There was a time when advertising an upcoming event, whether it was an annual conference, a half marathon, or a grand opening, used to be pretty straightforward.
Print up some fliers, maybe get a spot on the local radio station, send out a few mailers, and hope word-of-mouth works its magic. People would show up. Hopefully, they enjoyed themselves, learned something, or made a purchase. When the event ended, they went home.
Now, thanks to social media, event marketing has entered a whole new realm. In today’s hyper-connected world, we RSVP via Facebook, live feed conferences, add details to our stories, and connect with other attendees through the official hashtag. Social media has opened the door to never-before-seen levels of attendance, engagement, and buzz, which is great news for event marketing. The only thing limiting your event’s success is how effectively you implement these powerful tools.
To help you market your next event with social media, we’ve put together the following ten tips. Some of them are specific to a particular platform, while others can be used across multiple accounts. By implementing these ideas,we guarantee your next event will be a success—online and in real life.
Create a Facebook event.
If you’re a business or brand, getting your Facebook posts in front of your audience’s faces can be challenging. This is why simply posting about an event isn’t enough—you have to create an actual event for it. Facebook will automatically connect the event to users’ calendars and send reminders an hour before it begins, which makes your life a whole lot easier. And it’s pretty simple, start by:
- Logging into Facebook and head to the Events page.
- On the left-hand side, select “Create event.”
- Choose whether you’d like to create a public event on Facebook or a private one.
- Then create the event.
Ensure you follow best practices when creating your event, such as giving it a clear title, writing a thorough description, and adding the exact location. This will help people find your event and encourage them to RSVP.
Cast a wide net.
As powerful as creating a Facebook event can be, it isn’t enough all by itself. This strategy only helps you reach Facebook users—what about all those on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and event Tik Tok? What about your company blog? You need to post about your event on these platforms, especially if you want maximum reach.
Make sure you don’t simply cut and paste your event into a tweet or photo – instead, create platform-specific ads and posts that will perform well in each medium. For Twitter, that means hashtags and concise information. For Instagram, it means a great custom photo and a snappy caption. For Snapchat or Tik Tok, you’re going to want to create a fun viral-worthy video with a catchy song in the background.
Focus on great photos.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and eye-catching images will capture your audience’s attention more than anything else. You can use photos to build buzz around an event by showing the event-goers who will be involved, the location where it will take place, the freebies and prizes you’ll be giving away, and the snacks and beverages you’ll be serving.
If this is an event you’ve held before, use the best images from past years to create buzz for this one. While all social media platforms are unique, the one thing they all have in common is that great photos increase engagement. So go ahead—show people what a good time they’ll have at your event, and they’ll be much more inclined to come.
*PRO TIP – Plan to have quality photogs at your event so you can use these fantastic, eye-catching images in next year’s social media campaign.
Run remarketing ads to people who are on the fence about attending.
Remarketing ads are shown to people who visited your website in the last thirty days. This is effective for events because often, people who are interested in your event won’t necessarily buy tickets or register on the first try. Sometimes they want to gather information so they can think about it. The problem is that the world is full of distractions, and they might forget to return to your site.
By showing remarketing ads, you can keep your event in front of their eyes and on their mind, making them more likely to bite the bullet. Don’t want to show your ad to people who actually bought a ticket? Set the ad to exclude certain website visitors, such as those who viewed the “thank you for registering” page.
Promote an official hashtag for the event.
If you’ve planned or attended a wedding in the last two years, you know that the wedding hashtag is almost as important as the wedding vows. The same goes for any big event. Hashtags are great because they help aggregate social media posts from the event across all platforms and encourage attendees to stay engaged and involved in the conversation—sometimes even after the event has ended. Another bonus?
Encouraging people to use the hashtag will result in more user-generated, which you can re-share later.
Encourage speakers to share their Twitter, and Insta handles.
If your event features speakers, include their Twitter handles in their bios and other promotional materials. This will encourage attendees to follow them on social media. In some cases, people will even tweet at the speakers while they’re talking or follow up with them later to ask additional questions.