A brand’s events come in all shapes and sizes, and serve all sorts of purposes. Whether it’s a holiday or clearance sale, a webinar or seminar, a celebration of a milestone, a concert, a fundraising gala, a new product launch, a book signing, or anything else, event marketing is a powerful way to boost brand awareness, authority, and sales. And small businesses, multinational corporations, nonprofits, personal brands, and any other organizations can all reap the benefits.
Of course, the success of event marketing depends on people showing up.
That requires a compelling incentive—something like free food and entertainment, a limited opportunity for major savings, basking in the warm glow of a celebrity, the chance to pick up useful information, or something else of value to the target audience.
It also requires getting the word out to the right people in a timely manner. That’s why event marketing and social media marketing go hand in hand. Social media is generally the best channel for publicizing a special event, and many of the most effective strategies don’t even cost anything besides a little time.
So, here are some key ways of using social media to boost event attendance for your brand.
Getting the Word Out About Your Event on Social Media
- Create a Facebook Event listing from your business page; these are incredibly helpful because users can find all the relevant information in one place, see the location on a map, interact with other people attending, ask questions of the organizers, read answers to other people’s questions from the organizers, see if they have friends going, invite their friends, buy tickets or register if necessary, and more
- Put up the Facebook Event page at least one month in advance if possible (and if not, as far ahead as you can); people need notice, and since Facebook reminds them about it if they mark that they’re interested or going, there’s not a lot of risk they’ll forget about it
- Fill out all the information fields when creating the Facebook Event listing
- Share the Facebook Event page from your business page at different times of day, every few days; share it from your personal page too, and ask other locals (friends, family, employees, etc.) if they’ll do the same
- Communicate the most compelling incentives for attending on the event listing and whenever you post about the event
- Ask your business page audience to share the Facebook Event page; ask your followers on other social media sites to help spread the word, too
- Encourage people to select that they’re interested or that they’re going on the Facebook Event page; again, this will prompt Facebook to remind them about it as it nears and when it’s about to start, and it will spread the word to some of their Facebook friends
- Make a unique hashtag for promoting your event on Twitter and Instagram and use it every time you post about it (and encourage your followers to use it); you can use it on Facebook too, but hashtags aren’t all that useful there
- Interact with people who are talking about your event to build the conversation and excitement and to amplify the reach
- Schedule social media posts about your event ahead of time so that you don’t forget about them in the busy time leading up to the event
- Run digital ads on Facebook to promote the event, as these are relatively cost-effective and offer great targeting capabilities; consider running ads on LinkedIn or other social networks too as appropriate
- Create a high-quality promotional video and share it from your social media pages
- Publish relevant content on your brand’s blog leading up to the event to generate excitement, including a CTA to buy a ticket, reserve a seat, register, RSVP on the Facebook Event page, etc.; share the content via your social media pages and mailing list
- Run a contest on social media for people to win free tickets if the public must pay to attend
- Share behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of the setup process in the hours or days leading up to your event
- Encourage attendees to check in and post about your event on their social media accounts while they’re there; remind them about the hashtag if you have one
- Capitalize on the event afterwards by posting pictures and videos and spurring conversations among people who went; this helps generate more brand awareness and enthusiasm that can translate into more attendees at your next event