This guest blog post is coming from our strategic digital marketing partner, StringCan Interactive. Our team has been leveraging an amazing marketing and content automation tool called Hubspot. The goal of the tool is to act as an easy-to-use interface that will help businesses attract and engage their customers by providing them with relevant, helpful and personalized experiences. We hired StringCan to help maximize how we use Hubspot and built out an actionable plan as to how we can engage better with you, our community. We were so blown away by how smart their team was; we even did a testimonial.
We asked their digital strategist and resident social media expert, Alix Parker, to share some tips from their research on the event space we felt you would find valuable.
As StringCan’s Digital Strategy Manager, I worked closely with Endless Entertainment to develop their digital strategy. We helped them by validating their audience and created personas so they knew where and how to engage with their audience online. Working with Endless Entertainment was a blast because the event industry is fun, flashy and exciting! After speaking with many event planners in this space, we learned a few tips to help them better engage on social media.
Turn your audience into raving fans
First off, you need to ask yourself, “Who will care about this event?” And no, the answer is not everyone. Marketing is more successful when you are focused–the more specific, the better. We recommend creating personas (a fictional representation of your audience) to help your team understand exactly who your audience is, what they care about, what will motivate them to attend your event, and what pain points your event helps to solve.
Once you have that figured out, you should use these personas to make most of your decisions for the event. When creating the event theme, selecting speakers or entertainment, sending out marketing collateral, etc., you should keep your personas in mind to make sure that each piece of the event will resonate with them and is audience focused.
Make it easy for them to share and engage
Again, put your audience at the forefront of this decision. Is your audience active on Facebook? Instagram? Vine? Post information about your event where your audience is active and they will be much more likely to engage.
After you select the platform, you can leverage different features to get more awareness for your event. For example, if your audience is active on Twitter, you can create a hashtag for your event and tweet before, during, and after the event to engage with your audience. If you use an event hashtag, put the hashtag on all marketing collateral as well as your Twitter handle so people can start tweeting about the event.
Start the conversation online before the event
Don’t think that you need to wait until the day of your event to engage with your audience online! You can create places for your attendees to get event information or start conversing before the event even starts. You could establish a private group on LinkedIn exclusively for this event and invite your potential attendees to the group to start a dialogue. Then you can share relevant information or a teaser to get your guests excited about the event.
Don’t forget to engage online during the event
Engaging online during your event can spark some fun conversations and is an easy way to connect your attendees to one another. Encourage your attendees to live tweet your event by sharing fun quotes, images, or other things going on at the event and including the event hashtag. If you want to get people really excited about live tweeting, put up a screen at your event that has a live feed of the tweets that are using the event hashtag. Everyone loves to see their name and thoughts on the big screen, so giving them this opportunity will make them feel like a superstar.
Post images of the event on your social platforms so others can see what is going on at your event, or find fun pictures of attendees that they can tag themselves in.It’s also a great idea to interview attendees at the event and ask them what their favorite part of the event is so far. When you hear a great response, ask the guest if you can film a quick video testimonial that you can share on social media. This will hopefully show their passion and why they love your event to potential attendees.
Follow up with attendees after the event
After the event, send out a quick 1-5 question survey asking the guests to rate their experience at the event. Asking for direct feedback will not only help you make future events better but will also make your customers feel like they are being heard.
If you put on multiple events every year, you can send them information about similar events in the future that they may be interested in attending.
These tips are just a few ways that you can take your social media to the next level for your upcoming event. By knowing the audience you want to attend your event and engaging on social media, you can quickly come up with creative and unique ideas to get them involved before, during, and after your event.