Using Social Media to Market Your Events

19 Aug

In any marketing-related field, social media is a game-changer.

Eventbrite has blogged about this as well, giving a list of the “Top 10 Best Practices on how to use social media to promote your event.” Only the first half of the list has been posted, but we’d like to add five more tips to their suggestions.  These practices are more general to social media marketing than event-specific, but by applying them to your events, you can increase visibility and attendance.

1. Create a conversation – and listen to what customers are saying

Using social media is a two-way street.  Instead of traditional advertising and event marketing, where there’s one voice (that’s you, the event organizer) calling the shots, the new Web paradigm gives everyone a voice.  By using Facebook, Twitter, and more to interact with your followers before the event, you generate serious exposure and can seek feedback from your audience, almost in real-time.  That leads to better customer service, adds value to the experience of your event, and translates to buzz in the offline world.  How?  If you can engage your Twitter followers into a conversation, a lot of them are going to bring up the same topics (like your event) in the real world.

2. Maintain a consistent image

If you’re trying to build a conversation with your fans, the worst thing you can possibly do is leave them hanging. Responding promptly to questions/concerns/suggestions through social media is critical to building credibility. Online, you don’t really have the ability to “control your message” like in traditional advertising, but it’s important to have your online presence reflect your organization’s goals, tone and identity.

3. Transparency isn’t just right, it’s smart

A lot of companies get this one wrong when they first dip their toes into the waters of social media marketing. “Flogs,” or corporate bloggers disguised as ordinary consumers, have the potential to permanently ruin your reputation online.  Anonymity online is a double-edged sword: it lets anyone do whatever they want, but it also means that whatever they do is automatically less credible.  Sane thing goes for your events – the best way to attract people is to let them know exactly who you are, why you’re having the event, and what it’s all about.

4. Multimedia makes things stand out

Videos, photos, mp3s: all of them are good ways for you to show fans what to expect at your event.  In the hyper-connected online world, they also provide another route for people to stumble upon your event listing via links from other sites.  Allow fans to supply some of it: their photos from previous events, or related videos they want to share from YouTube about your cause.  Embracing consumer co-creation explodes your available content and increases exposure online.

5. Integrate your efforts

It’s not enough to just share your events on Facebook.  Use all of the social media tools available that are appropriate for your event.  For example, LinkedIn is great for business networking events, but if you’re hosting a concert with local bands, MySpace is probably a better option.  Your event can be a great tool to drive traffic to your Web site or blog, even if people can’t make it to the event itself.  Basically, instead of thinking of social media as a way to market your event, think of social media as a way to put your identity online and interact with your supporters.

This is a brief list and is by no means complete.  What are some of the ways you’ve used social media successfully to market events?  We’d love to hear your success stories (and the times you haven’t been so successful, and what you learned from them).


One Response to “Using Social Media to Market Your Events”

  1. rachelrachelrachelll August 19, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Great ideas!
    We have been using a lot of social media for an upcoming event that my company is doing (through EventBrite, actually).
    One thing that we did recently was host a #winstuffwednesday and offer tickets, it helps us draw attention to the event (because people love free stuff). So far it is working.

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