From trade shows to conferences and beyond, social media has become an essential part of hosting and organizing a business event. But what social media networks work best to promote your event? It depends what stage of the promotion process you’re in—before, during or after—according to a new survey, The Viral Impact of Events, that polled both B2B and B2C companies. Here’s a closer look at how to use different social media tools to make your event a success.
Facebook is widely named the most effective social media platform for raising awareness and generating engagement before an event; 77 percent of respondents rated it highly. Next are Twitter (48 percent) and LinkedIn (42 percent).
- LinkedIn works great for B2B events, but not so much for B2C events.
- Always link to a page with more information about your event, such as how to register.
- Highlights such as videos, photos or talks from last year’s event (if it’s an annual event) can be effective to promote your event.
- Create an easy-to-remember event hashtag and use it every time you post about the event.
Not surprisingly, Twitter rated best for engaging people during an event, chosen by 73 percent of respondents. Forty-five percent say Facebook is a good promotional tool during an event. In addition, Instagram is cited by 39 percent of survey respondents.
- Use your event hashtag in all your posts, not just on Twitter.
- Use multiple channels during the event for best results. You can live tweet about speeches, presentations, workshops or other things people who aren’t at the event (or not at that particular part of the event) may want to know about.
- Enlist someone to take lots of videos and photos during the event that you can share on social media. Even if you don’t post all of them on the spot, you can save some for later.
- Keep the event going. Tweet invitations or updates about what’s going on after the event, such as people meeting up for drinks, dinner or networking to keep the conversation going.
After the event, Facebook is once again rated the best way to promote your event, cited by 55 percent, but YouTube hit second place, cited by 44 percent. Post-event, Twitter was named effective by 37 percent and Instagram by 23 percent.
- Reaching out to event attendees post-event can be an effective marketing tactic. Not only can you follow up on connections made at the event, but they can also help market your business (and generate interest in your next event!) by sharing on social media. Be sure to tag participants in your posts and tweets so they’ll like and share them.
- Post videos on YouTube and link to your business website.
- Edit videos down into shorter clips and use them to promote next year’s event.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.