While you may not be an event planner by profession, there will probably come a time in your career where you’ll have to plan for an event. Whether it’s for a wine tasting, a holiday party, a financial seminar, or a book launch party, occasions will rise where you’ll have to promote and entice guests to come. Here are some quick and effective ways you can use social media and digital marketing to promote your next event!
Landing Page RSVP: Create a landing page with an RSVP form right on it. When promoting your event online, direct people to this page so they can get more information and RSVP as soon as possible. On the landing page, provide details of the event, such as time, date, location, speakers, accommodations, maps, and other pertinent information. Also weave in calls to action and images to make it flow nicely. To get an idea of what this looks like, check out the landing page we’ve created for our upcoming event, The Social Advisors Ultimate Digital Marketing Seminar and VIP Book Launch Party.
Facebook: On Facebook, you can create an event page with the details of your event. Once the event is created, invite people and see who is coming. Another creative way to market your event is to develop a cover page specifically promoting the event. This draws awareness to everyone who visits your page.
LinkedIn: A LinkedIn announcement is another great way to spread the message of your event. If you have a group on LinkedIn, go to “manage” and then “send announcement”. In the announcement, put all of the details of your event and a link back to the main event webpage. I suggest sending the announcement a few weeks in advance.
Twitter: Twitter is another great platform to spread word of your event. If you want to get PR coverage, consider @messaging local media outlets and news stations. You can also @message and direct message people that you want to come or know about the event, and keep people informed about new sponsors. Throughout the marketing process, also ask people to RT, so the word spreads (within reason, of course—you don’t want to look desperate).
Create a # hashtag: Another great strategy to take advantage of on Twitter is hashtags. To keep conversations about the event segmented and organized, create a unique hashtag where people can converse. For example, for the SIFMA event, the hashtag was—you guessed it—#SIFMA. The LIMRA Social Media Conference’s hashtag was #LLSMC. What is yours going to be?
Check out Cindy King’s post How to Use Twitter Events to Grow Your Network for more ideas.
Blog: Create a post on your blog that announces the event, calls for sponsorships, and speaking opportunities. If you acquire speakers, follow up with guest posts by the speakers so your audience gets a good preview of how awesome the event is going to be.
Registration Incentives: Unsure of how to get people to register? You may consider offering an incentive, such as a drawing, giveaway, or raffle for those who sign up for your event. Also remember to mention open bars, refreshments, and hors d’oeurves—as food and drink always motivate people to attend.
Invitations: When it comes to invitations, you should utilize several mediums—like evites, mail invites, and social media invites. Make sure you have an RSVP feature and adequate details on all invitations.
Press Release: If you have a media list, create and send a press release before and after the event. If you don’t have a media list, you can look into companies like PR Newswirefor distribution assistance.
Free Event Calendars: Believe it or not, there are a lot of free event calendars that you can post your events on. Here in Denver, there are local news stations, radio stations, and publications where you can submit information about your event for free. This is great for reaching a wide audience and increasing your chances of getting coverage of your event.
Promote your event in your e-mail signature: This is a small, but effective way of marketing your event. Just think: how many e-mails do you send per day. Per week? Link the promotion back to your event landing page where people can acquire more information.
Create a Video: As you may already know, people LOVE video. Create a video talking about your event and/or doing an interview with one of the speakers. Again, this is a brilliant and simple way to get people enticed and excited about your event.
Event planning is very challenging, but rewarding. Fortunately, social media other online marketing tools have made this process easier and more effective for you. We’ve utilized all of these of these methods in the past few weeks as we’ve prepared for our first company event, The Social Advisor’s Ultimate Digital Marketing Seminar and VIP Book Launch Party. If you haven’t already, you should check out the our event page because YOU are invited too.
If you have any other recommendations or strategies for marketing event, leave a comment and let us know!