Grow Your Next Event: 4 Proven Social Media Marketing Tips
Throwing an event could be just what your business needs to finish the year strong, especially knowing that consumers plan to spend 4% more this holiday season. But how you promote your event and stand out from the crowd makes all the difference in its success. Capitalize on the season of spending with these expert social media marketing tips for promoting your next event on social media.
1. Create a Facebook Event
With 35 million people viewing a public event on Facebook each day, creating one for your event is a no-brainer, and it takes just minutes to set up. Don’t forget to link your ticketing platform (we recommend EventBrite) to your Facebook event for a chance at doubling ticket sales! Hosting a free event? You can still “sell” tickets for $0, which gives you a more accurate RSVP count and helps improve your attendee show rate. Once your Facebook event is up and running, it’s time to invest in a paid social advertising campaign to promote it.
Our Facebook Advertising team at iScreamSocialMedia can target new people in your area, retarget those who have already engaged with your event, and much more. Seeking women between 47 and 65 earning in the top 25% of their area living within a 7-mile radius of your business for a lunch and learn about facelifts? We’ve got you covered. Seeking single men between 20 and 30 statewide who have an interest in trucks for your next Monster Jam Truck Rally? Scream for us at iScreamSocialMedia. The point is your business can be highly targeted and avoid wasted marketing dollars through promoting your next event on social media.
Bonus idea – live stream the event, particularly if an expert is speaking that could spark interest or sales. As people tune in to the live stream, they’ll learn, engage with your business, and you can even offer them a timely promotion to purchase or sign up for your product or service.
2. Connect with Instagram Influencers (the Right Way)
At first, influencers might seem like an easy way to spread the word about your event to their millions of followers, until you discover they charge $5,000 and want free product for life in exchange for a 10-second Instagram Story. Don’t worry! There are plenty of other influencers that have reasonable demands.
Seek out hyper-local influencers with less than 20k followers who are still trying to build their followership. Click through their feeds and followers and confirm that nearly all are not fake followers (zero posts, not many or any followers, or following nobody are a few potential typical signs). These influencers will be more open to promoting or attending your event and might even be flattered by your offer. A local mom with 5,000 followers who actually would purchase your baby clothes brand will have far more impact on event attendance due to proper demographics and perceived authenticity than larger followerships in many cases. Be prepared to provide them with a free product or service or a nominal payment for their thoughtful post, making it a fair exchange for both parties. We also encourage you to nearly fully create the post and content for the influencer to ensure your message is effective and on-brand.
3. Run a Contest with your Event Hashtag and Capture User Generated Content (UGC)
Social media UGC is content (photos, videos, etc.) provided to you by your fans. Has your customer ever shared a photo of themselves on social media using your product/service? This is UGC, and it’s invaluable! Here are two ways to use it, along with your event hashtag, to promote your event:
- In the weeks leading up to the event, add a sentimental touch to your marketing with a festive contest. Ask fans to post a holiday photo – a family pic, snap of their house decorated for the holidays, etc. – and tag your event hashtag for a chance to win a prize. (People already love sharing these kinds of photos, so it’s easy for them to do.) Not only does this generate buzz around the event, but it gives you an opportunity to comment on the post and spark a conversation with current or potential customers.
- On the day of your event, assemble a step & repeat and/or photobooth and ask attendees to share their event photos on social media using the event hashtag. Reshare these photos on your business social page and reuse them to promote next year’s event. Don’t forget to publicly thank all those who posted.
4. Ramp up Your Instagram Stories and Go Live!
New research shows that a business can improve its social media reach by posting more frequently on Instagram Stories. As you prepare for your big event, document the process on your Stories. Post fun behind-the-scenes videos and photos, like your team wrapping gift bags and setting up for the event. For even more reach, hop on Facebook LIVE to announce the details of your event and engage with your fans as outlined in more detail above. Ask them to share what they love most about your event or business and even run a fun contest to spark more engagement. Stats show that Facebook Live generates 6x more interactions as regular videos, so don’t miss out on this valuable social media event marketing tool.