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How to Use Social Media to Market an Event

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Published: December 12, 2014

Before social media, event planners and organizations would mail out flyers or newsletters advertising an upcoming event. Although these are still common tactics for event marketing, most event planners turn to social media when they need to build awareness of an upcoming event.

Social media has changed the way businesses and organizations spread the word about their events. Research shows 78 percent of event organizers plan to increase their use of social media when promoting an event. Not only does social media enable organizations to reach more people, but they can also spark more conversations and build buzz surrounding their events.

Social media also gives marketers and event planners the opportunity to create a long-term marketing plan for their event. Prior to the event, marketers can create buzz and get people excited about the event. Once the day of the event arrives, marketers can use social media to get guests excited and involved with the event online. After the event is over, social media can be used to measure the success of an event and collect valuable feedback from guests.

If you haven’t been using social media to build buzz-worthy events, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase your event attendance. To help you build more awareness for an upcoming event, here are five ways social media can help:

1. Spark curiosity.
Spreading the word of an event can be the biggest challenge for marketers. Luckily, social media is an extremely useful tool for building awareness of an event.

To spark curiosity amongst your target audience, use Facebook to get the word out about your event. Statistics reveal that 80 percent of social network users prefer to connect with brands through Facebook.

For example, create a Facebook event and invite guests to attend. This is a great way to encourage people to mark the event in their calendars. As guests continue to join your Facebook event, keep them updated with news about the event and important links they should know about.

2. Inform your audience.
Social media is an extremely powerful for informing people about your event. It can help you keep your potential guests informed about and last-minute changes and remind them about important event details.

Use Twitter and Facebook to keep people up-to-date on important registration details, location of the event, itinerary, and any other important details guests should be aware of. You could also create a blog dedicated to event news and updates to keep guests informed.

3. Create engagement.
Prior to your event, you want to create buzz and get people excited about your event. As your event approaches, host a Twitter contest or launch a series of videos to get your audience excited about the event.

According to an infographic by Eventility, 123,995 Twitter users contributed to nearly 300,000 tweets five days before SXSW 2013. Because of the high volume of tweets, SXSW was able to get people excited and interested in the event before it even took place. Hashtags also make it possible for people who aren’t even attending an event to interact and get excited about what’s going to take place during an event.

4. Boost on-site experience.
On-site experience is critical to any social media marketing plan for an event. Social media can encourage people to get talking about your event and build more buzz surrounding your organization.

Create a hashtag guests can use to document their experience on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You could also create a contest inviting guests to share their photos online using a designated hashtag. In addition, create check-ins or offer live streaming to keep people engaged during the event. These are just a few ways to keep your guests engaged while also building awareness simultaneously.

5. Curate content from the event.
After your event is over, revisit your social media accounts, hashtags, blog posts, videos, and any additional content you published online. By monitoring social media and keeping track of online conversations, you’ll measure the success of your event and gain valuable feedback from attendees. In addition, you’ll also build a collection of photos, videos, and tweets that can be used as a re-cap of your event.

Creating a solid social media marketing plan for an upcoming event is crucial to the event’s success. By staying active on social networks before, during, and after the event, you’ll build more awareness of your event and establish stronger relationships with attendees.

What are some ways you use social media to market an event?