Social Media Marketing for Events

Social media marketing is vital for today’s events. Event marketing needs a good social promotion strategy for both paid advertising and shared content. Ensure you know how to capitalize on the social media marketing strategies available for your event.

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. 

Social media promotion is a key part of your overall online marketing strategy. Below I 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 can be exhaustive in time and resources and yield little success if you don’t understand who your followers are, which platform they are on, and how you can best reach them. 

Establish who your designing your event for, and then evaluate how you might best reach them using key social platforms: 

Keep in mind that the average social media user engages on at least six different platforms. So, a multi-channel marketing strategy is pivotal to your event’s success.

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 that include phrases your target audience would use when conducting a Google search for your type of organization or event. 

3. Create an event website and amplify social advertising

Create a landing page for your event that you can link to across your social media platforms. Check out this how-to article if you need help getting started creating your free event website with Ticketbud. Using plug-ins like Linktree on your Instagram, can help you easily direct people to your landing page, when hyperlinking is not available. 

Ticketbud also offers tools to help you sell more tickets and boost promotion with paid ads. Ticketbud’s Ad Engine is designed for event organizers to get the best results from paid Facebook and Instagram Advertising. Ad Engine makes it easier to create targeted ads for the right audience, as well as help you manage your budget and provide a greater return on investment.

While Facebook Ads manager can tell you how many people clicked on your ad, it’s harder to track which ads are performing better in terms of converting sales. Ad Engine is designed to automatically optimize ads that sell the most tickets, by harnessing the influence of Facebook advertising to increase sales or registration on Ticketbud. Learn more about why Ad Engine is the cheat code to social advertising for busy event organizers. 

4. Strategize to reach your goals

Determine your desired outcomes from your social media efforts and outline how you might plan for and reach them through your online marketing efforts. To do so, consider using the S.M.A.R.T. goal principle

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 content

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 interested and talking about your event: 

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

Every social media algorithm favors engagement. Brainstorm ways 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 what other opportunities can you create with your audiences leading up to, during and after your event?

Before the event, organizers 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. 

Also, it’s becoming more common for organizations to work with UGC creators to produce content that looks like organic UGC but actually derives from an independent contractor who specializes in promoting products and brands. If you don’t have the budget to contract that type of work, consider approaching past attendees or event partners who might help produce authentic content related to their experiences or their anticipation for your event. 

Fun and easy ways to get people to post and share about your event live and on the scene include hosting photo-booths and LIVE tweeting and streaming features. Re-sharing the user-generated content on your channels or on display at the event itself can encourage more 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, nearly 1 out of every 5 social posts related to an event were posted after it. These types of posts are more reflective and can be used to garner feedback about the event. 

Videos generate high engagement rates across platforms, so share clips from special moments at the event. Continually engage with and re-share user-generated content from the event and after it, to boost the post’s visibility. Connect with those who attended the event to get feedback and encourage them to stay in touch by following other social media channels. 

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

4 Ways To Use Influencer Marketing For Your Event

You’ve reached out to event blogs to create listings for your event, you’ve done our checklist and even done some Google AdWords and retargeting and you’ve totally got the social media marketing thing down. What do you do? Well, you need to reach more people. It’s a law of averages: the more people who know about your event, the more tickets you’re likely to sell. While skywriting may be an interesting way to capture attention, and potentially some viral-ity, just blanket targeting anyone isn’t the best way.

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How to Use Instagram for Marketing Your Event

fastest growing social network? 26% of the adult population is already using it. That’s a huge audience of potential ticket buyers. Instagram is the perfect marketing channel for events. The reason being that events are told best through pictures. Just take a look at your Instagram feed. Scrolling through photos you see friends at concerts, bars, holiday parties…you name it. It’s now second nature for people to post about their experiences. Instagram just happens to be the best place to do it. In this post, I’ll walk through the steps on how to use Instagram for marketing your event. I’ll go over how to get started, what kind of content to create, and how to build your audience. Let’s get rocking.

