Jonathan Morse is the CEO and founder of Tripleseat, a web application for restaurants, hotels and unique venues.
What marketing tools do you use to promote your events? Is social media on that list? It should be.
It doesn’t matter how familiar you and your business are with social media. Your audience is using it and that means you need to be there. Americans check their social media accounts 17 times a day. Having a presence on social media means that your potential event attendees are more likely to see your posts and promotions there.
But with the number of options of social networks, marketing tools, trends and types of content to share, how do you use social media the right way to reach the right prospects? Here are three suggestions that work.
1. Livestreaming video
Social networks are pushing live video right now, so this is the time to take advantage of it. Live videos shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn get more priority in social media news feeds, which means that the networks alert your followers when you’re live and your broadcast has a better chance of being seen than other organic (non-paid) social media posts from your business account.
And viewers are hooked. People spend more than three times more time watching a Facebook Live video than a video that is not live. Combine that with the fact that 71% of Facebook users are more likely to make a purchase if someone referred it to them on social media, and you have a perfect formula for increasing event registration.
How can you use livestreaming? Update attendees prior to your event and share the benefits of attending, interview your speakers or plan a Q&A session so attendees can get their questions answered by a live person. You could also livestream part or all of your event to show attendees what’s happening and share that video later on to promote your next event.
2. Visual content
Every marketing promotion should include visual content. Period. It doesn’t matter if you use photos, videos or graphics. Content that includes images gets 94% more views than those without.
Promote your event by using visuals such as:
· Images that include the event name, time, date, location, contact information, and registration link
· Quotes from your event speakers
· Relevant tips or statistics
· Videos that preview what’s happening at the event
· Photos of your staff behind the scenes
You don’t have to be a designer or a professional videographer to create your own visuals. Try free design tools like Canva, PicMonkey and Adobe Creative Cloud Express – they have great templates you can start with or you can use your own colors and branding. For video, use your smartphone camera and edit with apps like Spark Video, YouTube’s app or Title Master. Make sure to use these images on social media, in blog posts and in your email marketing.
3. Social media ads
Unfortunately, social media isn’t free. The best way to make sure your social media promotions get seen is to purchase social media ads. You don’t have to spend money on every social network. Just concentrate on the social networks that your audience uses so you can reach the most people. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your promotions. Each social network will show you estimates of potential reach based on the amount of money you want to spend and the demographics you’re targeting. You could even test with a small amount to see what works and then increase your spend.
Get ready to fill your seats
As social media becomes part of your event marketing plan, it will get easier to plan for it and you’ll be in better shape to attract registrants. Trying just one of these tips will help grow attendance at your next event. Start with the content that works for you, master it and then experiment with another type.
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