How to Promote an Event on Social Media

by Yordi Smit,

16 March 2021

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Contents

The world of social media can take you down a confusing rabbit hole. Where do you start? Which platforms? Should you just tweet about it or should you post photos on Instagram as well? #WhatsGoingOn?

It is quite normal to dwell on these questions when you need to promote an upcoming event. Well, you’re in the right place. #WeGotYou

Leave your questions at the door, and learn how to promote an event on social media successfully. Use this article as a checklist for successful social media promotion and make it work for your event. #Winning

Be sure to share any impressions of your event with us. We would love to see how it served you! #StopWithTheHashtags

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What Do You Want to Communicate to Your Audience?

There is a difference between marketing related to ‘events’ and restaurant marketing. The latter specifies a specific place, a venue. Our friends at Bloc are a great additional asset for this! In any case, marketing for a venue is, in a sense, a constant and linear output while ‘an event’ will likely see moments of engagement that are unevenly distributed yet very effective.

Anyways, back on topic. Before you can figure out how to promote an event via social media, start building an event promotion plan. After all, it’s not as simple as posting photos on Instagram or creating an event on Facebook. If this surprises you, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Ask yourself what you want to promote. What is your event actually about? Social media promotion ideas will follow. Focus on determining your target audience. People running a business will have a clear idea of who their clients are. Don’t overcomplicate things and start with that.

Allow yourself time to do in-depth research regarding your target audience and their social media usage. How does your audience interact on social media? What kind of channels do they use? Consider defining your User Persona and create a ‘passport’ if needed.

Determine how you would like to promote an event through social media. This is where you start drafting your event promotion plan. While you do this, consider what promotion to do before, during and after your event.

Not convinced? Trust the other experts.

How to Promote an Event on Social Media

The Power of Social Media Marketing via Oberlo

Social Media Promotion Before an Event

This is the most crucial stage of your event promotion plan. It’s like when you’re feeling peckish and are slobbing on the couch. Getting up and starting to cook is the hardest part of the whole process.

So get up but don’t cook. It’s time to market your event to get attendees and define your event’s success. Do this incorrectly, and you will miss out on the result which you want.

As mentioned, research your audience and start early. Give yourself plenty of time to get ahead of it all. Trust us on this one.

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What Social Media Networks Will You Use?

This is a crucial part. Determining which social media channels to use is important for before, during and after the event. 

Did you know that there are hundreds of Social Media Platforms? We know, it’s a lot to take in. Some voices will suggest using them all. Shut those voices out. Making a good selection is essential and does not need to mean engaging on every platform out there.

Finding social media channels to suit the tone and personality of your company is part of your process. Using every single social media channel can make your efforts sporadic and lacking in detail. 

How to Promote an Event on Social Media

We have noted down the main channels you should consider for distributing your social media promotion ideas later in this article. Don’t thank us just yet; we have more gifts for you.

Make Sure That Your Social Media Profiles Are Up-to-Date

It might not come as a surprise but ensure that all of your channels’ information is up to date. If your Facebook page’s description still refers to your company’s ‘current’ owner who resigned three years ago, then you will know what we mean. As a matter of fact, do it now!

Upload new profile photos, adjust the information, and simply clean it up. Consistency is key. Your Facebook page will need to have the same personality across the board. Use the same type of language on your Twitter feed as you do on Instagram. Do not hide who you are and show it to the world.

Hashtags

#ReturnTheHashtag. It is advantageous to create a hashtag for your event and include it in headers and bodies of text. A branded hashtag is a perfect way for you to track your activity. 

Next to that, your audience can easily find content related to your event. This works across the board for all channels. Track the engagement of your hashtag online and be aware of its influence.

Make sure that your hashtag is unique and does not get mistaken with other audiences. Something generic like #event, will not work. Make the hashtag personal to your enterprise. 

Don’t go too elaborate, either. #pParrtywithus271, is not going to get traction. Find yourself a happy middle. #SpacehuntrRocks perhaps *wink*.

Make sure the hashtag is easy to spell and say aloud. This way, people will remember it easily. The hashtag could also be spoken aloud during video coverage of the event if that’s part of your strategy.

As mentioned, hashtags are a unique tool for you to track your event’s activity online. Your audience will use the hashtag to communicate with each other and with you. Scrolling through the feed of people who have used your hashtag is an easy way to feel your audience’s mood.

What To Do On Each Channel

Facebook

An essential step is to create a Facebook Event. Why, do you ask? Facebook events are a unique way of gathering your audience in one hotpot. It is a free tool for both you and your attendees.

