ocial media is the one channel that really helps you build up the excitement for your event, improve participation, and boost engagement for your upcoming virtual event.
Your objective through your online conference or meetup might be to generate brand buzz or build a community or generate revenue. To achieve any of these objectives, here are a few brilliant ways to use social media for marketing your event and achieve your goals. (Also Read “Handy tips to market your Virtual Event”)
1. Influencers Social Media Marketing
Tap into the power of influencer marketing to access newer communities & build credibility in those networks. Request influencers to promote the upcoming event by writing about it in their own words, on their platform of choice.
For even better results, you could create a dedicated co-branded video with them (an interview or a case-study) and ask them to promote it multiple times to their networks in a an organic (or even paid) manner. .
Tip: It’s crucial to choose the right platform & influencer based on your niche, event topic & target audience. Like how Instagram isn’t for knowledge professionals and sometimes just a few influencers on 1 platform can do the trick.
2. Organic Social Promotions
Create an event calendar that lays out all the different types & formats of posts you will create before, during & after your event. Post types can include marketing your event, speaker updates, sponsorship & partnership banners, key stats about your industry, agenda, highlight videos & schedule updates along with promotional offers or giveaway contests.
Build a 360^ integrated social media strategy across all relevant channels. Make sure you have a plan to create, publish, promote & measure the organic efforts. Ensure that these appear at regular intervals in your calendar and start much in advance before the big day.
Choose Your Social Media Platform(s) Wisely
Choose your bouquet of platforms well to fit in with your industry, niche, event themes & target audience. Some platforms are just great for sparking discussions while others have a higher engagement compared to platforms that drive more direct traffic.. Here’s a bird’s eye view to help you pick yours:
- Instagram -If your promotions present opportunities for striking visuals, then Instagram could be a great fit. Instagram is a visual platform, powered by photos, videos and visually appealing graphics. Send out older event photos or colourful graphics to build awareness and recall.
But beware, the actual traffic & sales expectations from Instagram would be a lot lower than other platforms.
- LinkedIn – This is the social media platform for professional and business networking. It is the best place to announce corporate news and events. If you are planning an online event for knowledge professionals who would most likely come from a business or technical background, then you absolutely should focus on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can help you build a relevant audience of decision-makers, professionals and executives. Pro-tip: Write long form, genuine posts & stories on LinkedIn (100-250 words) derived from personal experience. Such posts can drive a high amount of value & traffic to your event.
- Twitter – Twitter is the medium to have rapid, quick conversations. Even though Twitter has a lot fewer total active users in comparison to Facebook, LinkedIn or even Instagram, what it does offer is a very passionate & engaged audience.
It’s relatively easier for your post or content to trend on Twitter & get picked up by influencers or celebrities which in turn could drive a ton of real traffic & value for your event. Make sure you try different post formats including tweet chats & tweet storms.
Request influencers to share posts about your event or retweet yours. If they have attended previous events, they can share positive vibes about them or simply share interesting points.
- Facebook – Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world and what it means is that theoretically, every possible target customer of yours would be present (if not active) on Facebook. It also enables you to target messages with laser precision to target audiences through paid advertisements. You can share comments, event messages, involve page followers, and even create an event page.
- Snapchat– Snapchat is the go-to platform if you’re looking to attract teenagers and younger adults. The user base is highly engaged & substantial in size. But it also needs a constant stream of quality content.
Pick Snapchat if your virtual event is meant to attract a younger demographic & if you have the resources to create plenty of short-lived content. Promote your event by using Snapchat’s Geo-Filter feature to target new customers who have not been part of your promotions or events in the past.
3. Paid Social Advertisements
Create paid advertisements on various channels to target your audience. Decide on your ROI value per click or per participant sign up. Choose between the multiple payment options like pay-per-impression or click or conversion.. Retargeting pixels now make it so easy to send ads in the right direction. Always split-test your campaign. Create at least three different ads per campaign and analyze them using the right metrics to see which ad is performing better than others. Consider hiring a PPC advertising company if you’re not confident running ads yourself.
Posts with hashtags receive twice as much engagement than without them. It becomes much easier to track the buzz created around your event by determining how frequently the hashtag was used.
Make sure you create a few hashtags that cover your key brand name (or event name), primary USP (or topic/theme) and the target audience. This combination would ensure that your posts get picked up by those interested in both your topic & who are a part of your target user persona.
Create awareness and discussion around these hashtags – place small competitions to test recall of these. Promote hashtags on all your media campaigns like emails, print materials, or billboard advertising.
5. Build the Excitement
Make it convenient for your customers to locate you on different sites through clever use of icons or symbols which are unique to your crusade. Be bold in your email communication and newsletters using these icons on the page, which are suitably the bottom of it. Repeated views of your logos and graphics will arouse curiosity and then build up the excitement. A small group of highly active & dedicated advocates can do more than you expect!
6. Use Facebook & LinkedIn Groups
Find communities on Facebook & LinkedIn that might be interested in your event. Engage with them and establish your brand as a thought leader in the industry. Don’t use these groups to overly market your event, but project how the event can benefit them subtly. Genuinely contribute & ask for feedback so the community is involved in your success.
7. Profile check
“Social media can be the most effective channel to promote your #VirtualEvent, build excitement & improve attendance”
Social media is an essential marketing tool that enables community managers to directly engage the audience, build a community around the event, sell more tickets, and optimize ROI. Create a social media marketing strategy and make your brand event the talk of the town.