“Without strategy execution is aimless. Without execution strategy is useless.” Morris Chang, Taiwanese – American Businessman
Most brands have a social media strategy in place but only recently have seen an increase in social media marketing to promote attendee engagement across the trade show industry. Social media platforms provide:
- Opportunities for increasing brand touchpoints
- Engaging with attendees before and after events
- Opportunities to capture qualifying information for follow-up conversations
A solid social media strategy will help you get the most out of your event investment. But, when it comes to promoting your event on social media, there are some do’s and don’ts you’ll want to keep in mind. To run a successful social media campaign and ensure that as many people as possible attend your event, make sure you follow these guidelines.
- Do create a social media event campaign that is interesting and engaging to your audience.
Yes, that may be easier said than done, but content is king. You’ll need a good content strategist to design your campaign. It all comes down to your objectives. (If you’ve been reading our blog posts, this will sound familiar!) Are you looking to increase attendance? Perhaps you are also hoping to generate leads from potential attendees. Your social media strategy should not only seek to meet benchmarks for number of views and clicks but should also attain performance benchmarks based on your overall objectives.
Social media content is consumed quickly. Videos and carousels should be kept short and have sizzle. Posts should utilize attention-grabbing phrases and images to avoid being scrolled over. Your content strategist will help create an eye-catching campaign designed to achieve event goals.
If you are the event host, create an event page that’s engaging and fun! You can’t expect people to want to be engaged by something uninteresting, so make sure your event descriptions are exciting to read. You’re more likely to get people interested in attending if your social media campaign includes interesting facts and trivia about the event! By creating an exciting and engaging social media presence, you ensure that more people will see and attend your event.
- Do use visuals to capture people’s attention and convey the mood and atmosphere of your event.
There’s nothing like a picture to captivate someone’s attention, which is why it can be so crucial for promoting events on social media. Pictures tell people much more than words, so include photographs or videos in your posts! After all, the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than words. Pictures are universal, more engaging, and more powerful than text alone. People want to see what they’re getting into, so photos of the venue, sessions, or entertainment are all great ways to let people know what they can expect. By including photos of the event’s atmosphere and mood in your posts, you’re allowing people to feel like they’re already at the event, which is one more reason for them to attend!
- Do make sure your event details are clear and concise.
There’s nothing worse than going through a post or event description to try and decipher details. Make sure you post a link to clear and concise information about your event so that people can easily see what they’re getting into when they RSVP. People who read this will be more excited about attending, which is a great motivator!
- Do encourage sharing posts on social media.
One of the best things you can do to promote your event on social media is to make it easy to share your post! When people see their friends liking or sharing a post about your event, it’s only natural that they’ll also want to be a part of the fun. By encouraging sharing in your posts and emphasizing how easy this is to do, you’re appealing to people’s inherent desire for social interaction – a great way to get them interested in attending! Often overlooked, is the importance of enlisting your employees as social media evangelists. Compel them to share, like and comment on posts regarding your upcoming event.
- Do encourage engagement from interested attendees.
Your event can only be as successful as people make it out to be, which means you’ll need to put in some extra effort to encourage people to attend. Make sure that you’re targeting the right audience. If you have a particular demographic in mind, search for users within this demographic and target them accordingly! This will ensure that the right people see your posts, and they’ll be more likely to click through those that mention your event.
Consider using polls which allow attendees to vote for what they want out of your event. This type of engagement provides more reasons to attend and gives them a sense of control over the outcome, which is an excellent way to get people excited about attending!
- Don’t overpromote your event on social media platforms with the same information each time.
Overpromoting is a critical don’t for promoting events on social media. Just as the content must be engaging, it’s equally vital to be unique. If you’re posting the same information repeatedly, people will ignore it, which means they won’t attend! Instead, engage your audience with something new or exciting every time you post.
- Don’t ever ask for RSVPs through Facebook posts.
This might seem like a no-brainer (and it is), but don’t ask potential attendees to RSVP on the same post as the event details. Asking people to RSVP through your ‘event’ posts on Facebook is incredibly awkward, and people will usually ignore it to ‘hide’ your post. You should create a separate event page or microsite to invite people. This gives you more control over the RSVP list. By creating a separate event page for this purpose, you ensure that you have a better chance of people RSVPing. Consider creating a registration microsite, even if you plan to exhibit at a larger event. A simple registration landing page or microsite allows you to capture qualifying information about attendees, attributing to increased sales, a more invested audience, and a higher ROI.
- Don’t forget to post about your event’s location.
People want to know where they’ll be going when they RSVP, so make sure you post specifics about the location. Attendees will appreciate knowing exactly where to go beforehand – saving them time, effort, and energy!
- Don’t forget to use hashtags!
When you post about your event on social media, don’t forget that using relevant hashtags will help others discover your posts and get more interest from their friends. By using relevant hashtags related to the event topic (e.g., #boston, #arts), you’re tapping into a wider audience and giving yourself more chances of being seen by people who might be interested in attending your event.
- Don’t use too many hashtags, or you’ll look spammy!
Yes, I know. I said to use hashtags. But there’s a fine line between using hashtags and looking spammy, and it can take some time to figure out precisely what this balance is. So, in general, try not to use more than 2-4 hashtags in a post. Otherwise, your posts will end up looking spammy, which can be detrimental to the success of your posts and is something you’ll want to avoid!
- Don’t post someone else’s picture without permission!
When posting about your upcoming event, please don’t use photos of anyone else without their consent. This is a big no-no and something you should avoid at all costs! Not only is this incredibly rude, but it’s also illegal. You should get a photo release form from anyone you want to feature in a post or on your event site.
- Don’t forget that Social Media casts a wide net!
Even by posting only to your target audience, you’ll reach a wider group than those who attend your event. Social media is a great way to communicate with attendees and interested parties who cannot participate. An effective social media campaign is a great way to keep your event living outside of the live space before, during, and after. You have a tremendous opportunity for virtual engagement.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when promoting your event.
If you find yourself struggling to promote your event effectively, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Marketing agencies like TPG have proven track records for successful campaigns and can often help with minimal investment. Agencies offer great ideas and advice to help you with your social media promotion.
When it comes to promoting your event on social media, following the do’s and don’ts we’ve outlined can provide the strategy you’ll need to make all the difference. By using hashtags effectively, targeting the right audience, and avoiding common mistakes, you’ll be on your way to a successful social media campaign! 👍🏽 ❤
TPG has a successful track record of social media campaigns for our events clients, and we’d love to knock around some ideas with you. Let’s get social!
Related article: 7 Social Media Strategies to Enhance Your Trade Show Experience https://www.tpgliveevents.com/blog/engagement-7-social-media-strategies-to-enhance-your-tradeshow-experience/