As a former event manager, I know that events allow businesses large and small to engage with current or new clients, strengthening brand awareness while demonstrating the quality and benefits of working with the company. However, the challenge for any event is: how do you get people in the door? Social media and email marketing are accessible tools that allow small to mid-size businesses to expand their reach on limited timelines and budgets. Here are five digital tips to promote your next event.
Create a Hashtag
Creating an event hashtag is an easy way to identify and promote your event across social media platforms. It is important to keep your event hashtag short, relevant and easy to remember (and recognize). For example, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Initiative created the hashtag #ConnectGrowAchieve because their events focus on fostering opportunities for local businesswomen to connect, grow and achieve within the community. A hashtag also allows you to track engagement, feedback about the event, and make new connections.
Create an Event on Facebook
Facebook offers several solutions to promote your event online. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is to create an event on your company’s Facebook page. This allows you to share the event with your audience, invite connections, and potential attendees can also share it with their personal networks. Facebook gives extra weight to events created on its platform, allowing you to have a wider reach (organically and paid) than the average post. Once the event is created, be sure to post regularly within the Facebook event page to not only help the potential attendees understand what to expect from the event, but also build excitement leading up to the big day. Additionally, for each post shared within the event page, anyone who responded “interested” or “going” will receive notifications, creating more awareness for the event.
Create a Video or Share Images from Previous Events
Sharing videos or other visuals from past events, including attendees, sponsors, or emcees can build excitement amongst committed and potential attendees. Behind-the-scenes content capturing the planning process, highlight reels of speakers, and social media cover photos can all be created across a number of free or low-cost apps like iMovie, Instagram, Lightroom, Splice and VSCO.
Don’t Forget LinkedIn
From posting to your company’s general feed to creating an ad, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to promote your events to the business community. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn groups are a way to connect with professionals who have similar interests, whether that is location, a hobby, etc. Strategically sharing posts about your event within your groups allow you to reach individuals who may not be directly connected to on LinkedIn. Another helpful feature is direct messaging. If you are a premium user, LinkedIn lets you send multiple messages a day, providing the opportunity to target and connect with your current and potential audience. Encourage your company’s employees and followers to share your content to extend your reach to their networks of connections.
You’ve Got Mail
Email marketing still matters. Many studies show email marketing is the most effective tool to communicate with your brand’s audience. Emails promoting your event should not only be informational but also make it easy for the recipient to RSVP or purchase tickets. As few clicks as possible is key to success. Whether you use MailChimp, Constant Contact, or another email service platform, include compelling visuals and engaging headlines in your copy. Also, do not underestimate the value of an interesting subject line – it serves as a first impression.
Now that you have these five digital tips, you can set your event up for success!
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