Event Management
January 27, 2016  •  by Jane Carter

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Sell Event Tickets

If this is the first time your company is hosting an event, then you have some serious work ahead of you if you hope to sell most or all your tickets. Since your business isn’t well known at this point, it’s going to be challenging to convince guests to attend. Nevertheless, the goal is completely doable especially if you promote your event heavily through social media.

1. Implement Social Listening

Use social listening services to monitor social media activity. This helps you identify soft leads that may potentially become hot leads. The latter is the demographic that you want to nurture as they have a greater likelihood of converting to customers. There is plenty you can do with social listening, such as:

  • Determine keywords or hashtags your demographic is using
  • Find out which social media channels they spend more time using
  • Identify positive and negative posts about your brand and respond accordingly
  • Determine your biggest brand advocates and reward them (more on this later)
  • Determine what followers are saying about your competitors, both the good and the bad

You can visit this site for a list of free social listening services, though you’ll eventually want to upgrade to a paid service for the very best features to really identify key social media patterns among your demographic.

2. Provide “Soft” Reminders

You want to begin ticket sales early. A lot of potential attendees, though, may opt to purchase closer to the event date since they’re still on the fences about attending and would rather not make a decision when the event is still kind of far out. This tends to be the case even if you provide early bird sale specials. These people are your hot leads that you want to nurture so that they don’t forget or decide not to attend.

On your event page, you can provide a signup box that pops up when the visitor clicks away. The signup box can urge the visitor to sign up to receive regular reminders via tweet or Facebook post as event day approaches. This is known as a “soft conversion” tactic that keeps potential attendees in the loop so they don’t let the event slip past their mind.

3. Reward Your Biggest Brand Advocates

Brand advocates are the people who not only buy a ticket but also recommend others, “like” your social media channels, and share your posts. These advocates are your biggest assets and most loyal customers that you definitely want to keep around for the long-term.

To keep them as brand advocates, you have to reward them and acknowledge the favor they’re doing for you. Engage with these people and get to know them more on a one-on-one basis. Identify who they are and reach out to them on a more personal level.

This can be done via social media through a private post that addresses the recipient by name. Include some type of gift, such as a ticket discount if they haven’t already bought their ticket, or a coupon code as a thank you for advocating for your brand on the company’s behalf. To make it even more personal, send a hand-written physical letter or postcard with coupon code or gift card.

4. Create a Memorable Event Hashtag

Most people think they know how to create a cool hashtag when they really don’t. The trick is to make the hashtag discernible while keeping it as short as possible. Take a look at the hashtag #October2016MuscleCarShowOrangeCounty. It’s easily discernible just by taking a look at it, but it’s a tad long.

You can definitely curtail it to the following: #Oct2016MCShowOC. This is a lot shorter, but it’s a bit vague. Anyone not familiar with the event will have a hard time identifying what it means. How about this one: #OctMuscleCarShowOC? This provides the perfect balance between length and discernibility. Notice that it also leaves out the year. Omitting nonessential information helps keep the hashtag sweet and short.

5. Post-Event Talk

The event has passed, so ticket selling is over at this point. However, your job is far from over. It reasons that you plan on hosting more events in the future, so why not get a head start for the next event by promoting it right after the first one ends?

  • Continue to use social media to generate conversations about the event. Content to share include:
  • Video event highlights
  • A “thank you for attending” message from a company higher-up
  • Sending post-event surveys
  • A thank you gift (in the form of a discount code) for those who attended
  • A message or preview of the next event
  • A link to the event page for the next event if it’s already up
  • Ticket reservation for the next event, exclusive to those who attended the first one

Creating post-event buzz keeps people excited and may increase their likelihood of attending the next event. This is an early form of consumer nurturing that pays off come time for event #2.

Social Media Provides More than Enough Resources

Using social media to sell more tickets is a lot more than just sending posts here and there. You have to use the tools and trending social media practices to form a rapport with your consumers. Nurturing your customers in this manner takes time, but the rewards are more than worth it.

About the Author: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Ultimate Experience, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.

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