Event Marketing
January 23, 2023  •  by Rachel White

Social Media Marketing for Events

Social media marketing for events is vital. Promoting your event on social media significantly increases discoverability. Generating opportunities for your event to be searched and seen allows you to create awareness, sell more tickets, and build loyalty for your brand or organization. 

More than a quarter of traffic to ticketing and registration pages comes from social media. And according to Google’s internal research, 40% percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are now using social media as their primary search engine, making your presence and engagement online pivotal to event success. 

Therefore, social media promotion should be a key part of your overall online event marketing strategy. Below, we will walk you through the seven tips you need to know to build a social media marketing strategy for your event: 

1. Know your audience and where to find them

Social media marketing for events can be exhaustive in both time and resources. And it can yield little success if you don’t understand your audience, which platform they are on, and how to best reach them. 

So, it’s important to establish for whom your designing your event. Then, evaluate which platform will prove the most successful in reaching them:

  • Facebook: With nearly 3 billion users, Facebook remains the largest social media platform. However, people seem to be spending less time on it as younger users gravitate towards channels like Snapchat and TikTok. That being said, ad revenues continue to climb and could be a valuable and low-cost investment for your event. Plus, Facebook event pages make it easy to spread event information that links directly to your Ticketbud registration site.
  • Instagram: The platform’s popularity has doubled in the last two years, with Gen Z and Millennials comprising two thirds of the platform’s user base. If you venture in this highly visual territory, come prepared with engaging videos, images and designs. 91% of users watch videos weekly. 
  • X, formerly known as Twitter: While X is losing traction as a favored platform, it remains a top platform for communicating breaking news and events. It is powerful in generating buzz, engaging live with audiences , and creating a digital experience for your event. 
  • LinkedIn: According to the platform’s internal research, LinkedIn is a top-rated social network for B2B marketing. It’s currently being dominated by a wave of millennials exploring career opportunities, but has useful tools to create event pages and lead discussions, especially concerning industry specific events. 
  • TikTok: The platform’s current growth surpasses all other social media channels, and its young-user base is heavily influenced by the brands and products they view in videos. Like Instagram, videos are king. So, create content that conveys your event experience in visually engaging ways. 
  • YouTube: The go-to streaming service is accessed by nearly two thirds of its user base every day. Whether you’re hosting live-streamed events or posting full videos and clips after your event to share with stakeholders, YouTube makes it easy to archive and share your event moments. Because YouTube is a search engine it means your content is easily found long after it’s shared. If you run annual events, part of your social media marketing strategy could be to share videos of prior years’ events. Doing so will give your audience an idea of what’s to come. When it comes to events, people love to see the experience visually.   

Keep in mind that the average social media user engages on at least six different platforms. So, a multi-channel social media marketing strategy for events is pivotal.

2. Optimize your online presence

To help develop recognition across platforms, adhere to your organization’s brand guidelines and consistent messaging throughout event promotion. Optimize bio and about us sections across online channels with keywords and engaging descriptions about the organization and event, and provide links to all pages and profiles so users can easily navigate between platforms. 

In spiring 2022, Instagram’s CEO revealed that hashtags were losing their luster in terms of helping posts gain traction and visibility. Instead, social media algorithms tend to favor searchable keywords and phrases. In fact, keyword-optimized captions were found to increase reach by 30% and double engagement.

To increase visibility of content, strategize to include text-based features like alt-text and captions. Include phrases your target audience would use when conducting a Google search for your industry or event. 

3. Create an event website and amplify social media marketing for events

Create a landing page for your event that you can link to across your social media marketing efforts. (Learn how to create a free event page on Ticketbud here.) Use plug-ins like Linktree on your Instagram to easily direct people to your landing page when hyperlinking is not available. 

Ticketbud offers tools to help you sell more tickets and boost promotion. Use Ticketbud’s social share buttons so attendees can easily share your event with others. This helps gives your event credibility and builds community around your event.

4. Strategize to reach your goals with social media marketing for your events

Determine your desired outcomes from your social media efforts. Then, outline a plan to reach them through your online marketing efforts. Try using the S.M.A.R.T. goal principle

  • Specific: Be clear about how you define your event’s success and identify objectives. 
  • Measurable: Assign metrics and KPIs to measure your progress, such as aiming for a total number of registrations or total amount garnered through ticket sales. 
  • Attainable: Be realistic to maintain your and your team’s morale
  • Relevant: Align your event goals with your organization’s goals
  • Time-bound: Attach a timeline to certain objectives or goals

Remember to track your progress and evaluate your results. The insights you gain from this campaign will inform social media strategies for future events

5. Build anticipation with creative engaging social media marketing for events

Nearly just as many people post about an event leading up to it as they do at the event itself, according to Buffer. So, create a content calendar that gets people engaged and talking about your event. Some ideas include:

  • Sharing press releases.
  • Announcing speaker line ups, special guests or attractive sessions with quotes and videos.
  • Sending out “save the dates” and “last calls” to communicate deadlines for early bird and general registrations. Check out Instagram’s Countdown Sticker as a great way to create urgency.
  • Administering ticket giveaways that require commenting or sharing to help spread the word and generate interest in your event.
  • Partnering with influencers popular with your target market to help reach your audience through someone they already trust.
  • Repurposing content and testimonials from prior events to convey event experience. 

6. Inspire and encourage user-generated content (UGC)

Every social media algorithm favors engagement. Therefore, it’s imperative to motivate your audience to do the heavy lifting and spread the word for you. Above, we suggested how hosting an online giveaway might inspire users to share and engage with posts. But consider other ways you can encourage user-generated content leading up to, during, and after your event.

Before the event, you can engage audiences by taking them behind-the-scenes on event preparations. Consider posing questions through posts and polls that ask audiences about speakers and sessions they’d like to see. 

Today, it’s becoming more common for organizations to contract out UCG content to professional promoters. But if you don’t have the budget for that, consider approaching past attendees or event partners who might help produce more authentic content based on their own experiences. 

At the event, encourage user generated content with photo-booths, live tweets, or streaming features. Then, share the content on your channels or on display at the event itself can encourage further engagement. These on-site endorsements stir up a healthy sense of FOMO, ensuring those who missed your event won’t want to make the mistake next time. 

7. Gain insights through post event coverage

According to Buffer, 1 out of every 5 social posts related to an event were posted after it. These types of posts are more reflective and may offer feedback about the event. 

Videos generate high engagement rates across platforms, so share clips from special moments at the event. And, continue to engage with and share user-generated content from the event and after to boost visibility. Also, connect with those who attended the event to get feedback and encourage them to follow your social media channels. 

When planned and executed well, the insights and content acquired post-event will inspire social media marketing strategies for future events.