25 Ways to use Social Media to Grow your Business through Events

Social media is key to the success of your event. Get all the knowledge you need to ensure your event is visible and successful. Use your key social media channels to ensure people are at your event in order to grow your business.

Twitter Hacks

  1. Create 1 event hashtag for the event and use this on all your platforms. This hashtag needs to be short, unique, memorable and match the name of the event. Use it before, during and after your event (Holub, 2015).
  1. You should also require speakers to have this event hashtag on all their slides along with their own twitter handle to encourage people to post about the event. Before the event, the hashtag should be on: your website, email, ad banners, posts, tweets, attendees’ badges (Weinberg and Mares, 2014).
  1. Make sure you monitor your event hashtag daily and track how well it is doing. This can be done through tools such as TweetDeck and HootSuite. Doing this can also give you insight into what your attendees are talking about so that you can use these key selling points when promoting your event (Wired Impact, 2015).
  1. Services such as Tweetbeam can display the tweets at your event whilst others such as Twubs can keep leaderboards of your Twitter competition and ignite the competitive spirit among attendees (Holub, 2015; Price, 2013)

Facebook Hacks

  1. Create a Facebook event page. This hack seems so obvious but the number of events that do not have a Facebook Event is unbelievable. This tool is effective in reminding people to RSVP for your event and also encourages attendees to share the event with their friends. If individuals are hesitant about attending your event a first step could be to click attend/maybe on the event and that makes it a lot easier to convince them to join. Make sure if you have a Facebook page that you create the event under this (Reynolds, 2015).
  1. Increase the buzz and reach of your event with the free Facebook Comments Plugin; it can be used on your event page to make it easy for people to post comments on your event and also immediately on Facebook if they select the tickbox (Smith, 2011).
  1. Facebook allows you to send out reminders to people who have clicked attend on your event, so take advantage of this and gently remind people to not forget to buy tickets or if it is a free event, remind them of the event (Smith, 2009).
  1. Use Facebook polls on your Facebook Event to engage your followers and increase the reach of your event. This gets your followers involved in the event and helps shape it by allowing attendees to contribute in terms of what they would like to see at the event (Wired Impact, 2015).
  1. Facebook ads are a great way to retarget people who have already visited your event page. This is a very important hack as people rarely buy tickets for an event the first time they hear about it. You can also minimize the costs involved by excluding Facebook users whom have already purchased a ticket through customizing the target audience when you create your ad (Reynolds, 2013).

Instagram Hacks

  1. It may be expensive to create professional videos of your event (especially if it is your first time holding an event). So instead of creating a long movie during the event or to promote the next you can make short clips for Instagram to give people a feel of the event. These can then be shared on your other social media streams. Just film parts of your events on your phone/tablet and edit it with a free video editing app such as Splice to add music and add a more professional touch. This is the Minimum Viable Product of a video and if you see the videos are popular among your attendees, you can take it to the next step with your next event with a professional videographer.
  1. Instagram is a great way to share photos about the event and sneak-previews of the venue to get the buzz going. Through relevant hashtags you can find people who would be interested in your event and who you should target (Serrano, 2015).
  1. You can hold contests on Instagram to engage your audience. For example, award a prize among individuals posting a photo using your hashtag (Sprung, 2013).
  1. Reward people for looking at your photos and reading descriptions with discounts / promo codes. This encourages them to tag other friends who may be interested in the event. It also helps you see how effective this is for promoting your event by seeing how often the codes are used (Sprung, 2013).
  1. Feature your customers during your event on your Instagram, this is important for future events too to give potential and past attendees a feel of the event (Sprung, 2013).

Linkedin Hacks

  1. A LinkedIn Company Page, LinkedIn Event and LinkedIn Group are all great ways to reach people in your industry who may be interested in your event. Ensure you are visible on LInkedin to attract relevant audience.
  1. Pay close attention to your events labels, choose ones that are relevant to your industry (Wired Impact, 2015).
  1. Ask your speakers to create a post about an overview of their talk and include questions to the audience relevant to the subject. These serve the same purpose as a trailer, giving people a sneak peek of what to expect at the event. By then posting this on their own page as well as yours this will increase your reach. Just make sure to have a clear link back to your event so that individuals can sign up immediately (Williams, 2015).