Getting Started

So the first thing you’ll want to do is create a new account. Be smart about this. Creating an account for a large festival or conference makes sense. If that isn’t you, create an Instagram account for your organization. This avoids pigeonholing yourself in building your audience from just one small event. After creating your account, Instagram asks you to connect to Facebook. Go ahead and connect if you already have a large Facebook fanbase. By connecting, all your Facebook followers will get notified that you joined Instagram. It’s an easy way to build your initial audience. Now let’s dress up your profile page. Think of your profile as a landing page for potential ticket buyers. This is where your event either makes a great first impression or fades away from memory. You want to show off your event both through the copy and your images. Let’s take a look at the example below: using instagram for marketing                               BLINK Conference does a pretty solid job here. I know exactly what the conference is, when it happens, and how to find more info. Their bio link goes to a Facebook community page which works fine. If your tickets are on sale, do  link to your ticketing page. Use an aggressive call to action like “Grab early bird tickets before they run out” to get the point across. The profile also has some photos that make me want to explore the account. This is key. If your account doesn’t have any activity, visitor won’t follow you back.

Content Creation

Before using Instagram for marketing, you need to get in the flow of publishing awesome photos. Luckily it’s pretty easy to do. That’s why people use Instagram in the first place. Before diving into what to publish, let’s look at 2 apps that will help you create high quality photos. Canva: This is my go-to tool for graphic design. I’m not a designer myself so Canva is a godsend. You don’t need to know Photoshop. Just click and drag to edit photos and overlay text. PicLab: Similar to Canva but designed for the smartphone. So for event planners on the go, PicLab makes it possible to quickly snap a pic and drop some text over it. OK so you got your apps. Now what do you post? Here’s a list that should give you some ideas: conf                               marketing on instagram                               how to use instagram for marketing                               instagram for marketing                               attendee                               Along with creating some beautiful imagery, also take advantage of the post description. Write compelling and engaging text. Ask questions and get followers to tag their friends. A neat trick is to include a CTA that asks your followers to Double Tap. By double tapping, they’ll like the photo. After you’ve come up with some ideas, the next question is how often should you post? To make headway, I recommend posting 1-2 times per day. This makes it manageable and avoids being too spammy. This article recommends posting between 5-6pm on weekdays. Our infographic on social media for events is also a solid resource for when and what to post. Let’s move to the most exciting part: growing your audience!

Building Your Audience

Account Engagement

To use Instagram for marketing, you need to identify your event’s target audience. Easiest place to start is location. Let’s say we’re planning a bacon festival in Austin, Texas. I’ll head over to Instagram’s and search #atx under the tags column. #atx is a pretty popular hashtag used by Austinites. how to use instagram for marketing your event                               When I search the hashtag, Instagram shows the most popular ones. The 4th one down is #atxeats. That looks promising! While there’s a couple other hashtags, lets dive into this one as it’s a bit more targeted to our festival. After tapping on the hashtag, I see a ton of foodie posts. I can make an assumption that people using that hashtag might be interested in attending my bacon festival. How do I engage with them? Start by using the Follow, Like, Like, Like strategy. This link talks about the process in more detail. What you want to do is find the top pictures under the #atxeats hashtag and follow those accounts. Then, like 3 of their photos. The account will then get a stream of notifications from you following and liking their stuff. If they’re interested in what they see, there’s a good chance they’ll follow you back. Now this process is a bit manual but you can use a tool called Instagress to automate it. Instagress allows you to put your follows and likes on autopilot. It’ll save you a lot of time in the long run. Along with this strategy, you can start using these targeted hashtags in your own photos. By doing this, your account will start showing up in these searches as well. An important note is that if you’re going to load up an image with hashtags, do so in the comments. This way your photo description won’t look spammy.

Contests

Contests work especially well for marketing on Instagram. A solid tactic is organizing contests where the winner gets a couple free tickets. I recommend using Gleam.io for running your contest. It makes contests super easy to run. Instagram’s photo mentioning is what makes contests work. A photo mention is when someone comments on your photo by mentioning a friend as seen below: event-marketing-strategies                     When this happens, Instagram notifies the friend of the mention. The friend will then typically click on the photo to check it out. For contests, direct people to tag their friend on one of your photos to enter. This is where the network effects come into play. As your photo mentions build up, your exposure increases. You can also create entries that have people follow your account or like a post. What makes ticket giveaway contests awesome is that you’re capturing buyer’s intent. All your contest entries are showing interest in attending your event. Click here to view our slideshare about contests and other social media tactics.

