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Social media has become an important aspect of marketing as it is a fantastic tool for sharing information and organically encouraging people to check out products, services, or a brand. Businesses increasingly use social media marketing to create a “buzz” and establish a following with their audiences.

A great example of how to effectively use social media in marketing is the huge success of the iPhone 6s that Apple itself credits to their use of social media. This success has continued past the launch of the product and can be seen in the engagement that has followed. Many iPhone 6 users have expressed their thoughts about the phone through their own social pages in addition to contributing to over 500K reviews on the product page.

Many other companies, from global brands to mom-&-pops, are now leveraging the power of social media to create online buzz, especially for their upcoming events.

This article lists some quick and effective social media marketing tips for your business to get more attendees, followers, expand and engage your audiences, and build your business and brand; before, during, and after your event. For expert tips on how promote your event on Facebook, download our guide below:

Social Media Event Marketing

Taking an event from idea to sell-out is no easy feat. Half the battle of organizing an event is marketing it. For steps and best practices for promoting your event from start to finish, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Event Marketing.

When it comes to determining which marketing channels will drive attendance, hype, and engagement, social media is right near the top. Best of all, social media event marketing isn’t actually as time-consuming as you may think.

First, some quick, fun facts to get the gears moving! A recent study by Advertising Age – that looked at what people were talking about before, during and after various types of events from music festivals (Coachella) to endurance races (Tough Mudder) – found the following trends:

  1. Nearly as many people are talking about an event before the event as they are during
  2. The largest amount of social media updates were quotes and multimedia shared during the event (36% of all updates)
  3. Top strategies included: Teasing the speaker lineup, providing a photo booth, creating quotes as multimedia

These takeaways suggest some solid strategies that have worked for companies big and small. Here’s how you can use them in your own business efforts.

How to Share on Social Media BEFORE an Event

There are nearly as many posts leading up to an event as there are during the event itself.

Social-media-event-marketing-before-the-event Social Media Event Marketing: How to Capitalize on Trends and What to Post

This makes the lead up to an event a prime time to engage your audience, and build the hype and anticipation. Below are some tips from the ways that top brands have handled this pre-event social media marketing and how you can apply the findings to your event’s social media strategy:

  1. Reveal, in a creative way, event details such as special guests

Creatively reveal event details such special guests, or use teaser videos or images to increase excitement. For example, you could post a countdown to the event. Maybe include a new fun fact or behind-the-scenes photo each time. Actually, now that you mention it…

  1. Share behind-the-scenes pics or info

Make your audiences feel like VIPs with special behind-the-scenes glances at the event production. These teasing glimpses can help stimulate anticipation and build up the buzz. Engage with your audiences as the excitement builds. Be sure to “like” and “share” posts for your audiences regarding your event. Doing so will not only strengthen the relationship with that particular member of your audience, but their posts are also free marketing to additional audiences.

  1. Reiterate the event details, such as RSVP deadlines or early bird ticket specials

Can be quick posts with the event date and time and a simple call-to-action to RSVP or register, but using the urgency of deadlines can drive people to engage with you.

How to Share on Social Media DURING an Event

While data shows that the highest percentage of social media event posts typically occur during the event itself, by far the largest type of post was photo or image-based.

Social-media-event-marketing-during-the-event Social Media Event Marketing: How to Capitalize on Trends and What to Post

The takeaway? Look for ways to make your event photo-friendly to encourage your attendees to post during the event. Below are a few simple ways you can encourage photo-taking at your event:

  1. Provide a photo booth or photo opp area

Create a photo booth area with fun backgrounds, props, or themes that would make for some quick and easy shots to share on social media. For example, at a recent The Next Web (TNW) Europe conference, there was a photo booth allowing attendees to take and share fun images:

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  1. Share content and posts from your event attendees

Monitor the social media buzz from your event and share, retweet, and repost those posts that are most interesting and engaging. Be sure to tag it with your event’s hashtag and @!

  1. Interact with your attendees

Create opportunities to post interactions with the event attendees across your own networks. Take and share photos and videos as you interact with attendees, for example, or conduct impromptu interviews and post those.

How to Share on Social Media AFTER an Event

Just because the event is over doesn’t mean the conversation is. Post-event engagement is important in determining the overall success of the event, and in continuing to build on the relationships with your attendees.

Social-media-event-marketing-after-the-event Social Media Event Marketing: How to Capitalize on Trends and What to Post

Following the event, monitor conversations and dialogues throughout your audiences, and respond accordingly. Share and celebrate in the positive feedback, but don’t ignore the negative. Respond by thanking critics for their thoughts and take their feedback into account when planning your next event. Be open with your followers and audience and show that you value their feedback and opinions.

A more direct and actionable approach to your post-event social media would be to share a survey with followers to gather first-hand feedback on their experiences and thoughts about the event.

Social media can be one of your best tool for marketing and promoting your next event. By following the tips provided, you will be one step closer to planning, executing and celebrating a successful event.

Christine Korecki

Christine joined Davidson Belluso with 15+ years of account management experience, working primarily in the outdoor, healthcare, construction, and educational industries. Before agency life, Christine worked as production supervisor with two prominent, high-volume publishing companies. There she gained experience in coordinating large, complex projects with multiple deadlines, building a long list of satisfied clients. Outside of the office, Christine enjoys spending time with family, friends and staying active in her church.