Now that you’ve invested a great deal of time and resources into planning for your event, you have to ask yourself one important question. Have you created a buzzworthy event and are you doing everything you can to drive it?
Social Media has changed the event marketing game, enabling marketers to create long– and short–term relationships that go far beyond “likes” and followers. Understanding the true value of social media engagement and real time marketing and putting into action a robust plan, can extend the life cycle of your event far past the registration phase for this year’s event – activating loyalty and anticipation for events to come.
Why leverage Social Media? Here are the basic reasons before we tell you how:
- Increase Your Brand Awareness & Drive Event Attendance
- Promote Content Sharing
- Provide Information to Your Attendees
- Surprise & Delight Your Attendees, and Create SHAREABLE memorable moments.
Now let’s elaborate on fresh tactics in social.
Increasing brand awareness and driving attendance
You’ve sent out your save-the-dates, you’ve posted on all your social platforms and you’re already receiving inquiries from past attendees about this year’s event but what else are you doing to extend your reach gaining new interest about the event? Paid social media is a great way to boost your message reaching new audiences. Remarketing can be an effective tactic on Facebook leveraging segmentation through custom audiences to reach site visitors who have not already purchased a ticket. Big ticket conferences and events specifically see a great return on retargeting ads through Facebook. Leveraging promoted tweets on Twitter to extend the social reach of your save–the–date blast can also be highly effective. Smart targeting can go a long way, even with only 140 characters.
Promote content sharing
Keep it simple by arming your attendees with great shareable content. Provide downloadable content from your site that your fans and followers can share on their social platforms. Activate engagement with social buttons on your site, blog content and emails with shareable copy that is clean and concise. This will make it easier for the user to click and share without having to edit. Encourage sharing, retweeting and regramming of your social content in post to spread the word and offer some incentive for doing so. If there’s one thing social users love, it’s recognition. So give it to them. Another effective tactic is aggregating your entire conference’s or event’s content. Posting previous year’s content while updating your audience on what’s new for this year is critical. Post event, share slides and presentations from your event if applicable. Not everyone takes notes and attendees find great value in being able to access content, ideas & insights post event. You may already be planning to integrate this type of content on your site but also make sure to create micro-content that is shareable and easily digestible versions for various social channels.
Provide information, but make it fun
The days of publishing, automating content and walking away are long gone. If you’re not leveraging social to create a two-way conversation you’re going about it all wrong. Be active and present. Publish posts with details about your event but also engage your audience in real time Q&A to effectively and consistently gauge not only their interest but to encourage their feedback. Social media has changed the game dramatically when it comes to who’s steering your event’s success. While your marketing team, agency and planners may have built the strategy, your happy or unhappy attendees are driving whether or not it’s successful. Leverage social to learn and quantify the results of your event marketing plan. What’s that saying? The more you know …
Actively participating in the conversation pre, during and post event shows your attendees that they matter past clicking “register me.” If you’re doing it right, you’re building a relationship and loyalty to your conference.
Surprise and delight
Marketers love to use surprise and delight in their strategies but what does it really mean in the social space? It’s creating those memorable and shareable moments at your event where people can’t resist getting on their mobile phone to tweet, upload a pic, take video or Snapchat to all of their friends. It’s taking your experiential marketing efforts to the next level. It’s bragging rights when a brand or event reposts one of their photos or retweets something they’ve said. It’s that moment when shared passion unites a conference and its attendees in a way that is real and exciting. It’s these moments that drive the most buzz for your conference and have the ability to strike long–term conversation about your event. These types of moments are not easily created without understanding fully what motivates your audience. Social listening and active participation in the conversation is a great way to evoke real time moments that matter to your audience and generate ideas that will differentiate your event. Again, the more you know.
Easier said than done?
Social media efforts still seem daunting to marketing teams who lack the resources and time to manage it. But if done effectively with smart goals, you’ll be able to measure and quantify your efforts while delivering tangible results. Not only do we work with clients to build robust event strategies that integrate social and compelling content, we build a measurement strategy to collect and analyze meaningful data from your social conversation. We train brands to leverage sentiment analysis tools to not only measure the effectiveness of their content but also help determine underlying attitudes, emotions, and opinions that ultimately strengthen their conference or event brand for years to come. We look at engagement data to access the long–term sustainability of their event community.
In short, we won’t just build a social media strategy for your event – we will help you build a loyal event community that will come back to your event year after year saying, “register me.”
If you have questions on how to take your event to the next level leveraging the power of social media, we would love to chat with you!