read How to Use Social Media to Market Your Event [Infographic]