Repost from Web Scribble
By Audra Hopkins
Your association’s events are a huge deal not only for your team but for your members as well.
Events are a great way to engage your members and get to know them better as a whole. They’re also a great source of non-dues revenue for your association.
However, events are only as important as their attendance. Without good event attendance, associations run the risk of losing out on non-dues revenue and even decreasing their member engagement rates.
According to Bizzabo’s 2018 Event Marketing Report, 80% of marketers claim live events are crucial to their company’s success. It’s no doubt that events are vital to every organization, including your association.
How can you make sure your event attendance is exactly where you want it? Well, with the right type of event promotion, you can ensure members will know about your events well before it’s time to show up.
Did you know that social media is one of the best ways to promote for live events? It’s true, and the numbers don’t lie.
FreemanXP and Event Marketing Institute report that 88% of US marketers use social media to boost event awareness before the actual event. On top of that, 58% of the US marketers use real-time marketing strategies for event promotion.
So, it’s clear that social media is a powerful tool when it comes to event promotion. But, how can your association make the most of social media in order to drive up event attendance and awareness?
Let’s go over a few key social media strategies that are bound to help your association’s event promotion efforts.
1. Establish a hashtag.
Everyone knows how fun hashtags can be. They’re a great way to bring people together to discuss the same topic on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
So, your association should utilize the power of a hashtag for its live events. What better way to get people engaged than to provide them with a specialized channel to talk about your event?
Buddy Media claims tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those without. So, by just adding a simple hashtag, your event’s tweets can have twice the impact than normal. It’s that easy.
When it comes to creating a hashtag, you want to make sure it’s both short and catchy. You want something people will easily remember when thinking about your association’s event.
According to Tweet Beam’s tips on hashtags, there are 5 features of an effective event hashtag. Your hashtags should be unique, clear, memorable, short and sweet, and without bad implications or interpretations.
In other words, develop a hashtag that relates to your event, but that cannot be interpreted as offensive or suggestive.
Once you’ve developed your hashtag, be sure to let members know about it. You can do this by including it in an email or even your weekly newsletter. You want to make sure members know your hashtag and use it well before the event starts.
Try out a new hashtag for your next event and create a buzz before it even starts.
2. Spark interest on Snapchat.
Snapchat has been on the rise for associations and their members, and now it can be used to promote events as well.
Snapchat has over 300 million active users. In addition, there are a total of 187 million active snapchat users per day. That means there are tons of chances to get your association’s Snapchat promotion seen by your audience.
One of the best ways to use Snapchat for mass promotion is to use the Snapchat Storyfeature.
A snapchat story compiles snapchats that your association creates and broadcasts them to your followers for 24 hours. Audiences can interact with these stories by replying, taking a screenshot, and playing them over again.
You can also directly reach out to individual members through a direct Snapchat. But what kind of content should you be putting on Snapchat?
Well, when it comes to event promotion, you want to create content that gets members excited about what’s to come.
Post sneak peeks in the form of photos and videos to your Snapchat to spark interest in your members. You should also post content that shows members how to register for your event and any other information they might need.
Don’t let your Snapchats stop after the event has started. While Snapchat is a good way to promote, it’s also a way to keep members engaged during the event.
You can post clips of motivational speakers, presentations, and other event programs for members to look back on at the end of the day. It also lets members who aren’t able to attend still engage with your association’s event content.
3. Create a web page to share.
Almost every successfully marketed event has an event page or website behind it.
Why should your event have a website or web page? Well, having your event on a separate section of your website drives the focus towards the event more. It also creates an easier promotional process. Think about it- you’re able to send your event to anyone with just one simple link!
Or, if you’re looking to keep it simple, create a page extension off of your association’s website for your event. This will keep everything in the same place and keep members on your website for more engagement opportunities.
So, what should your event’s website or web page have? What should it look like?
Unless your even has a specific logo, your event’s web presence should be an extension of your association’s brand. You want your website and your event page to flow into each other and help member focus on your brand.
Once your event page is created, you want to promote that page to your members the same way you would promote any other content. Whether it’s added to a content schedule or promoted manually, you want to make sure members know about it well before the event date.
You also want to make sure your event page is integrated with social media.
Without social media integration, your association could miss out on essential engagement. Add share buttons to your page to ensure audiences will share your event with their peers.
Creating an event website or web page with create a better online and social media presence for your event.
4. Publish native videos.
There are around 500 million active users on LinkedIn to date. With that in mind, promoting your event through LinkedIn native video is a great way to enhance your promotion efforts.
What exactly is LinkedIn native video? Well, just like Facebook and Youtube, LinkedIn allows members the opportunity to post videos directly to their LinkedIn page. This helps keep track of views, shares, and overall engagement with your video.
You can create original video content in order to promote your events. These videos don’t have to be complex.
In fact, it’s better to keep your videos short and sweet for maximum engagement. According to Wistia, the average attention span for online videos is 60 seconds, so you want to keep your videos around that length.
One way to create videos is to produce a video series. Write and film multiple videos centered around a similar theme (most likely a theme that relates to your event).
For example, if your event has to do with teamwork, you might want to create a series on how to build a successful team.
Your videos can be quickly uploaded to LinkedIn and shared by your association’s team. The more shares, the more people you reach, so encourage your team to support your video.
Producing a simple video series before an event will keep members interested in what’s to come.
Don’t let your events get swept under the rug by your members.
Promoting on social media is a great way to ensure your audiences anticipate your events. Try incorporating these tips into your next event promotion strategy and see how your members respond.