Shoutouts

Our last growth tactic for how to use Instagram for marketing your event comes in the form of a shoutout. A shoutout is a post on another Instagram account that encourages that account’s followers to follow you. For an event, I recommend researching influencers in your city. City influencers can be publications, restaurants, or just ordinary people. Going back to the bacon festival example, I’ll search for something like “Austin Magazine”: how to use instagram for marketing                               Now I have a couple local publications I can reach out to for a shoutout. You’ll want the account to share an image and caption that you curate yourself. At least get them to mention your event in one of their photos. To help sweeten the deal, communicate to them that you’ll return the favor by giving them a shoutout. This way they can get exposure to your audience as well. The shoutout tactic also works for influencers that are relevant to your event type. As you build your audience, it’s also important to create your own hashtag for the event. The power of having an event hashtag is that attendees can tag their own photos with your hashtag. This not only helps increase your reach but gives you more photos to publish into your feed. It’s a no brainer to try marketing on Instagram for your event. The platform is still young so there’s a lot of untapped opportunity. Try testing out these tactics and see what works best for you. Every event is different. Be creative in your Instagram marketing to stand out from the rest of the pack.]]]]> ]]>

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:

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?

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.

Choose a payment system. Mobile POS systems and cash are both good options. If you’re planning a ticketed event, select a platform to sell and scan tickets.]]]]> ]]>

Social Media for Events Timeline Infographic

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Slideshare: 8 Social Media Tactics to Ignite Ticket Sales

In this slideshare, we discuss:

Event Marketing Strategies – 8 Social Media Tactics to Ignite Ticket Sales from Ticketbud
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Snapchat: Event Organizers Best Friend

Event promotion is tough. There are so many things going on and it takes something awesome to stand out in the crowded social landscape. However, Snapchat is perfectly suited for promoting an event and building an audience. The key is to tap into what makes Snapchat better than all other social media platforms: accessibility and time. (more…)

Social Media 101: Best Practices for Events

How?”, you may ask. Great question. Each social media platform is different and has a different audience. Knowing your events audience allows you to then figure out where and when your audience is on social media. We’ve put together a handy guide that should help you out as you begin to plan how to market your next event. Social Media 101: Best Practices for Events ]]]]> ]]>

Quick Tip: Getting The Most Out Of Pinterest

post about event marketing on social media platforms here, and what I said then is still true today: it’s mostly female oriented and definitely geared for creative types. However, even if your current event doesn’t fit these specs, you’re likely going to be doing events that will fit this type of target market in the future, so keep reading! Once you’ve made your own board for the event you want to market/are planning for, here’s some tips to get the most out of your time and the pins you’ve placed. #Hashtagsarethefuture What’s that? Sick of hashtags? Sick of me making fun of hashtags? Well you’d better get #usedtoit, because Pinterest also utilizes a hashtag system. If you’re doing an event based around gardening, then you’d add in hashtags like #greenthumb or #gardening. “Place” Pins Placing Pins is a very neat feature and allows you to mark locations of items in your Pinterest “pin” board. The great thing about this feature is that you can create your own boards, or edit other boards to place your items. It’s a very powerful feature and can easily get a lot of people interested in a short amount of time. We’ve personally used this to great success during New Years’ 2015, where we got more than 200 followers in the span of a couple days. You can see that board here. Good Pictures Required Think of Pinterest like Instagram: pictures are everything. This isn’t Twitter or Facebook where pictures are nice, but these pictures need to do extremely well. If you want an idea of how to market your events on Pinterest, look at the McDonald’s pinterest. And yes, they do have one. These days, if your marketing sticks out like a sore thumb and it’s too sales-y, people immediately turn off. It’s why online marketing is so tough these days, but always remember that the best marketing has always been what doesn’t even look like marketing! Traditional Advertising You’ll recall in my social media event marketing post about the different social media platforms that Pinterest was still working on advertising features for marketers. Unfortunately this is still something that’s in limbo. You can join a waitlist, however, by signing up here. The feature is going to be called “promoted pins”, and looks to be extremely similar to Facebook’s “promoted posts”. As always, remember that Pinterest needs you to be creative first so while you can certainly use some of the same tactics as on Facebook, remember that each niche’s social network is going to have its own power plays and strategies. Business Accounts Pinterest has options for business accounts that allow you to see things like analytics, popular pins, and other features that will help you to gauge the success of your Pinterest campaigns. I highly recommend this feature, and Ticketbud has used this to great effect to double up on to more successful campaigns and to pivot from ones that may not be working as well.]]]]> ]]>