Every Channel Hacks

  1. Your event landing page needs to have share buttons to make it easy for your users to share your event. Make everything the minimum effort for your users through having ready made tweets, Facebook posts, Linkedin posts. Once multiple people have shared your event, show the number of shares. Shares are a form of social proof and encourage others to share the event too (Smith, 2011).
  1. Providing free wifi at your event encourages people even more to post about it and prevent lousy internet connection from being the downer of your event. Spread the login details all around your event: have posters, wifi details on tables and also hand it out during registration (Holub, 2015).
  1. Organise a competition with a prize for posting about the event, e.g. for the person with the highest number of tweets and/or the highest number of retweets. This can also be done for other social media channels, e.g. Facebook posts, Instagram photos, etc. Just choose the channel that is the most relevant and important to you (Holub, 2015).
  1. Ensure that your event is live online during the whole event whether this is through live-streaming, live-tweeting or live-blogging (Holub, 2015).  
  1. You have to have a throat to choke for social media. Someone needs to be responsible for social media and should: post highlights, share the best quotes from speakers, retweet attendees’ posts, respond to the mentions, share photos of the event, etc. (Holub, 2015).
  1. Provide a photo wall for attendees to take photos with and give a prize to top three photos, e.g. a tshirt, bottle of whisky, etc. This could also be focused on specific channels, e.g. for Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (Holub, 2015)
  1. Don’t forget to share relentlessly after the event: photos and videos. Send these to your attendees and encourage them to tag themselves.
  1. After the event share the slides of the speakers with the event name on your different channels and ask for feedback about the event (Salman, 2015).

Start tweeting, posting, sharing and promoting

Start getting your event as visible as possible and see your business grow alongside your event. Focus on the channels that are most important to you but don’t be afraid to test other ones. Make sure you can measure the effects of everything with a tool so that you can really focus on what works.

References

Holub, J. (2015). Top 10 Ways to Integrate Social Media into Your Events. Sli.do. [online] Available at: http://blog.sli.do/10-ultimate-ways-to-integrate-social-media-into-your-events/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2015].

Price, L. (2013). How to Use Twitter During Events and Conferences. RepCap. [online] Available at: http://repcapitalmedia.com/how-to-use-twitter-during-events-and-conferences/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2015].

Reynolds, K. (2015). 16 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Event. Social Media Examiner. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/use-social-media-to-promote-your-event/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2015].

Salman, S. (2015). Event Marketing: promoting your event with social media. Frankwatching. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Aug. 2015].

Serrano, I. (2015). How to Use Pinterest and Instagram to Promote Your Next Event – See more at: http://blog.etouches.com/tips-and-tools/how-to-use-pinterest-and-instagram-to-promote-your-next-event/#sthash.7r2iqevI.dpuf. Wethink. [online] Available at: http://blog.etouches.com/tips-and-tools/how-to-use-pinterest-and-instagram-to-promote-your-next-event/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2015].

Smith, M. (2011). Facebook Comments Plugin Upgrades – What You Need To Know. Mari Smith. [online] Available at: http://www.marismith.com/facebook-comments-box-social-plugin-upgrades/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2015].

Smith, M. (2011). Six Ways To Effectively Promote Events on Facebook – Case Study. Mari Smith. [online] Available at: http://www.marismith.com/six-ways-effectively-promote-events-on-facebook-case-study/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2015].

Smith, M. (2009). 10 Tips for Creating Buzz With Facebook Events. Social Media Examiner. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/10-tips-for-creating-buzz-with-facebook-events/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2015].

Sprung, R. (2013). 5 Ways Marketers Can Use Instagram. Social Media Examiner. [online] Available at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/5-ways-marketers-can-use-instagram/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2015].

Weinberg, G. and Mares, J. (2014). Traction.

Williams, M. (2015). 9 Ways To Use LinkedIn For Event Marketing. Eventbrite. [online] Available at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog/linkedin-for-event-marketing/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2015].

Wired Impact, (2015). How to Get More People To Your Events With Social Media. [online] Available at: http://wiredimpact.com/library/social-media-nonprofit-events/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2015].