With our team firing on all cylinders in the social media machine for the 2017 Caffè Culture Show, here’s 10 tips to get the best out of your event promotion.
- Get a head start
Start promoting your event as soon as you know the date and location. Don’t worry about confirming all the details yet (sometimes it’s good to keep people on the edge of their seats…), the main thing is to start a buzz about your event ASAP. Start by posting, retweeting and hashtagging speakers, sponsors and influencers to get your event out there. Even better, involve your co-workers and make it easy for them to help promote the event – write social media posts for them and get them to share it wherever they can. Arm them with the tools for promotion and you’ll be able to massively widen your reach. On your marks, get set, go!
- Friends in high places
It’s not just the speakers that can up your publicity, but the people who are attending. Influencer marketing has been the buzzword of 2017, and it doesn’t have to be celebrities or beautiful Instagram people. Consider reaching out to influential attendees to broadcast your message and generate excitement about the event. When you start to get your RSVPs come in, have a look if they’ve got a social media following that could be valuable for promotion. Even better, reach out to these individuals and ask to meet face to face at the event – it’s a great way to build lasting business relationships. But don’t make it all about you, be sure to return the favour and promote their content too.
- Get the most out of hashtags
Not enough people use hashtags to their full potential to promote their event, which is a big mistake – hashtags are fast becoming a way of not just of getting your event out there, but making sure you’re memorable. Do your research first. Like you would with a brand name, have a look to see if there are any similar-sounding hashtags in use that could be confused with your event. Once you’ve come up with some good ideas test it out among a small group, and see if it’s memorable and doesn’t cause confusion. It’s best to stay away from hashtags that are really long or have odd spelling choices – less is definitely more here. Finally, use your hashtag(s) early and often. Like we said in tip #1, get your message out there and link your hashtag to your event ASAP, making sure to include it on all promotional materials.
- Get personal
Attendees should be learning about your event in a number of ways – social media, email marketing, blogs and (hopefully) word of mouth. You need to engage with them as soon as possible so they know where to find you and you can keep them interested. Once they’ve registered for the event, send them something on social media that might be of interest just to them. If you see that they’re coming from far away, mention something relevant about their town or city. Nowadays people love to put things that are important to them into their social media bios, so if it says they’re a massive foodie you could recommend somewhere that you love to eat. Even better is to try and match these interests with co-workers and sponsors that you’re supporting in return and send them their way. Make sure to keep the conversation going to keep your event in their minds, for example by asking them what they’re most looking forward to. A little personal touch goes a long way.
- Engage your sponsors
Don’t just stick your sponsors logos on your website and forget to use them as a valuable asset. Cultivate a partnership with sponsors by mentioning them on your social media and let people know you’re excited to work with them. Your sponsors will (hopefully) retweet and share your posts, increasing your reach and visibility. Make sure to thank them too, and share pictures of their contributions to your event. It’s another good way of creating long-lasting partnerships and engaging a wide variety of potential attendees.
- Create a bit of competition
Another good way to keep people interested and get a buzz going is with giveaways. Ask people to share your posts and hashtags for a chance to win a free ticket to the event or something similar. Not only do you get publicity and up your social media presence but it gets people engaged.
- Remember your audience
Always use your social media channels to their full potential. Hopefully you’ll have a number of platforms on the go, so don’t forget to promote your event on all of them. The key is to tailor your content to each platform so people aren’t being hounded repeatedly with the same message from all angles. It’s likely that you’re going to be followed by the same person on a number of platforms, so whilst it’s great to keep them reminded of your event you need to keep things interesting.
- Use Facebook Ads
Not enough people are realising the promotion potential of Facebook Ads. Facebook is still the most widely used social media platform, so it’s a good place to share your message. Ads don’t have to be massively expensive either. A handy tip is to use remarketing, which shows your ad to people who have already visited your page. That way you can target people who have had a look but have left without any further action (like buying a ticket). People rarely buy things the first time they hear about an event, so it’s a really effective way of boosting your attendance numbers by reminding people who are interested but have forgotten.
- Harness the power of visual content
This is an especially great way to post quotes from speakers that are going to be at your event, or testimonials from people who have been last time. It’s good to include a picture of the person or a logo from their business, because they’ll become associated with your event. You can share visual content just about anywhere too – even in email marketing. It’s also a good way to get speakers and sponsors involved, because you can link to their profile where they’ll (hopefully) repost it, increasing your visibility.
- Create a highlights video
If this isn’t the first time your hosting your event it’s good to remind people of how much fun they might have had (or missed out on) last time. Make the benefits of attending your event crystal clear by showing and not just telling. Video is getting more popular in marketing these days, with YouTube being the #2 search engine in the world, so it’s not a channel you want to miss out on.
And guess what? We did exactly this last year for the Caffè Culture Show 2016, and you can read the case study and view the video here. And now we’re doing it all again for the Caffè Culture Show 2017! Check out the Caffè Culture Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to get some tips.