When you’re creating marketing plans for your next event remember this: Social media is only one tool in your arsenal of marketing opportunities; its’ not the end-all-be-all. Many people focus primarily on social media outlets while forgetting the overall strategy: Engage your audience and get people to attend your event.
Remember that social media is all about engagement and conversation – the social media interactions need to be taken offline to create measurable results – including people attending your events. What can you do instead? Focus on the overall marketing strategy (from emails to phone calls to direct mail) and utilize social media as a support system.
Social Media Is More Than A Megaphone
When promoting an event many meeting planners take the “ME, ME, ME” approach. They broadcast the event again and again with just a sales pitch and link to registration. Yes, you need to promote the registration (of course…). What else can you do?
Social Media Is All About Community
Create a community around your event. People are more likely to attend if their friends are involved in planning the event or will be attending the event. Let them get to know each other before, during AND after the event (Carol addresses AFTER the event more in her video interview). Here’s a few things you can do:
- Create a Twitter chat beforehand. Have a moderator create a conversation on Twitter; give people a specific time & date – then help them have a conversation.
- Save your valuable time. You don’t have to be everywhere. Go where your audience is; if they primarily use Facebook – focus there. If they read trade blogs – add those into your marketing mix.
- Take it a step further. Look at who’s participating in the event and then actively make connections for them: Send a message (via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or email) saying something like “Hello Tina and John – you two should know each other because (insert a good reason here) – hope you can connect at (the name of your event)!”