After making the necessary preparations for a small business event, you have to come up with a marketing plan to ensure its success. Whether you plan to hold a garage sale, open house, or night out, try to add these social media strategies to promote and boost attendance for the event.
Before the Event
1. Engage with the audience through social media.
Draw in the audience from the outset by allowing them to propose what will take place at the event. For instance, run a competition on different social networking sites and let the audience decide on the venue or choose the keynote speaker, or suggest details about the venue.
2. Show the event details in visible social media channels and well ahead of the event.
Use social media to build momentum and excitement, especially if your event has a prominent keynote speaker or special guests. To do this, use Facebook and Pinterest to create your event page. If it is a business gathering, add a LinkedIn page.
If the event features a guest or speaker, add photos and links where he or she has already presented. Ask the speaker how he or she wants to be introduced. Then share it on your social media channels. It creates an appealing profile for your guest.
3. Add a countdown timer on your company website and share it on social media.
Once the countdown timer reaches a specific point in time, provide engaging updates and share progress during preparations about the distinctive aspects of the event. Provide more and more updates as the time for the event draws nearer.
4. Use a QR code and hashtag for your event marketing campaign.
QR codes and hashtags are helpful to promote events on different online and offline channels such as posters and invitation cards.
5. Create blog posts, an eBook, or a webinar.
Among the popular trends in marketing is to create a blog post, an eBook, a webinar, or to provide any type of downloadable material that provide a glimpse of the event.
For example, you can start an event marketing campaign with blog posts, a dedicated webpage, and a webinar. Each one of these items has to feature an important aspect about the topic to urge users to purchase or grab tickets for the event. You can ask the keynote speaker to be interviewed for a guest blog post or to write one.
6. Let your attendees register online through the company website or a social networking account.
The best way to lure potential attendees to your event is to offer a convenient method to register for it. If the event requires a reservation, use an online registration form such as Planetreg or Evite.
During the Event
Marketing content from events is outstanding, making it crucial to capture everything. You can use the ideas to document all the happenings during the event.
1. Hold a contest for users to submit their content.
Encourage attendees to be participants by asking them to submit photos or video clips of their favorite parts of the event. Feature this content in your social media channels as the event happens.
2. Allow attendees to take pictures with a professional photographer in a photo booth.
Apart from the fun it brings, it is another chance for you to get guest information and stay engaged with the participants.
3. Talk to guests at various times during the event.
Programs such as Ustream allow you to share live interviews. You can ask guests about their expectations before the event or impressions after the event.
Use social media to come up with prize opportunities, such as when guests share their praises about the event. Reward these people with prizes. Then create custom content using guests’ social media updates, and share it on your social media accounts or stream live content at the event using platforms such as Tweetwally.
After the Event
You still can gain awareness about the business and get sales even after the event. There are opportunities to add post-event promotions to your event marketing plan.
1. Share a detailed photo album of the event on social media.
Take pictures, identify the people in the picture, create a compelling caption, and add links to your business website whenever applicable and appropriate. Never miss opportunities like this. You can also ask guests to submit their own photos.
2. Share the highlights of the event through a podcast.
Ask the special guest or keynote speaker for a podcast interview and do a recap of the highlights of the event.
3. Write a feature story about the event in the company newsletter.
Contrary to most people’s belief, a newsletter still is an important marketing medium for small- and medium-sized businesses. You can share the newsletter across your social media channels.
4. Set up a post-event email drive.
For those who failed to attend the event, add a sales offer that includes links to the photo albums, the podcast, and the newsletter.