HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BUILD EVENT ATTENDANCE

Crowds meeting at event

Social media has changed the way we gather and process information. Potential event attendees are now turning to Google and social sites to see what others are saying about an event. The good news for planners is that social media can complement existing marketing tactics and expose your event to thousands of potential registrants online.

Here are 5 simple tips for leveraging social media to build event attendance:

  1. Do one (or two) thing(s) really, really well. Fight the urge to do it all. There’s no need to be on every social network – in fact, that’s nearly impossible. Consider which channels are most relevant for your event and select one or two that will make the most impact with your audience. Some of the most popular choices are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and each one has its own strengths to leverage.
  1. Work with partners, speakers and highly connected attendees to help spread the word. Tap into your network because chances are you’re already working with some influential heavyweights for your event. Ask them to spread the word with their networks, or collaborate on promotional content, like a teaser or behind-the-scenes video. Make a list of key partners you can approach, including sponsors, speakers/panelists, and even high-profile attendees. And, don’t forget about your destination host or destination marketing organizations (DMO) like Tourism Toronto.
  1. Make it easy for attendees to share and engage. Take the guesswork out of it and tell potential event-goers where to find you by including your social media account(s) on all marketing collateral on and offline. Create and publish content that is useful and/or entertaining, easy to share or retweet, and include compelling visuals whenever possible. Make everything “bite-sized” so it’s easy to digest. After all, the average attention span is now only 8 seconds.
  1. Incentivize people to share your event/message. Contests can be a great way to drive more registrations but make it work for you – ask for feedback and ideas for your event, or ask them to share your promotional message for a chance to win. And, use an incentive that attracts the right attendees. For example, if you’re hosting a client event, you could offer a discount on your product/service.
  1. Don’t stop being social after the event. Your social media presence shouldn’t stop right after all is said and done. Upload photos and videos of the event on your social accounts. Leverage your blog to share event reactions, key takeaways, or invite influential attendees to write guest posts. Thank attendees for coming. Think of ways to repurpose the content you have from your successful event. It’s all about consistency and building relationships.