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We’re fresh off the heels of hosting our 2019 Social Media Conference on Alumni Engagement. By all accounts, it was a raging success. Speakers spoke, attendees attended, and best practices were practiced… best? Not to toot our own horn, but part of what made the event a success was the response we earned through our promotion of the event. If you’ve got an event coming up, then this blog post is for you! We’re pulling back the curtain on the very same event marketing best practices for social media that we used to promote our own conference.

Event Marketing Best Practices for Social Media
Before An Event 

A) Get Your Plan in Place

Start by putting together a social media promotional strategy. Keep aspects of this strategy should include:

  1. A list of speakers and their social media profiles (keep adding to this list as more speakers are identified.
  2. Pre-written statements and scripts your speakers can reference before and during the event. 
  3. Determine which staff members (or partners) will manage social media throughout the event, including posting live content, responding to questions, retweeting/sharing/favoriting, customer service, and so forth.
  4. Create a promotional strategy that outlines your desired conference audience, the main reasons they should attend, what they will learn, and any other key event details.
  5. Identify your sponsor procurement strategy (side note here, LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for identifying and reaching out to potential sponsors). 

B) Create Your Event’s Social Presence

  1. Set up a Facebook Event for your event. 
  2. Create an IG hashtag and urge attendees to “follow” the hashtag as well as the Facebook event page. 
  3. Speaking of Instagram, use this opportunity to change your Instagram bio link to the conference website.
  4. Create a Snapchat geotag/filter.

C) Begin Posting and Promoting

  1. Find the posting cadence that works well for you. But a general rule of thumb is 2 days per week on Twitter (post repeat AM, then PM), 1 IG story update per week, 2 Facebook post, 2 Linkedin – Be consistent. 
  2.  Build anticipation with teasers and countdowns (Countdown feature through IG story, actual event, and registration windows).
  3. Post often about registration windows to create a sense of urgency.
  4. Have speakers share Facebook Page/Event on their social media.
  5. Interview speakers over Skype (have them submit a video) and post the video as a preview and promote the event. 
  6. Make a group post tagging featured speakers.
  7. Post often about registration windows to create a sense of urgency.
  8. Leverage your advocates and share your event regularly through your SocialToaster program. Don’t have a SocialToaster program, get started today, and start using the social media prowess of your biggest fans to drive event awareness. 

Event Marketing Best Practices for Social Media
During The Event

A) Have Your Signage in Place

  1. Place reminders of your event hashtags around the venue – signs, screens, lanyards, etc.
  2. Create photo opportunities (fun backdrops/props) to encourage attendees to create user-generated content to promote the event. 

B) Regularly Post During The Event

  1. Livestream throughout the event. 
  2. Post live stories on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Snapchat (be sure to save to IG highlights for people to access later).
  3. Ensure all posts include either a photo from the event, a text block of a pull-out quote, polls from the event.
  4. Display tagged posts and mentions on-screen in real-time (there are some apps for this).
  5. Be sure to post “behind-the-scenes” posts to create some additional hype during the event. 

Event Marketing Best Practices for Social Media
After the Event

  1. Share posts that thank attendees, speakers, and sponsors. 
  2. Add archived stories from the event to a highlight.
  3. Create and promote a follow-up survey.
  4. Post any user-generated content from the event. 
  5. Analyze the performance of your social media efforts and identify what you should keep and what you should improve for next year’s efforts.

Ready. Steady. Promote. 

You can’t just post to Facebook once or twice and expect a sold-out conference. If you want your event to be a success, you’ve got to lean in and leverage all that social media has to offer.

Need some help? We’re here for you. Reach out to one of our social media strategists today.