The information displayed on your Facebook Page and Facebook Event needs to be aligned. Your Facebook event should be precise and detail all your event details, including location, timing, etc. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your audience and read it from their point of view. 

If your event depends on ticket sales, link the Facebook Event to a page where attendees can buy and view their tickets, such as Eventbrite. Give your target group ample possibilities to find your sales platform. 

Facebook is a perfect way to quickly update your audience about any changes to your event. You can easily make direct announcements to your attendees who will receive notifications. 

It is also your best friend in regards to audience feedback. You can read and respond to your attendees’ comments and add a personal touch to your outreach. We are loving the 21st century! Can you imagine still sending letters to everyone? Yikes.

Lastly, ensure your Facebook page has a link to your website as well as a link to your other social media platforms. Each platform needs to be connected, and Facebook is the perfect platform to gather everything. Think of it as a spider web with you at its core. Every possible client or guest needs to be attracted to your web via different threads of social media.

Instagram

Instagram is your best friend when it comes down to visual display. The application provides users with the possibility to post photos and stories. So it is an excellent tool for promoting your event. If you do this right, your audience will become your marketing team. 

A novelty trick is to create a countdown sticker on Instagram Stories. This will let you set a customisable end date and time. Both fun AND interactive!

Viewers can subscribe and receive notifications when the clock runs out. They will also be able to share the countdown to their own stories. This is a very effective way of engaging your audience.

The feature is a great way of branding your event further while driving ticket sales. So, this event promotion plan is a double-edged sword.

Next to that, Instagram’s visual medium is excellent for sharing teasers of your event. Examples can be the announcement of a keynote speaker or other exciting reveals that would go great with a photo. 

Twitter

Twitter is the perfect platform to push your hashtag further. This social media platform is ideal for quick snippets of text to engage your audience with.

Twitter is also a super way to make announcements. If an announcement is too long for the platform, redirect your audience to another social media platform to further engage them. Remember when we talked about that spiderweb?

Just like your other platforms, your Twitter feed needs to be up-to-date and engaging. But don’t lean on Twitter too heavily. People post 500 million tweets per day on average. If you are not careful, then your information can get lost in the bunch. 

Determine for yourself upfront what you do and do not want to use Twitter for. Outline this critically and hold yourself accountable. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be described as the Facebook for professionals. The website and application use a different algorithm, and its users’ expectations are different as well.

LinkedIn is a platform on which you would want your company to be portrayed professionally and approachable. Specific events you are organising will see less traction on LinkedIn than other social media channels.

This does not mean that there are no benefits to your event. LinkedIn is excellent for B2B industry networking. Perhaps you require a specific vendor? LinkedIn would be a great platform to approach someone and ask for their help. Engagement and further promotion of this vendor can be your selling point.

Promoting your event via LinkedIn will work depending on your target audience and the type of event you are organising. 

Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat:

YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat are great social media platforms for video. For most of these, carefully consider what (not) to use.

YouTube is an ideal platform for promotional videos, after movies, and other visual advertisements. The platform uses an in-depth analytical tool that provides detailed information about where attendees are viewing your content.

The videos posted on the platform can also be shared via other social media channels. This makes for another good gathering space for your content. 

In light of the pandemic, which hit the industry hard in 2020, YouTube will be a unique tool to use as a hybrid platform. Live Streaming your event is something you could offer to attendees so they can follow the event from a distance.

Next to that, the platform is perfect for summaries and after movies of your event. Consider them a parting gift while also promoting next year’s event.

TikTok has seen a huge increase in users since 2019. Gen Z and Generation Alpha have been the largest group of users of the Chinese-built application. If those two generations are among your target audience, you should consider using this app.

From a marketing perspective, TikTok has limited usability. The previously mentioned hashtag comes back in this part. #BigSurprise. Creating a TikTok account for your organisation and posting videos can be a great way of showcasing your event.

Showing specific behind the scenes or in-the-moment content would be most suitable and exciting. The app has also shown plenty of engagement possibilities connected to global ‘TikTok Challenges’. Your organisation could create a challenge, or jump on the train of an existing one. Trust us, the latter is a lot easier and cost-effective.

Have you heard about the TikTok ‘We Own The Night’ Challenge? No? Good. Trust us, you’re not ready.