Finding Your Event's Marketing Niche

Find Your Event's Marketing Niche With Ticketbud's Event Registration Software

These days, it can seem like the term “social media marketing” is as ambiguous of a description as saying that you do “business”. There are so many social media sites out there that it can get overwhelming if you don’t narrow down your target market. It can also start to get expensive if you fire blindly in the dark by not narrowing down your targeting options.

In fact, I’m going to say something controversial: your event is not right for every single social media platform out there. If you disagree with this, think back to past social media marketing that you’ve done. I’ll wager that your ROI (return on investment) is never the same across all platforms. Even in events we’ve run at Ticketbud, we’ve noticed a high ROI in platforms we were at first skeptical of. Adversely, platforms that we dumped a lot of money into resulted in a lower ROI than expected.. So as a side note, please experiment with the plethora of social media sites today – you could find a vein of gold amidst the wasteland. But don’t feel bad if not all of them work out; Thomas Edison would be proud of you for trying!

The first step is to think of your target market. Where do they live? Where do they like to talk about the hobbies that interest them? For example, if your event is arts and crafts oriented with a high female turnout, Pinterest is the obvious choice. Events are even more varied than the social media sites out there, so what about events that may not be as obviously rooted in one media platform?

Facebook:

The nice thing about Facebook is that nearly everyone uses it. And for marketing purposes, it’s one of the best. If you’re an event organizer and you’ve done previous events, then take the email lists that you have and look into Facebook’s custom audiences advertising option, found here. This is a powerful feature that allows you to input a list of emails and cross-reference them with Facebook users. If the emails were used to create their Facebook accounts, you will get a custom audience for your ad that is like the people who previously attended your event. Although you may find this contradictory, I recommend looking into Facebook for a solid portion of your social media advertising dollars due to the fact that nearly everyone has one. One last tip that will seem counterintuitive at first: if you set your bids for ads higher, you’re more likely to receive more clicks and thus Facebook will reduce your cost per click. This equates to a significant cost savings.

Twitter:

Twitter has been pushing its advertising feature for a couple months now and I’ve personally used to it to great effect. You’ll want to use Twitter for your platform if your event is more tech, comedy, or concert oriented since Twitter users tend to enjoy experiences along those lines. Twitter’s userbase also tends to skew male. If you want to advertise to a certain group, you can target people who follow companies and people who are like the people you want at your event. Twitter is also a great before-and-after platform provided you encourage your eventgoers to live tweet. If you want more information on how to leverage this powerful platform, check this article out.

Instagram:

Instagram’s advertisement feature is still in its formative stages. At the time of this writing, Instagram advertising isn’t widely available. It helps to know that Instagram is used less by adults and more by teens. What Instagram is better for is using it for during-and-after event photos: encourage eventgoers with rewards to take photos and post them with your personal hashtag.

Pinterest:

Although it’s also in a nascent period, Pinterest’s promoted pins tool has a lot of potential-with more than a few caveats. First off, it’s common knowledge that Pinterest is made up almost entirely of women, but there are also men who are interested. So if you’re trying to promote a monster-truck rally, you’ll probably want to pass since the target market is too small. As long as your event is more specific to women, you can’t lose by trying out the promoted pins.

LinkedIn:

If your event is tailored towards professionals or more for adults aged 30-50, LinkedIn can be extremely useful when it comes to advertising. You can search by Job title and by location to create a highly targeted and highly converting campaign which will bring the right people to your event. LinkedIn’s audience is much more educated than any other social network.

Conclusion

I should note that while these are all paid opportunities, there are tons of unpaid opportunities for each of these channels as well. This article was designed purely to look at paid options. Unpaid opportunities are extremely varied, and we will be looking at them in future posts. Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know if there’s any other networks out there you’ve found success in!

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