Almost three-quarters of the online population use social media, making social platforms the perfect places for event organisers to generate interest in their events. There are tried and tested means of going about this; we've picked out some of the most successful ways in which social media can aid events promotion.
The right person for the job
Navigating the world of social media is no easy feat - especially if you need to devote your time to arranging the event and coordinating the logistics. It makes sense to choose someone on your team - or even to create a new role - for managing the social aspects of your events.
If somebody within your organisation is already accustomed to the different social media platforms and passionate about the event, you might want to give them the responsibility of promoting the event online; failing to use the opportunities presented by social media can mean missing out on chances for increasing awareness of your event.
Network before, during and after the event
Organisers and delegates can network before, during and after the event through social media by sharing posts, commenting or asking questions, which in turn can lead to meaningful dialogue or more generally get people talking.
This can boost the dynamism of the event and enhance the common knowledge of delegates before the event takes place, giving attendees a set place for discussion throughout the event - especially if it is streamed live via a social network.
When delegates or other interested parties get in touch with you via a social media platform, a prompt, polite and informed response will create a good impression - even if you can't fulfil specific requests. Your event's social networks are effectively an extension of your brand, and customer service should be as much of a priority online as it is offline.
Regular monitoring of your event's social network pages should keep you up-to-date with any comments, posts or messages, which can you respond to with relevant helpful information or links to useful resources.
Working social media to your advantage often involves adding value for your audience; this can be through providing excellent customer service, entertaining your audience, being helpful and solving problems or being inspirational.
Generally, adding value refers to providing the audience with something - be it information, tips, a good experience or perhaps a reward. This extra value creates a positive impression and is more likely to translate to engaged, loyal event attendees.
Make it personal
When your event gains new followers or likers, avoid sending out generic messages - this might seem thoughtful and polite, but can actually have the opposite effect by failing to show any real interest in the audience on a more personal level.
Similarly, when compiling mailing lists, divide contacts up in terms of their social networks so you don't risk asking your audience on Pinterest to 'like' your Facebook post by mistake for example, which can look sloppy and unprofessional.
In order to promote your event, you'll want to use social media to create interest. You might do this by organising a competition with tickets to the event up for grabs, but choose the sort of contest you plan to run carefully, considering how your audience communicates.
To really engage your audience, look at how they behave on social media - do they like to share pictures of themselves? Do they enjoy debate? Are they more likely to enjoy something a bit more reserved that involves minimal online interaction? Once you've established the right sort of contest, work your event into the theme and choose rewards that are appropriate for the audience.
Integrate with registration software
Promoting your event via social media is a great way to increase awareness and interest but the marketing effort shouldn't stop there; integrate links from your social media pages to your event registration system, which will often be a separate webpage that allows your audience to confirm their attendance and pay for their tickets.
A simple, hosted online registration system can usually be customised with your brand's logos, and you can add or remove sections and widgets to further tailor the system to your requirements. Share the link across all your social sites and include it in emails to reach the broadest audience.