Frustrated that social media marketing is not working for you? Are you wondering how to use social media to build your online audience and promote your event?
In this episode I will share some social media strategies for growing your reach and attracting more people to your event.
We will unpack:
- Selecting your platform(s)
- Content types
- Valuable content
- Aspirational messaging
- Problem discussions
- Speaker content
- Exhibitor content
- Highlight reels
- Promoting your partners
- Event promotion strategy
- Audience build
- What to expect
- Ticket promotion
- Countdown to event
If you have adopted a scattergun approach to your social media campaigns, or if it has always been an afterthought, this episode is for you.
Welcome to the event Martech Podcast. This is your host Lee and on today’s show, we are talking social media strategy for your event. Now if you’re like me, you probably have had a bit of a scattergun approach to social media. I’ve essentially posted as and when I get an idea for something to post and that could be when I’m on the road as a quick item on my smartphone, or it could be something that I’ve maybe thought through a little bit more than I’ve done on my desktop and maybe even sheduled. But the problem for me is that I have not been consistent, but also, I’ve always wondered how on earth do I actually become a consistent social media marketer who can build up an online audience and therefore attract people to my event?
So if this is a problem that you’ve had, it’s certainly something that I struggled with an over the last few years, I’ve learned an awful lot on how to structure, your social media strategy to enable you to reach more people and attract more people at your event. So in this episode, we’re going to talk about selecting your platforms. We’re then going to deep dive into the content types, we’re going to touch as well on tracking. And then finally, I’m going to wrap up with our event promotion strategy. So that’s from beginning to end on how we structure our social media.
So let’s take a look at our platforms. Now in episode number three, we talked about content marketing, and your content marketing strategy is hyper important, and will dictate what your social media strategy will be. And if you take a look at that episode, we talked about who is it that you are serving, who are you talking to? What problems do they have, etc. And once you understand all of that about your audience, this is going to help you understand where you need to show up. So where is your target client showing up? Where did they go? Go and ask that questions. Where did they socialize? So take a look at the social media platforms. For example, LinkedIn, is your target audience. They’re on LinkedIn, are they having conversations there? Are they members of groups to highlight a great example for my own event, I went onto Facebook and I found web developers, my target audience was agency owners, freelancers, etc. And I wanted to promote both my podcast to them, but also wanted to promote the event that I had. And I’ve grown a group on Facebook of over 3000 agency owners, because that’s where they all show up. And there’s a whole load of different groups that I’m a member of, or I can show up, and I can add value. But equally, this tells me that Facebook is one of the most popular areas for my target audience.
Yours may be completely different. Yours may be on LinkedIn. Yours may be on Twitter, but the important thing is to go into a little bit of research and find out where are the places that people show up. And then I would say, order in priorit. Select two social media platforms that you’re going to do really well. And you can certainly automate all the other platforms as well, if you want general coverage. For ourselves, we do Instagram the best along with Facebook the best. I mean, there are two core priorities for our event. But we will automate copies of the posts that we’re putting on those two platforms across all of the social platforms, including LinkedIn and Twitter and Pinterest, etc, at least to give us a broader reach because some people are at least interacting on those as well.
The next step is to take a look at our content types. And the first area I would encourage you to look at is to create a range of really valuable content. This is going to therefore complement our event promotion strategy later on to hear me out valuable content could be downloads, maybe that’s checklists, it could be a blog post of immense value that’s going to help somebody understand how to do something. It could even be something like this a podcast recording, whatever that content is, create a range of valuable content that is going to answer the aspirations or the problems that your target audience have. That message is going to draw them in, they want to check out this content, they want to learn how to do that one particular thing that you are going to teach them, give them quick wins in that valuable content as well.
So for example, for me, I’ve been able to build up my own list in the agency space for many years by simply providing a list of really valuable plugins that would help any agency owner, get that basic website up and ready. And that list has been downloaded countless times, because that’s a piece of really valuable content that provides quick wins. So what are the valuable pieces of content that you could create that would provide people with quick wins because they’re going to form a part of your social media strategy that we’ll talk about later.
Other posts that you’ve been putting out on social media include aspirational messaging. So what is it that your target audience want to achieve? What are they striving for? And we can put out aspirational messaging that other people can resonate with.
Again, another is problem discussion. So highlight problems that people might be struggling with, ask them how they might be solving these problems, or what ideas they may have or even put across some potential solutions as well. So lead with a little bit of value, but these sorts of posts will encourage discussion.
Let’s now take a look at highlights. Highlights are an amazing source of content that you can draw from previous events. So for example, for our last event from 2019, we have tons of testimonials. We’ve got snippets of speaker content as both quotes and it’s also short videos that where we can share with the sort of content that was being put out there last year that gives people an idea and a flavor of what’s to come in 2020. And equally, though, the messaging will help resonate as well. We also have exhibited content that we can put out. And we’ve got a whole range of really cool highlight reel. So that’s dramatic music with well shot video that really makes this event look like the exciting place to be, we can showcase and show off what happened last year, and set people’s expectations for what’s coming up in 2020. So that’s the sort of content that you can be pulling out of the archives to really help you promote and stand out there on social media.
And the final content type would be promotion, that’s promotion of your partners. Your partners would be people who are speaking at your event and your exhibitors, sponsors etc. So they are very likely to reshare your stuff if you are tagging them in and talking about them. And I wouldn’t necessarily encourage you to say things like “oh such and such as exhibiting at our event”, it would be better to talk about what they are doing the exciting things, they’re doing the answers to problems that they have at etc. And when an exhibitor is tagged him when they see that a speaker and so on, they’re so likely to reshare that and they all have audiences, their audiences are potential visitors to your event. If an exhibitor wants to pay money to come to your event and to exhibit then no doubt, their audience are going to be attracted to it also from those retweets. So that’s another way of building up your reach via the audience’s of speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, partners, etc.
