In a recent study by Amiando, a thousand event organizers were asked about the importance of social media in advertising or promoting an event. Almost three quarters of all respondents rated marketing an event with social media as very or somewhat important.
The overriding importance of social media in the success of events reflects the cultural importance of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in social activity choices both online and offline.
Social media has become a cultural glue that not only distributes information about upcoming events, but heavily influences choices to attend through social group behaviors. Facebook and Twitter users are considerably more likely to attend an event if their friends or business associates will.
Other reasons for using social media to market an event include:
- Information portal: The access point for an event may be an email or direct mail invitation, but most people now head to social media to gather information regarding the event. Little or no information on Facebook or Google+ can be a death knell for an event because it suggests the organizers are not social media savvy. Social media users are used to accessing key information through these platforms, and a lack of data is often an enthusiasm killer.
- Facebook advertising (link to our blog post): The role of Facebook can hardly be underestimated. With more than 770 million users worldwide, it is often where Internet users spend a large portion of their time. If you really want to convince your target consumers to attend an event, using Facebook’s ad platform can significantly boost response. This is reflected by Amiando’s study, which showed that 84% of event organizers utilize Facebook to publicize their events.
- Positive buzz: Hard facts are an important way to introduce newcomers to an event; this can include talks, product rollouts or other presentations. The real appeal of an event, however, is often related to the popular opinion about the upcoming event. Past visitors who were blown away by presentations from prior years and share their enthusiasm can fuel an enormous turnout. If your event is completely new, you can stoke interest by posting intriguing videos or having giveaways. Marketing an event with social media can produce the positive buzz critical to event success.
- Big names: If you have speakers who possess considerable standing in the particular industry or social community, you should definitely leverage their names. You may be able to post videos of their past demonstrations or visitor responses. Marketing an event with social media and celebrities can transform a mundane event into a must-attend occasion.
- Live stream: Using Facebook to promote a live stream is also an excellent way to boost attendance. Like most social activities, the more invested the participants, the greater the fervor for involvement. If your consumers believe that there is enough demand that a global feed is required, they will probably become more interested in attending.
- Post-event engagement: Once the event has wrapped up, your marketing team should springboard that enthusiasm into sustainable relationships. Contacting hot leads, posting videos and emailing attendees should be priorities. Reaching out to advocates of your event is essential as these contacts will be your go to social sharers when it’s time to host your event again. Your marketing team can also use feedback to help produce an even better event the next time.
Marketing an event with social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ will help you achieve the turnout you desire and produce the sales that can make the event at success.
Often, promoting an event with social media and other inbound marketing efforts is an overwhelming task and hiring an inbound marketing agency may be money well spent.