There’s no disputing it. Social media has taken the world by storm! The masses have taken to posting, sharing, tweeting and retweeting – from what they had for breakfast to some of life’s biggest moments, people live (and plan) their days through social media. As companies flock to social media outlets, there’s a growing trend to promote events online and reach the millions that log on every day.
Constant Contact released some numbers earlier this year from a survey of their Event Marketing customers. Here are a couple quick take-away stats:
- 74% think social media is an effective event marketing method
- 89% reported using Facebook to market, followed by 66% on Twitter and 54% on LinkedIn
- 56% use social media to educate and inform others about their events
- 66% want to use social media to reach more people
Did you see that? 74% think social media is an effective event marketing method! At KolbeCo, we absolutely agree. Just this spring we had the opportunity to work with a new client to promote their event and used outlets like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
If you’re thinking of jumping in the social-media-event-marketing-pool (wow, that’s a mouthful!), there are a couple simple tips you should keep in mind. Don’t worry, the water’s warm… we just want to see you swimming laps in the deep end Michael Phelps style… and not flailing about in the kiddie pool. (Side-note confession: I can’t dive and 90% of the time I hold my nose to go underwater. OK, I feel better getting that off my chest. Let’s Continue…)
- Plan Ahead – If you have an established presence on social media, then you’re in a great position. If not, don’t fret. We can do this! Just plan ahead and give yourself enough time to connect with others and build your network. Building Likes, Friends and Followers takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
- Speak Up – They don’t call it social media for nothing. I hate to compare social-media-event-marketing (whew! Still a mouthful!) to high school, but bare with me for a second. In high school, who were the people getting all the attention? At a high school dance – who did everyone watch? Was it the person standing in the corner or was it the goofy guy doing his best Saturday Night Fever impression? I’m going to go with the guy doing the Hustle! Speak up and stand out! You can’t just create a Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn account and walk away. You have to be present and engaging. Simply tweeting once a week won’t cut it. You need to jump in on a conversation and interact. The same goes for Facebook. Just posting to your wall here and there won’t get the results you’re seeking. Social media is fueled by interaction.
- Use your Connections – Want to build your social media network? Reach out to your friends, family and colleagues. Encourage people offline to engage with you online. Promoting a company event? Have employees, board members and maybe even customers help share the word. Add links and social media buttons to your emails, newsletters and website. Remember, you can’t just build it and expect people to come. You have to show them where it is, how to get there, and what to do once they arrive.
- Stick Around – Don’t just promote the event and then disappear. Post live updates DURING the event and then follow through after it’s all said and done. Remember the client I mentioned earlier? We posted tons of great photos and snippets during the event and actually DOUBLED their number of Likes before the event ended. Show people what they’re missing!
Do you have a repeat event? Whether your event comes around once a month or once a year, it’s important that you stay active on social media. Remind people how great your event was. Get them excited about the next event. Post topics and news that are relevant. In social media, you have to be present. If you fall off the radar, they’ll forget about you. Continue to engage and interact and you’ll stay at the forefront.
This list could go on and on (and clearly I’m rarely at a shortage for words)… but this is a blog. Not a novel. If you’re part of the 66% of people that want to use social media to reach more people for their events, but are nervous about taking the plunge, Kolbeco is here to help. We want to see your event shine! Contact us to discuss using social media to market your next event.