As event planners, we know how many things can take up space in your mind the second you sign the contract. Venue, vendors, deliverables – all of it is running through your mind and fighting for top priority. We’re willing to bet that ‘social media engagement’ isn’t the first thing on your list. In fact, we don’t blame you if it’s not in the top three – or even the top ten.
While important for event planners, sometimes social media engagement gets set aside as an after-thought. It pays off to invest in social media engagement at your event. When people attend your event, they might remember the decor, the venue, and the speakers – but they’ll have fond memories of the way the event staff tried to engage them before, during, and after the event.
If you’re an event planner or a business owner who’s short on time, there are still some great, basic social media tips you can follow to elevate your event. These small tips can bring your event experience to the forefront for every attendee.
Tip #1: Create a Facebook Event Page
This one might seem a little obvious, but we included it as number one because it’s also important. Facebook is still one of the most used social media platforms in the world, so if you have an audience, the chances are they’re on Facebook right now. You should not only have an event page – you should optimize it. Use captivating images to tell the story of what they can expect at the event and showcase your great planning skills while you’re at it.
Here’s where many event planners get sidetracked: don’t just rely on your audience to keep the event page active. Post teasers, ask questions, and talk to your audience. Tell them to invite their friends and continue the conversation.
Tip #2: Use Facebook Ad Campaigns
If you’re selling tickets or inviting a community, set a budget for a targeted ad campaign. This is the most efficient and effective way to leverage social media while also getting your attendance up. Many event planners report having Facebook as their most successful outlet, so while you can definitely run ads on other platforms, we recommend keeping Facebook as your number one.
Facebook ads are like any other ads, in that they become more effective when they’re more intriguing. Use this opportunity to advertise something unique about your event, such as your speakers, entertainment, or theme. Create ads that get the audience excited about an experience, not just an event.
Tip #3: Ask For Social Engagement
In other words, mobilize your call to action. Tell your visitors what to do next at the end of any post, comment or ad to help direct the conversation. Make it interesting for them so that they want to contribute to your efforts and get the word out.
For example, offer a free item for anyone who shares a specific post or start a raffle and build up activity around the prizes. Invite the audience to vote on themes, entertainment or what the schedule for the event should be. People are naturally competitive so leverage that in a creative way, such as giving shoutouts for whoever shares or participates the most.
Tip #4: Create Shareable Content
Sharing is caring, especially on the internet. You could simply ask for a share or you could encourage sharing by releasing attractive content about your event. Graphics and content such as videos or infographics can go a long way with social engagement, especially if they deal with past events.
One of the most creative ideas we’ve seen for events is spreading an invitation via share; only users who share the event on Facebook will be added to the official guest list. That’s a great way to encourage sharing while also maximizing your reach.
Tip #5: Send Out a Press Release
Don’t underestimate the power of an old-school press release. These days, you can leverage newspaper and magazine email lists that your event would attract by sending a press release out.
Articles get a lot of attention and can be easily shared, so if you are able to get something out there, be sure to optimize its effectiveness by also sharing it on your event page, inside relevant Facebook groups, and on other social media platforms as well.
Let’s connect if you’re in the mood to put together that stellar event that’ll boost your brand into the public eye. We can help you put together a great plan that will give you a boost on the way to the top.