Behind every successful event is a team that’s spent a lot of time on both event planning and event promotion. You have to do both well to create an event people will want to attend and to attract people to your event. A big part of marketing your event is the event promotion to get people to sign up and engage. Whether you’re hosting an in-person event, virtual event, or hybrid event, it’s important to have a solid social media strategy for an event.
Social media presents a perfect forum to engage with your attendees (and potential attendees) in creative ways. Here are a few ideas for promoting your event using a social media strategy.
Connecting with your followers before, during, and after an event helps extend the value of your event and create more interest. Your social media strategy for an event should include a focus on generating engagement.
- Pre-event events: Consider creating a mini-preview of the events, such as teaser videos, Q&As with speakers, and webinars to discuss industry issues.
- Countdown clocks: You can create countdown clocks for social media through several free third parties and you can also create a countdown sticker on Instagram. Social media users can subscribe to receive notifications about timing or add countdowns to their own stories.
- Event pages: Create event pages on Facebook that detail your event and provide links to sessions, speakers, and exhibitors.
- Post photos from previous events: Show attendees what happened at past events with a preview of what’s coming next.
- Swag maps: When you know exhibitors are going to be handing out promotional items, consider creating a swag map that helps attendees find them.
- Highlighting industry issues: Post about common industry concerns that tie to your speakers or sessions with a nod towards who will be presenting solutions.
- Social polls: Include participants in planning your event or gauging their interest. You might poll people about which event they are most looking forward to, or which of the industry problems they are most interested in solving.
- Host live Q&As: Talk about the event and offer the opportunity to answer any questions people might have about your event or presentations. There are many different survey questions to ask your event attendees before, during, and after an event that can help create some buzz.
Another creative way to promote a virtual event or promote a hybrid event includes previewing your virtual environment or virtual platform. You can show off the virtual venue you’ve created and encourage visitors to take a walk-through to see what they will experience in each area.
The more you can get people to engage and share content, the bigger your reach will be. When considering ideas for promoting your event, employ strategies to encourage social sharing, such as:
- Contests: Create photo contests or interactive posts to encourage engagement.
- Swag boxes: Provide prizes or swag boxes to create a personalized connection from the start. Encourage attendees to share pictures of their swag.
- Ask for engagement: Ask attendees to share their biggest industry problems, innovative solutions, or ideas they’d like to learn about at the event.
- Networking: Create ways for attendees to network before the event.
- Branded hashtags: Create branded hashtags to aggregate all of your social content and make it easy for social media users to find and share.
- Tag key participants: By tagging speakers, exhibitors, or participants in your event, you extend your reach by exposing social media users to more people. Followers of this group may also see your message.
- Create shareable images: Encourage social media users to share by creating interesting, funny, or insightful images.
- Quotes: Create graphics showcasing quotes from speakers or past attendees about their experience.
- Highlight speakers: Highlight each of your speakers in different posts to shine a spotlight on them and tag your event and the speaker’s social media account.
The sooner you can get people to sign up for your event, the better. Use a combination of creating urgency and generating excitement. Some creative ways to promote an event to encourage sign ups include:
- Limited-time discounts: Encourage early signups by offering discounts for committing before target dates. You might want to enter those signing up by a specific date into a drawing for free attendance or VIP experience.
- Testimonials: Share success stories from people who attended previous events. It can be as easy as asking past attendees to record a brief message to a few questions you provide on their cell phones.
- Speaker notes: Ask speakers to share outlines for their presentation or record short videos about what attendees should expect.
- Paid marketing: Social media platforms have robust tools for targeting audiences, including very narrow niches. Spend a few dollars to reach the right prospects.
- Behind-the-scenes photos: Consider giving people some behind-the-scenes pictures or info about your preparations.
- Referrals: Share a one-time promo code for referrals or enter attendees into a contest if they are successful in getting a colleague to sign up.
Choose the Right Social Media Platform
You’ve chosen the right virtual event platform, now it’s time to choose the best social media platform. Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, which social media platforms you use can make a difference. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself. For example, when promoting B2B events, you may think LinkedIn is the platform of choice. That may be true, but industry leaders are also pursuing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even TikTok these days. Here’s a summary of each social media platform to help you make decisions.
- Use Facebook to create event pages, share updates, and target messages to specific groups. Use a mix of text, images, and videos.
- Instagram is an image-intensive site. Create custom imagery and take advantage of Instagram stories.
- LinkedIn should be a key part of the mix for B2B and industry events. Highlight upcoming events, speakers, and announcements.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine and largest video platform in the world. Share your video promotions.
- TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the world with a billion active users. While you may think it’s just for the younger crowd of people, more than 36% of TikTok fans are over age 30. Use short video clips. The average length of the most popular videos is about 15 seconds.
- Use Twitter to post quotes and updates, photos and videos, using event hashtags. Consider tagging posts with trending industry topics.
- Snapchat is often overlooked by marketers, but it reaches more than three times the number of people on Twitter. Use emojis, filters, and raw video clips to gain attention.
Power In-Person, Virtual, and Hybrid Events
There are plenty of other ways to use social media to promote your events. Hopefully, a few of the ones we’ve listed will get you started. And, when you’re planning your event, consider using a reputable virtual event platform like 6Connex. Create immersive and beautiful digital experiences that improve engagement and networking opportunities for every attendee. To learn more about 6Connex, request a virtual event demo today. We’d love to hear from you!
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1. Instagram - Using stickers on Instagram
2. Statista - Number of monthly active users (MAU) of TikTok worldwide from January 2018 to September 2021