Hey you, yeah, you. We know you’re currently scanning your social feed for the perfect meme to send to your BFF to make them cackle in their cubicle. Or … if they work from home, snicker on their sofa?
It’s no secret that social media has taken over the extent of everyone’s lives these days—from Gen Z’ers to Tik Tok Grandma’s—everyone seems to be joining the party (even if they’re arriving 75 years fashionably late.)
Want to hear something crazy? Statista Research Department reports the average daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounts to approximately 145 minutes per day.
So what does this mean exactly? Event planners and marketers are severely underutilizing social media to promote their events online.
Let’s talk tools
Say it with me loud and proud, social media integration tools are our friends.
Social integration tools, such as InGo, for example, allow your registrants the ability to invite their existing social media contacts to register for your virtual event, view who from their network is attending, and share on their profiles if they’ll be in attendance. When you integrate social sharing with your existing event site, you have the power to turn every registrant into a marketer—now sit back, relax, and allow your registrants to do all the work.
All jokes aside, this is a highly underutilized way for marketers to reach huge new audiences that they may not have even known existed in the first place.
Now, here’s where social media can get real creepy (… but in a good way.)
Since so much information about people is stored in their social media accounts and is publicly available to view, here’s how you can use it to your advantage. Ever logged into a website using that nifty old Facebook button instead of manually entering all of your personal information? (Why do you need to know the name of my first pet and social security number again?)
Yep, that’s the one! Implementing this button makes it as easy as pie for your potential attendees to complete their registration by pre-filling their data and removing that pain-in-the-butt factor, ultimately resulting in more complete registrations with cleaner, more accurate data. Sounds like a win, win to us.
Paid social media marketing strategies
While paid social sadly doesn’t grow on trees, it can prove cost-effective if used correctly. Setting up campaigns is certainly no walk in the park—it can sometimes take lots of trial and error before finally seeing any desired results of meaningful volume.
Now we could ramble on for hours about the ins and outs of implementing a paid social strategy, but in the interest of time, you may find this article by Sproutsocial helpful to devise your own paid social strategy.
Keep in mind that a paid social strategy relies on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising models, simply put, you pay a small amount of money each time a user clicks on your advertisement.
To avoid paying for unqualified clicks and wasting your hard-earned Benjamin’s, you’ll need to start by identifying your target audience, scouting out the competition, and figuring out what pages will yield the most traffic to your ads. All three factors have an equal, direct effect on your ROI *cha-ching*.
Are you still with us? Or have we lost you to ASMR cooking videos.
5 organic social media marketing hacks
1 Post in Facebook groups
Contrary to popular belief, all Facebook groups were created equal and not only as a means to share dog memes and argue about politics with your family’s token weird Aunt.
Pro Tip: Join FB groups where members are discussing topics related to your virtual event, or even just the events industry in general.
Sharing a post about your upcoming virtual event in these groups can organically attract a lot of potential attendees. Just make sure you’re not that serial marketer going around advertising your event in random channels—trust me, ain’t nobody got time for that.
2 Create a Facebook event
Creating an event on Facebook is a tried and true social media marketing strategy used by marketers to help get the word out about their upcoming event. Facebook events allow creators the ability to directly invite attendees and allow attendees to share their attendance status with their social network.
This is also a great (and free) way to attract new audiences who may be unaware of your upcoming event; FB handles most of the marketing for you with their “events near you” and “events you may be interested in” algorithms. But, you can also throw in a link leading interested parties directly to your event site to register with just one click, pushing viewers further through the registration process.
3 Create a hashtag
Don’t sleep on hashtags. #Hashtags are still a great way to gain publicity. When crafting a post, it’s important to include event content-related hashtags—not just the hashtag name for your event itself. Related hashtags are an excellent way to expose your tweet to people who are searching for posts in similar categories, making the chances more likely that they’ll stumble across your post.
Try to keep the hashtags relatively unique to your event posts, don’t just go crazy throwing these hashtags around into unrelated posts. This way, your event posts are more likely to come up when another user views the hashtag; you don’t want to bury your content in an endless stream of #FreeBritney’s (We love you Brit.)
4 Post on LinkedIn
The holy grail of all grails. The ‘Facebook’ for Businesses and Professionals. Often overlooked, but not to be forgotten—LinkedIn is an excellent platform to advertise your upcoming virtual event. The beauty of LinkedIn stands in its free networking and marketing capabilities.
Let me break this down:
You post about your upcoming event on LinkedIn, Jonathan shares your event, Lindsey sees your event on her timeline via Johnathan’s shared post, Lindsey then clicks on your original post *faints of excitement* and immediately registers, then posts on her timeline that she is attending.
Take it a step further and create your own event on LinkedIn so your network has a central place to communicate and network.
You with us? Free, easy peasy, organic marketing.
Similar to that of Facebook, LinkedIn also has an array of professional groups across different industries that you can easily join to build a network of potential attendees.
I’ll drop a few of our fave LinkedIn groups for planners below:
Alright, ready, set—connect!
5 Good ol’ word of mouth
We all have a Chatty Cathy on our block. You know the type—the one that relentlessly pesters you about your Christmas lights being up past December 31st or side-eyeing the store-bought cookies you brought for the bake sale.
The fifth and final (100% free) social marketing strategy you should be taking advantage of is simply by asking your friends, family, and neighborhood Starbucks baristas to repost, share, retweet, and shout from their rooftops about your virtual event.
Let’s be honest, we trust our friend’s recommendations, heck—we even trust strangers on Yelp. So why not shamelessly utilize your closet peers as walking billboards for your next virtual event?
So folks, that is all we have for you today. We hope you set aside a few of the 145 minutes you are going to spend learning some Tik Tok dances to promote your next event.