The Smart Guide to Promoting Events on Social Media

Social media can be a game-changer when it comes to promoting small business events, with 50% of event planners using social media to get attendees. We all know it’s important, but the challenge is figuring out how to use it effectively without getting lost in the noise. If you’re tired of the same old strategies with middling results, it’s time to switch things up.

Let’s dive into practical ways to get your event in front of the right people, build a buzz, and boost attendance – whether it’s in-person or virtual.

Photo of a seminar event with a speaker presenting on stage to a full auditorium

The Foundation: Goals, Audience, and Planning

So, you’ve got a fantastic event coming up, and social media is a goldmine for promotion. But before you start blasting posts out there, taking a step back to plan is crucial. Here’s why:

You need to set goals

Having clear goals acts like your roadmap.

  • Are you aiming to pack the venue and break attendance records?
  • Maybe you want to get your brand name in front of a wider audience and build awareness.
  • Perhaps driving sales of your latest product is the priority.

Defining these goals from the outset will guide your entire social media strategy, ensuring everything you post is working towards that specific target.

You need to know your audience

It’s like trying to hit a target blindfolded if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach.  Invest some time in understanding your ideal attendee:

  • What age group are they in?
  • What are their interests and passions?
  • Where do they spend their time online?

This knowledge is gold.  It allows you to create content that truly resonates with them and choose the social media platforms where they’re most likely to see it.

A female entrepeneur using LinkedIn to publish a post for engagement

You need to create a content calendar.

Spontaneity can be fun, but when it comes to social media promotion, consistency is king.  Planning your posts in advance for the weeks leading up to your event allows you to create a steady stream of content.   This includes the essential details everyone needs to know, but you can also pique people’s curiosity with engaging questions and enticing teasers about what’s to come.

Regular posting keeps the event buzzing and ensures you don’t miss those crucial moments to capture attention.

By taking the time to plan your social media strategy around clear goals, a well-defined audience, and a consistent content calendar, you’ll be well on your way to promoting a successful event.

Choosing the Right Channels for Your Event

Not all social media platforms are created equal, each social media platform has its own strengths when it comes to event promotion. Let’s break down the best approaches for each:

Facebook: Events pages are your friend here and still incredibly valuable. It’s a central spot to share all the need-to-know details, provide regular updates, and build a sense of community around your event. This is also where targeted ads really shine – Facebook lets you laser-focus on your ideal audience.

Instagram:  Think visually! This is the platform for eye-catching photos, short teaser videos, and those ever-popular Stories that give people a peek behind the scenes. Make sure your images and videos capture the energy and vibe of your event.

X (formerly Twitter):  Keep it short and sweet. Craft catchy updates that grab attention and encourage people to share.  Your event hashtag is crucial here – use it strategically and actively check in on conversations where it pops up. Twitter is about being part of the discussion!

LinkedIn:  This is where that professional angle comes in. Think about the value your event brings to your business network.  Share content that’s genuinely informative and helpful.  Leverage your existing connections and participate in relevant groups to get the word out.

TikTok: This is where short-form video shines. Create fun, behind-the-scenes snippets, highlight speakers or activities, and tap into trending sounds or challenges related to your event’s theme.

Remember: Don’t feel pressured to be on every single platform. Focus on the ones where your target audience spends their time, and tailor your content accordingly.

The Social Media Event Promotion Toolkit

Picture of a business owner with their laptop open on Facebook while using a social media scheduling app on their phoneBeyond the specific platforms, there are a handful of elements that are crucial for event promotion success on social media. Here’s what you’ll want to nail:

Your Event Page: The Starting Line

Your Facebook or LinkedIn event page is where the journey begins. Potential attendees will head here for all the crucial information – date, time, location, how to snag their tickets, and any updates.

But don’t settle for a plain noticeboard!  This is your chance to set the tone.  Eye-catching images, snappy videos, even a fun quiz related to your event theme will go a long way in grabbing attention.  Think of your event page as the kick-off point for building that online buzz.

Hashtags: Your Community Cornerstone

Your event hashtag is more than just a catchy phrase; it’s the glue that binds your online community.  Keep it short, memorable, and specific to your event. Promote it heavily in your posts, and don’t forget the power of engagement!

Actively monitor your hashtag and interact with those who use it. Like posts, engage and answer their questions. This fosters a sense of community and excitement around your event.

Promotions & Giveaways: Spread the Buzz

Let’s face it, everyone loves a good deal!  Social media promotions and contests are fantastic ways to generate excitement and get people talking about your event.

Offer exclusive discounts for your followers or run a simple contest where tickets or a related prize are up for grabs.  This incentivises people to share your event with their network, effectively multiplying your reach.

Behind-the-Scenes: Building Anticipation

ASocial media is a fantastic tool for building anticipation.  Give your audience a sneak peek behind the curtain! Share glimpses of the venue being prepped, introduce your speakers in short video teasers, or show off some of the special touches you’re adding. This piques people’s curiosity and gets them invested in the event before it even starts.

Live Coverage: Don’t Leave Anyone Out

For those who can’t attend your event in person, social media can be a window into the experience.  Sharing live photos, short video snippets, and updates during the event allows them to feel a part of the action.  It also creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that can motivate them to attend future events.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll transform your social media presence from a simple announcement board into a powerful tool for connecting with your audience, building excitement, and ultimately driving attendance at your event.

The Aftermath: Analyse & Follow Up

Once your event has finished, there’s still a bit of work to be done on social media. For the best results next time, you’ll want to do some analysis.

  • What worked well?
  • What could be even better?

Success looks different depending on your goals, so be sure to track engagement numbers, how far your posts reached, website traffic, and of course, ticket sales.  If you had other specific targets in mind, keep an eye on those as well.

Social media analytics tools can be a massive help here, allowing you to make informed decisions for future events.

Don’t let those fantastic memories fade away!  Put together photo albums, a short video with all the highlights, and share glowing testimonials from attendees.  This keeps the momentum going and puts you in a strong position for future events.

A bit of gratitude goes a long way, so don’t forget to give your attendees a proper thanks! Showing appreciation builds a positive reputation and a sense of community.  It also makes people more likely to not only come to future events but also spread the word to their mates.

If lead generation was a key goal, don’t let those potential contacts slip away!  Tailored outreach to people who showed interest, whether before, during, or after the event, can turn those early connections into something truly valuable.

You don’t need a massive marketing budget to host a successful event. What you do need is a solid social media game plan.  By combining a bit of strategy with consistent effort, you’ll expand your reach, boost engagement, and fill those seats.

Need a hand turning your event into a social media success story?  Let’s chat about how I can help!

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