Lastly, Snapchat. Snapchat has been around for a couple of years. The unique aspect of taking a photo and having it disappear after a single view has been… exciting! *wink*. Unfortunately, this excitement is not applicable on a marketing level.

Snapchat Stories allow users to showcase their activities for 24 hours. Although this can be a handy marketing tool to boost audience engagement, Instagram has perfected this art. 

Craft Content With Care

So, we have outlined how you can utilise each social media platform in the best way. Creating content for each is a different story. As mentioned, be aligned across the board and be careful with what you post. Next to that, you can do some additional things to understand how to promote your event online fully.

Teasers

Providing guests with a sneak peek before the event gets your audience further engaged. As an effect, it will excite people by showing them what they could expect to experience. It serves great on a marketing level as well as for your ticket sales. Two birds, one stone.

Highlight Reels

If you’re hosting a recurring event, it may be wise to include a highlight reel. This will give guests an exciting confirmation of last year’s success. And it could suggest that this year’s event will be just as good or even better.

If your highlight reel includes snippets of enthusiastic interviews with last year’s attendees, then you have struck oil. It is one thing for you to preach your success. It is even better if you have your audience tell each other. It’s not rocket science, but it is a handy trick to keep up your sleeve.

Create a Contest

A bit of competition always gets people riled up. So creating a fun and engaging competition for your audience can be a great marketing tool. 

And when your participants win, you’ll win too; they will usually reward you with their engagement. And although most guests will ‘lose’ the contest, their engagement will likely prompt them to buy tickets to your event.

Post Enough, but Not Too Much

It goes without saying, but it’s essential to engage your audience frequently. Your event should be in the back of their mind at all times. That said, you will not want to overwhelm or annoy them with your content. Be careful with how much you post at a time.

Make your posts consistent in its personality. Your posts should be engaging and make your audience think about what you are communicating to them. Imagine your crazy uncle at the Christmas party who goes on and on about his tales. Don’t be that uncle. At the same time, don’t be the shy guy in the corner of the room. 

Give your audience sufficient and useful information. ‘Useful’ is a keyword here. Do not share worthless memes and GIFs 24/7.

Keep an eye on your posts once they are online and analyze their engagement. If you can stay on top of replying to your audience, then you are doing amazing!

To Ad or Not To Ad

Most event promotion plans utilise advertisements. ‘Facebook Custom Audiences’ allows you to show your advertisements to them after visiting your website. This remarketing/retargeting tool can keep your audience engaged if they are uncertain about attending your event.

Remarketing can be an effective tool for interested audience members who have not yet bought their tickets. People rarely tend to buy something after seeing it for the first time. Remarketing will allow you to stay in these individual’s minds. Sneaky, smart, and useful.

We don’t want you to hide in the shadows and trick your audience, though. Rather with remarketing, you can hold up a mirror in front of them and show them why it would be in their best interest to attend your event.

Facebook’s Ads can pinpoint a specific demographic that is ideal for targeting your intended audience. A small investment which will likely be worth it.

Social Media Promotion During an Event

Be on top of everything that is happening during your event. If you are an organiser, you might want to designate someone in your team to follow any updates throughout the day. As before, post regularly to keep your audience engaged.

Depending on the nature and size of your event, consider whether to further engage with your audience. If you’re hosting a larger event, your attendees will likely use your platforms to ask questions. Make use of this and ease the process for all parties involved.

Other forms of engagement could be as simple as sharing your attendees’ posts.

It is also an opportunity to show people not in attendance what they’re missing out on! This way, these people get triggered to join you for the next event. You cannot start next year’s marketing soon enough.

Promotion Post-Event 

‘Evaluation and feedback’ will be at the top of your mind in the aftermath of your event. Do not lose touch with your event simply because it’s over.

With the end of the event fresh in your mind, write down your evaluations so you can remind yourself later. It will prove incredibly useful for other teams in your organisation for future event promotion plans.

When it comes to your social media outreach, keep engaged with your attendees and hear what they have to say about it.

Lastly, share impressions such as after movies and other visuals. Encourage your audience to share their own impressions, so you have materials for next year’s event.

Wrapping Up

Social Media can look fun and dandy on a surface level. But there’s tons of potential to be found. This article has equipped you with some tools to start understanding this iceberg.

Do your research and play with it a little bit. It all comes down to your audience. Who are they? What do they want? Tailor your social media promotion to that, and you will find success. Go get them, tiger!

Featured image: Social Icon via unsplash

Yordi Smit
Yordi Smit

Sales Manager and European New Yorker that fought a lion once.

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