Promote your business event before it happens, while it's happening and after it's over. The big social media outlets can put you directly in touch with an audience, including your local community. Connecting with potential attendees through online marketing campaigns as well as physical marketing materials can be the key to ensuring a large turnout. When you're planning how to promote your event using social media, consider what to post, as well as when and where to post it. Below are a few event promotion ideas you can follow before, during and after the event to help make your next business bash a smash success.
Before the Event
Never underestimate the importance of social media for small business. It can take only one post that resonates with one person to generate some serious buzz in your online and local communities. You can get people excited about the upcoming event so that they talk about it online and help spread awareness within your target demographic. Advertising before the event can also help encourage people to make plans, increasing the chances that they actually secure event tickets in advance and then show up on the big day. Below are a few tips to make your pre-party marketing campaign a hit.
Create an online event page
Create a public event page on Facebook. This can be used as a centralized location where you can direct people who ask for information, such as starting and ending times, the location and entertainment. Understand how to make a Facebook event public, so people who don't have Facebook accounts can still use the event page as a resource. Consider linking the event page on Twitter and Instagram to reach a larger audience. You could pay for targeted Facebook ads to increase the event page's exposure.
Use a custom hashtag
A hashtag can make it easier for potential attendees to connect with other potential attendees. Include the hashtag with all of your event-related posts. Feature the hashtag in photos, videos and other media. Create physical marketing materials such as custom posters and flyers that also include the hashtag. Make sure the hashtag is catchy and memorable.
When it comes to social media for small business, video advertising can give you the most bang for your buck. In 2016, more than 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos were watched on Facebook daily. Viewers watched 10 billion videos on Snapchat, and more than 500 million hours of videos were watched on YouTube every day. Those numbers are only going to keep growing. Facebook users watched 85 percent of their videos without sound, so make sure your videos include words and visuals that make your message clear.
Post regular updates about the upcoming event
If you're not excited about the event, other people may not be, either. Don't go overboard, but mention the event twice per day or so.
During the Event
While the event is happening, you can show people what they're missing out on while you're marketing your brand. You can also use social media to virtually include people from all over the world.
Take photos and videos
Talk to your guests. Make interview videos, or just walk around with a camera to show your social media audience how much fun everyone is having. Take plenty of photos (with permission) – you can always delete the duds.
Livestream big moments
Capture the various highpoints throughout the party. For example, you can capture the arrival of your celebrity guest, or the moment when you pick the winning raffle ticket.
Tweet about upcoming moments
Keep your attendees and potential attendees in the loop. Give a 10- to 15-minute heads up before important moments occur. For example, you could send out a tweet 15 minutes before dinner is served. This helps your guests to know what to expect, and it makes people who aren't there feel like they're there in spirit.
Retweet and share content
Remember that custom hashtag you made? Visit it on various platforms, and re-share pictures, videos and other posts.
After the Event
The event is over, but your promotional duties aren't. Some of the most powerful marketing opportunities occur after the event.
Share content from the party
Post videos on YouTube and photos on Flickr. Don't share them all at once. Release them throughout the week to remind people of the fun they had (or missed).
Release a blog post
Write a nice blog post about the experience. Include photos, videos and anecdotes. Highlight the best parts of the event, so people can look forward for your next event. Post it on your main website, and then link to it on all of the major social media outlets. This will help drive social media traffic to your site, which can increase brand awareness and may even lead to conversions.
Say thank you
Make posts on all of the social media platforms to thank attendees and anyone who helped out with the event. You may want to send out thank-you cards or even gift baskets to the people who really helped you out. It's a kind gesture, and it entices them to work with you again for the next event.
Invite your audience to share their highlights
Ask your followers to share their photos, videos and stories from the party under the event's hashtag or in a post's comment section. Re-share photos and videos with the owners' permission, and include a call to action inviting them to tag their friends.
To get more ideas about how to promote your event using social media, check out what other companies are up to. Look at other ads and promotional materials, and use them to inspire your campaign. The rules for social media for small business aren't set in stone. Enthusiasm is contagious; be genuinely excited, and the word should spread naturally.
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