How to use social media to create and promote events
Social media marketing is all about creating a buzz about your business with your fans and followers. Sharing posts, pictures and content is always a good strategy, but hosting events goes a step further. It gives you the chance to create new content and generate fresh interest for your brand; plus, it’s one more reason to stay active in your followers' feeds and to build new momentum for your brand.
Hosting an event enables you to have multi-dimensional impact on social media; it also produces plenty of buzz-worthy content. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
The events that make sense for your brand depend on what type of products or services you provide and your proximity to your clientele. If you run an online shop, for example, and your clientele is spread out across the country, you may not benefit from an open house. A 24-hour on-line marathon sale, on the other hand, may be just what you need to draw some attention to your site. Conversely, if you run a service that has a robust local following, and you have a newly redecorated shop, facility or headquarters to invite them to visit, then staging an event may be the perfect way to show off your new space.
Events fuel a savvy social media marketing strategy because they generate hype, content and pictures. They are the marketing gift that keeps on giving.
The build up
Whether you’re hosting an online sale, an in-store sale, a community event or an open house, your event is your opportunity to hype your business. Create posts flyers and blurbs welcoming your friends, followers and prospects to be a part of the fun.
Consider using the opportunity to forge partnerships with other small businesses and organizations. This can help when it comes to sharing the workload and cross-marketing to one another’s clientele. Your event is more likely to succeed if you can grow your audience and increase your exposure. Inviting the help of a partner increases your chances of success with your event and in your future endeavors.
Small businesses partnering together can be a powerful symbiosis.
Events can be stressful, so don’t promise more than you can deliver on. If you have a new building to show off, have an open house with a limited speaker program. If you want to serve treats, serve something easy - that won’t break the bank or require cleanup, but that will look colorful and festive in your photos. Keep it simple and keep your objective at the forefront of your mind. “We want to celebrate our new building, and make some new contacts.” Don’t deviate from your focus.
Social media enables you to broadcast your event across platforms, which maximizes your efforts. It’s also a great supplement for your work in place of a printed program or brochure. If you want to thank staff, for example, you can publish a picture from the event, in real time, that includes all your staff plus their names linked to the picture - #dreamteam.
Social media marketing enables you to grow your audience, so that you have both virtual and physical attendees. Just remember to keep your event focused, simple and brief. You can build on that success with future offerings, but starting simple is a good rule of thumb.
Your follow-up strategy is a great way to keep the momentum going. Maybe this means a 10 percent off coupon for all attendees, along with a thank you note for visiting. Perhaps a group picture from the event becomes your business’s temporary profile picture or cover photo. You can also use what you learned at the event to write a blog post for your followers: “All the amazing things I learned at this year’s caregiving seminar!”
Events are a great reminder that even though social media has a lot of power, so does true socializing. Give your clientele reason to come out and see you. It’s rewarding, fun and content-generating.