So we’ve talked about selecting your platform, we’ve listed a whole load of content types that you can choose from. Let’s quickly talk about tracking before we go into the strategy or the workflow of our social media promotion. So you’ll probably have heard of the facebook pixel, and this is the option for building up an audience within Facebook that you can retarget later, the idea being they will come and visit some of your content on your website, that pixel will track them and add them to a custom audience. And then you can retarget to them later with other messaging. So I would encourage you right from the get go, if you’ve not got your pixel setup for your social media platforms, get them set up and pop them into your website and other online assets. And then be sure that you have access to analytics, you want to see what sort of content you’re putting out, that gets the most engagement that gets most people clicking through. That gives you an idea of the content that you perhaps should promote later on fire your paid channels on social media, but it also gives you an idea of the sort of content that you should continue to create. So having analytics plugged in is essential. Most social media platforms will give you this data. But equally there are quite a few online tools out there that allow you to put all of this data into one dashboard to review the information and then for you to evolve your content strategy.
And now the part you’ve been waiting for, which is our event promotion strategy. So we will do this, say three months out or six months out from the event depending on how long we have. And we have four stages to this strategy. Stage number one is audience building and this is something that you can engage with all year round no matter what. What we do with this is we will create valuable pieces of content, like we talked about earlier, checklists, reports, guides, etc. and will encourage people to come and download those from our website. And that will allow us to start to build up that pixel and it will also allow us brand awareness, people will be aware of our event brand, they’ll be aware of the content that they downloaded and because they’ve gone into that pixel, it means we can continue to serve them valuable content through paid Facebook advertising.
So we’ll put just a few dollars a day to ensure that we have messaging that will then be retargeted to those people who have engaged with our content. It should as well increase that organic reach to those people who are already interacting with your brand. So what we’ve achieved here is brand awareness and credibility. This means for a few months, we’ve been serving valuable content and we have built up an audience of people who are aware of us, and they are growing to know like and trust us, and we can now invest some cash into our Facebook ad campaigns to that group of people.
It means we’re going to spend an awful lot less than trying to spend money to sell tickets, because we’re trying to get someone from completely cold to spending money, whereas if we can build up this audience and build that trust and then retargeting people we can then start to put across to them the next stage, which is what to expect from our up and coming event. We will therefore run a campaign on social media for at least a month or two on what they can expect from our event will continue to run the audience building campaigns to grow that pixel. But then to the people who are in that pixel, we will start to market messages about what they can expect from our event and sharing those testimonials from last year sharing those valuable snippets of content from speakers last year. And also sometimes just sharing that aspirational message or asking one of those problem lead questions that people can interact with, because that’s going to continue with this conversation cycle online, this engagement cycle and again, help you to grow that audience so that you can go on to your next stage which is ticket promotion.
Now when we’re investing in promoting our tickets and our offers, the beauty here is is that we’re promoting that to a warmer audience, people who are aware of who we are, what we’re about, and what they can expect. So we can now start to put offers out to this pixel, this audience that we’ve built up, and that might be your early bird offers, etc. So we’ll start to put those out now on social media both organically, but also through paid campaigns, particularly to those pixels. This is where we found that our cost per conversion is much lower, because we’ve invested all of that time in building the audience. We noticed that when we try promoting our tickets cold through paid promotions, the cost per acquisition is far higher, because people just are not aware of the event and they haven’t had that time to build up that trust in our brand.
The last portion of our strategy now is countdown so we’ll be counting down every time particular offers will end on tickets so that can be super early bird, early bird and so on, but also will then start to count down to the event itself. So every single day, there will be a post “the event starts in 30 days”, “only a few tickets left”, and so on and so forth. Countdowns are a great excuse to be posting regularly, but also it helps to build that excitement as well for the people who are attending and that’s your speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and especially your attendees who are going to be enjoying this event and getting all that value from it.
And then of course, your social media strategy does not end there. There is a whole load of other stuff that you can be doing during the event. We’ll be touching on that in a few episodes time. And we’re also going to be sharing with you social media tips that you can use within your posts but today we just wanted to share with you that overall structure let me recap…
First of all, once you know who your audience is, you need to select your platforms from where they are showing up and interacting. So step one, select your platforms. Step two is to ascertain what content types you are going to create for your audience to build it up, etc. And we looked at offering valuable content checklist etc. We talked about aspirational messaging, problem discussions, we talked about highlight content, so that could be testimonial, speaker content, exhibitor content, highlight reels, etc, from past events, and we also talked about promoting your partners because partners are more likely to retweet, repost, etc, and share what it is that you’re talking about them.
We then talked about the importance of tracking and making sure that you have pixels installed and analytics at the ready so that you can see what type of content is performing the best for you. And then finally, we talked about the four step process that we have that leads up to the event and to remind you, that’s step one, build an audience so we lead with value and we build an audience into our pixel by offering them amazing free stuff. Then what we do is we start to tell them what to expect at the event. And that might even be who’s speaking exhibitors all that sort of stuff, highlight reels again, just to get that excitement going, then we start to promote the office. So that’s the tickets, etc. And then finally, we have our big Countdown to get everybody excited about the event.
As always, I’ve bulleted all of this out in the show notes, so be sure to check that out over on eventmartech.com. If you have any questions, please hit that contact button on the website or comment on this particular episode because it’d be great to have a conversation. And if I don’t see you in the comments, then let’s see you in next week’s episode.
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