How to Leverage Social Marketing to Promote Your Organization's Event

By Devin Morrissey

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In 2019, it’s impossible to ignore the overlap between physical and digital marketing. While it was once thought that marketing would go completely digital, some companies and influencers have noticed that building a relationship with customers through physical marketing efforts can still be extremely valuable. Events are surprisingly effective parts of this overlap.

While some may think of “events” as formal gatherings, the digital age has allowed more casual occurrences to be seen as “professional.” From live podcasts to networking brunches, businesses can organize easygoing get-togethers for the same reasons that they would a banquet or gala. But regardless of the crowd or category, every kind of marketing event has one thing in common: it will be promoted on social media.

The goal of using social media to advertise your event is to attract your target demographic, funnel people to branded social media accounts, and develop a base of loyal recurring attendees. Digital and physical promotions fuel each other, and both are important for long-term goals such as building a customer base and hosting more formal events in the future. However, achieving this requires a clear vision, strong execution, and innovation to maximize each event’s potential.

Discovering the Vision for the Event

To craft a strong vision for your event, there are three steps to follow:

  1. Set an overall goal (such as funding, brand loyalty, or community causes)
  2. Choose your target audience
  3. Determine what event your goal and audience call for

The vision for your event may be strongly related to the immediate needs of your company. Do you need new employees? Is there expertise you’re lacking? Are there other organizations and influencers you would like to network with? The ultimate goal of these events should be to meet a business need such as these.

Discovering your target audience should be done via data analytics and competitor analysis. A niche target audience is important to social lead generation. Whatever type of event you choose to organize, do your best to keep the concerns of your target audience in mind.

There are twelve types of events you can create:

  1. Conferences
  2. Trade shows
  3. Thought leadership and networking events
  4. Seminars
  5. Ceremonies and galas
  6. VIP events
  7. Product launches
  8. Job fairs and recruiting events
  9. Field marketing
  10. Virtual events
  11. Internal company meetings and periodic business gatherings
  12. Team-building events

Once you choose the event type, your vision will have structure. Now it’s on to crafting the event and promoting it in a way that’s appealing to your audience.

Considerations When Crafting a Social Aesthetic

When crafting a social aesthetic for your event, there are physical and technical considerations to address. Both are extremely important for generating leads and conversions. Human-centred design in regards to both physical and technical aspects is vital for connecting with new people and generating interest for your event. 

Physical Aspects to Consider

The physical aspects of an event-focused social media campaign involve standard marketing considerations. For instance:

  • Who or what is the face of this campaign?
  • What colors and types of images work best?
  • Are images or posts eye-grabbing?
  • What type of content is it?
  • Is the message communicated?

Technical Aspects to Consider

Seeing as social media is digital, there’s a technical side to it that cannot be ignored. Some of the technical aspects you need to consider when designing your posts are:

  • What platform will it be shared on?
  • How is content best optimized for each platform?
  • What are the limits (character counts, content type, image dimensions)?

Each piece of content must be catered specifically to the platform it’s slated to be posted on. Thus, understanding how each social platform works will be highly effective in promoting your event. 

This can become even more complicated when a company is scheduling and promoting two or more different events at once. In these cases, it may be wise to try management software to organize your event program. However, be sure that whatever system or software you have is managed and communicated well to everyone working on the event or campaign. Without a strong internal structure, your posts may come off as cluttered and subpar.

Maximizing Your Event’s Potential

Finally, with the vision set and aesthetic decided, you can begin focusing on how to draw people in. Leveraging paid social ads and carefully crafted content can be vital to your marketing efforts. Teasing a speaker lineup, boasting about a photo booth, and multimedia quotes also work quite well. 

Further, think about how influencers could help. Chances are that a large portion of your target audience follows the same or connected influencers. These are experts that have celebrity standing. If influencers can either be involved in your event or related social marketing, then you have a chance to gain new followers. However, this will require listening to your target audience.

Remember, however, that no two target audiences are the same, and each demographic must be catered to thoughtfully. Don’t be naive to the engagement tools that social media gives you. A good example of this is Facebook advertisements, which can be optimized to suit your target demographic. After a post is made, you can use a platform’s analytics to see what is working and what isn’t. 

Don’t forget, the draw will most likely not increase without a proper vision and great aesthetics. If your event is well planned with your audience’s needs in mind, then you have a better chance at a successful event.

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