Your event might not be for months, and you’re probably going through a chaotic time with arranging logistics and designing your event space. But it’s also the perfect time to start engaging your audience and building excitement. It might seem daunting with everything else you’re managing, but with social media, it’s a lot easier than you think.
Driving engagement and buzz around your event will ultimately drive registrations, so let’s go through some best practices on how to use social media in your promotional marketing strategy.
1. Answer Event Inquiries
Consumers are now accustomed to going to social media to interact with a brand whenever they have a question. And when it comes to events, there are usually a lot of questions event planners get asked that fall outside of the usual FAQs.
Individual case-by-case questions about hotel bookings to dietary requirements to asking for discount codes – anything and everything gets asked by folks looking to attend your event, both new registrants and returning attendees.
If you’re going to be using your social channels for customer service purposes, be sure to have a dedicated resource to manage the channels and keep afloat on any inquiries, issues, or comments from the community.
If community members feel like they’re being neglected, ignored, or are not getting responses to their questions, you run the risk of having this reflect badly on your brand and overall event experience. If you want to drive attendee engagement and excitement through your social media channels, you need to ensure you’re responding to participants’ inquiries in a timely and efficient manner.
2. Share Event Information and Content
Social media can be an extremely efficient and timely way for event planners to share up-to-date event information and content with the event community. Providing a sneak peek at exclusive content such as seeing images of video of the set-up and/or planning of the event creates a more real-time engaging experience.
Depending on the structure of your team and organization’s internal processes, it is most likely a lot quicker to communicate through social vs. updating the event website, and provide opportunities for community members to contribute to the conversation.
3. Encourage Conversation Between Community Members
A big reason why people enjoy attending events, especially if it’s an annual event, is to catch up with people in their network. To keep the conversation going year-round and ramp it up as your event approaches, social media is the perfect channel to drive engagement.
Most people use social media on a regular basis, so you already have their presence and can facilitate online discussions within the community. You can even get your speakers involved in the community and interacting with members. This will promote more meaningful conversation that can lead to face-to-face meetups at your event.
Additionally, social media channels create spaces for community members to talk about your event, local activities and attractions they might want to visit as a group, or topics and sessions they’re excited about. By planting seeds for discussion, the community can really come alive on its own without much effort on your end.
4. Integrate Member Feedback into Your Event Design
With all the conversation taking place on social media, you can glean insights off of the discussions and use it to shape your event program. Or, if you’re looking for specific feedback or information, you can directly crowd-source from the community through online polling and topic-specific forums.
In return, participants are given the opportunity to become meaningful contributors in developing the event program so that it addresses their needs and expectations. Social media enables community members with a greater more impactful voice and thus, helps to build a sense of ownership and greater commitment to the event.
It’s becoming increasingly common for people to go straight to social media when they want to communicate with or about a brand. Whether it’s for a consumer complaint, questions about a product or promotion, or just to leave a positive comment, social media is a powerful 2-way communication tool for creating online community and engagement.
The most powerful tool event planners can leverage in building their event community and driving attendee engagement is social media. The key is knowing how to integrate it into the fabric of your event from the very beginning of the planning process.
To learn specific tips and tricks for quick wins when it comes to using social media to promote your event and drive attendee engagement, register for our upcoming webinar:
How to Use Social Media & Event Tech to Grow Your Event Community