While online social media marketing and promotion is a daily task for your business with many short-term goals, event marketing generally occurs far less often. It is really important that you promote your online social media platforms when you are at an event because it will keep people interested in your brand long after an event ends. On the flipside of course, social media can also be a great way to market your events. Using the two together can help you get double the benefits if you're smart and have a plan in place.
Below explains some of the ways you can promote your event before and after through social media, break down the different ways you can promote social media at the event, and what to do after the event is over. When thinking about meshing these two marketing tactics together, however, remember to keep in mind that some of these strategies are going to be different if you are hosting the event vs. attending someone else's event. Consider some of the tips below:
Before the Event
Before the event happens you want to be sure that your existing crowd is on board with you. If you are hosting the event this is especially crucial.
Create An Event-Specific Page On Your Website and Facebook
You will need to create an online representation of your event so that you can direct people to learning more about where the event will be, what it is for, and why it matters to your business. You can create a subsection of your website devoted to the event, and/or a Facebook page to invite your existing network to. Here are some ideas of what to put on the page:
- Information for the event (location, time, etc)
- Promotional videos
- Links to articles that others have written about the event
- Promotional quotes from previous events
- Announcements and updates leading to the event
If you are not hosting there may already be an existing page created, so be sure to utilize this to promote to your social audience. Go to the Facebook page and introduce your company, what you have to offer at the event, try to connect with people registered, share photos, etc. In many ways this is an easier way to promote your brand than an event you throw on your own.
As you know, hashtags are all the rage these days-they are an easy way of promoting and reaching a larger audience. Create a hashtag if you are hosting, or use an existing one on your photos and posts if the event you are attending has one. This will encourage others to use the hashtag when posting about the event and not only help them remember your brand, but help the name of your brand get out there in front of all your attendees' social connections. I recommend keeping the hashtag short, unique, and most of all, having some solid mention of your brand if possible. You can learn more about creating a great hashtag here.
A great way to promote the release of a new product or service that you will be promoting at the event is through creating a teaser video. Use this in combination with your other event posts or post it directly on your website. It will be a good way to get people excited leading up to the event. Post this video on your social media as well, and be sure to make mention of your hashtag and different opportunities available at the event. The Miami SEO Company discussed different ways to even incorporate video into your web design or your webpage for an event, which you can learn more about here.
At the Event
This is where people generally forget to use social media in their event marketing strategies. It is fairly easy to see how you might promote an event before, but remember; your time at the event is just as valuable for your social marketing.
Giveaways & Contests
It is always a good idea to have contests or prizes at your event. One of the ways you can incorporate social media is by having people post photos at your booth or at the event with your hashtag to be eligible for prizes after the event ends. Not only will this add content to your social media streams, but it is also a way to let people who cannot attend see what is happening in real-time.
Always take pictures to share! During the event it would be great to post to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also use these photos after to create a slideshow or album for others to see how the event was. This can help with boosting attendance for future events.
Get Video Footage Of The Event
Similar to taking photos, make sure that you capture moments on video too. Video gives people who aren't able to attend a way to experience what's happening at the show. This opens up the opportunity to talk about the event and connect with people who can't be there. Some ideas of different kinds of video to take are:
- People winning a giveaway
- Live presentations
- Speaking about the event
- The trade show floor
An important note: You are likely to be very busy on the day of the event. It is a good idea to designate one of your staff to working on social media projects that day. As you can see, it is a big job and requires a lot of effort, so it may not be something you want to try to juggle while also making face-to-face connections.
After the Event
Keep the event energy alive, and use social media to promote your efforts after the event.
Follow-Up with Leads
Once the show is over it is important to connect with all of the contacts and leads that you made (if the event went well this could be a big project). Make sure you consider all of the different ways to make contact-connect with them on LinkedIn, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter. It is a good idea to personalize your message to each person so that you make a genuine connection.
Send an Email to Attendees
Don't forget to send an email to everyone who visited you at the show, especially those who came from your promotions before the event (i.e, your existing network leading up to the event). In addition to thanking them for their attendance, be sure to include links to all of your social media and website content for the event so that they can also add photos and share their thoughts about the event.
Once the event is over you or one of your staff who attended should write about the show experience. I like to keep notes during the event so that it is easier to remember significant moments afterwards (it makes the writing process go much smoother). People like to read about events like these and it is a good way to generate new content for your site. Use the pictures and video you took, and write about the reason you were at the show (new products, services, etc.). If you had a favorite speaker or if there were other significant moments, be sure to include those as well. Publish on your blog and then promote that blog post on social media and start the cycle all over again.
Events are important moments for your company and it is important to incorporate social media marketing in every aspect that you can: Before, during, and after. These ideas I discussed are just some of the ways that you can incorporate social media into your events, but you can also get really creative if you have the time and budget. Visit here for more cool ideas.
Do you have some ideas that I didn't talk about in this article? How have you incorporated social media into your events? Let us know in the comments section-we would love to hear your stories!