A Guide to Event Social Media Marketing
When it comes to event marketing content, social media is one of the most valuable approaches out there. Not only does it let you instantly reach and connect with your audience, but it offers a range of different platforms on which to do so and plenty of different formats to share information about your event.
The multitude of social media marketing possibilities can, however, make it an overwhelming route to go down if you don’t have a clear strategy in mind. If you’re looking for direction on how to promote events on social media, this article shares advice on choosing the best social media channel, promoting an event on social media and gaining social media coverage during the event.
In this article:
How to Choose the Right Channels and Social Networks
One of the first things you need to consider when creating a social media strategy for events is which channels you’re going to use to share your marketing content. There are several very popular platforms to choose from, each tailored towards a slightly different kind of content and type of audience.
Facebook is one of the best-known and most popular social media platforms, initially used as a space to keep in contact with friends and now also an incredibly valuable platform for businesses to promote their offerings and interact with their audience.
In terms of event promotion, you can create a Facebook event page for your event to start advertising it and sharing information with those that respond to the invitation. Depending on the scale of the event, you can use this as the main organisational hub of your event, or simply share it on your company’s Facebook page to drum up more interest.
You can share text and image content on Facebook, so it’s quite a versatile platform for marketing. Certain demographics are much more active on other platforms however, so be sure to research how much your target audience actually uses Facebook and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.
Instagram is an image-sharing social media app that more recently has become a hub for video content as well. It’s a great place for sharing visual marketing content as part of your event promotion strategy. Not only can you post on to your company’s profile, but you can also share ‘Stories’ that only last 24 hours and ‘Reels’ which are short videos also posted to your account.
A lot of younger demographics use Instagram as one of their main social media platforms, so if your event is targeting a millennial or even Gen-Z audience then it’s a great place to focus your efforts. Regular posting and high engagement is the key to ensuring that your Instagram posts actually get seen by your followers however, so you’ll need to establish a posting strategy if you want to make an impact.
Twitter is a social media platform where users can share short text posts, or ‘Tweets’ with their followers, along with images or video clips. It’s a great channel for posting quick updates and information about an event, as well as being a brilliant place to interact with your followers and respond to questions or mentions in real-time.
You should focus on text content if you want to include Twitter in your event social media marketing plan, ensuring that you can condense this information under 280 characters. It’s a great platform for using and monitoring hashtags as well, which we’ll delve into later in this article.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that was designed for professional networking, but can be a fantastic place to promote your event if you have a large network of followers. Like Facebook, you can also create an event page for your event on LinkedIn and then share this with your network, helping your gauge interest and keep all the event details in one place.
If your event has a professional focus then LinkedIn is definitely a channel you should involve in your social media strategy, even more so if you’re hosting speakers that have their own significant followings on this network. The more people you can get talking about your event or sharing your marketing content on LinkedIn, the better.
You might be surprised to see Snapchat on this list, as this social media channel is primarily used for messaging. However, Snapchat ‘stories’ can be useful for some event organisers as they create a way to compile all of the content shared by users/attendees in one place, and also share their own visual content in a more personal way.
Snapchat filters are another feature that you might want to consider for your event, creating a personalised image filter promoting the event that attendees can use and then share with their friends on the app.
Finally, TikTok is considered a bit of a new kid on the block when it comes to social media platforms and is currently creating a huge amount of buzz with its short video-sharing format and potential for content to quickly go viral. This is another channel that is favoured by younger demographics in particular, but there’s a lot of potential for event planners to use the app to share promotional video content for the event and reach a new audience through the app.
How to Promote an Event on Social Media
Once you’ve chosen which social media channels you’re going to focus on in your event marketing strategy, there are plenty of different ways that you can share content to promote the event. As well as classic posts sharing event information, here are some other approaches that we recommend including in your plan.
Post ‘Countdown’ Reminders
If you want to build excitement around your event and also keep engagement from your audience high in the lead-up, posting regular ‘countdown’ reminders is a great tactic on social media. You might start with monthly or weekly reminders, and then in the final week start posting a daily countdown that shares a taster of what’s to come and keep the event at the front of attendees’ minds.
Some social media apps like Instagram also give you the option to post a countdown sticker that your followers can interact with, sending them a notification as a reminder that the event is coming up or starting.
Slowly Reveal the Lineup
On the topic of anticipation and building excitement, another great event social media marketing tactic is slowly revealing your event itinerary or lineup, if relevant. Structure these posts so that you’re sharing a good range of different speakers or events within the wider event, and even consider getting your audience to guess what the next reveal might be if you want to boost engagement even more.
You don’t just have to reveal your lineup or itinerary through a classic social media post. You could start a live stream to share this information, or get another account to announce their attendance first and then share this content on your own platform as a reveal.
Boost Engagement with Polls
Engagement is key in a social media strategy before an event takes place, and polls are a great way to encourage this from your followers. Quite a few apps have a poll feature that followers can interact with which also allow the user to then share the results, giving you more content to repost and also a way to gather attendee feedback.
You can also post polls during your event as a way of recapping what’s happening and getting a feel for how the event is going. This also shows your social media followers that aren’t attending what is happening and hopefully encourages them to attend the next event you organise.
Repost Content from Attendees and Speakers
This is an event promotion technique that you can use to share content on social media both before, after and during your event. Sharing or reposting content about your event from attendees not only gives you a wider range of content to share, but also shows a more authentic side to your event by illustrating it from a different perspective.
Reposting content from your attendees also makes them feel more connected to your event and brand because you’re engaging with what they post.
Show What’s Happening Behind the Scenes
Authentic social media content is often more memorable and can gain more engagement because it gives your followers something they can relate to more easily. Creating behind-the-scenes content is a fantastic event social media approach that adds something different to your usual posts and is particularly useful if you’re using platforms that have a live stream feature.
You can also take photos of behind-the-scenes moments and share these after the event as an alternative round-up. It might even be worth giving a guest or a speaker control of your social media profile for a period of time to show a more personal behind-the-scenes experience.
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Gaining Social Media Coverage During an Event
As well as thinking about what social media content you’re going to share around your event, you also need to think about how you’ll encourage attendees to share content as well and provide you with social media coverage.
Hashtags are a classic social media marketing tool that involves creating a unique hashtag that you use on your posts and encourage attendees to use in the content they share about your event. You can view all of the content tagged with this hashtag in one place on apps like Twitter and Instagram, giving you a straightforward way to find out what people are saying about the event and choose which content you want to share.
If you want to make use of a social media hashtag for your event, make sure to include it on all of your promotional material and use it around the venue so that attendees know how to get involved.
Another way to encourage attendees to interact with your profile and social media content is to include QR codes around the venue and on leaflets, posters or even stickers that take them directly to the event’s page or your social media account. Use snappy calls to action to encourage this and track how much the code has been used to measure your success.
We’ve already mentioned live streaming as something that you can do to share live content at your event, but you can also encourage attendees to share their experiences with their followers in real time. This might just be documenting their day, or you could arrange that certain speakers go live on social media during the event to get their followers involved and spread awareness of the event.
Finally, some social media platforms like Snapchat let you create geofilters that are only accessible when in an event venue, and offer a fun image filter that promotes the event. This can be an expensive investment, but if you’re planning a large-scale event then it’s a great way to get your event branding included in attendees' content.
There is a huge range of options when it comes to how you can use social media in an event marketing strategy, allowing brands to pick and choose the approaches that they think will be best for their team and their audience. The key is to focus your efforts on specific platforms instead of trying to spread yourself too thinly, and also make the most of all the different features that these platforms offer so that your content is as diverse as possible.
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