I always love it when clients bring me a challenge, whether it’s something I’ve never done before or a new way of combining my services.
So I was thrilled when Shelley Roth of Springboard Works asked me to help promote the company’s next big event, The BIG Social Media Symposium on August 2. (Yep, everything’s big here in Texas, and our symposia are no exception!)
I’m thoroughly enjoying working on this project, and in true blogger fashion, it’s my pleasure to pass some of my insights on to you.
With that, here are 5 easy ways to promote your next event on social media:
1. Create a custom shortlink.
I’m hoping you’re already using bit.ly‘s link shortening service for your social sharing … and did you know that you can create a custom link instead of that random series of letters and numbers?
After you’ve entered your link and your randomly generated bit.ly link appears, you’ll see a “Customize” button. Click on it and type in something that represents your event; for example, for The BIG Social Media Symposium, I chose BigSMS.
The great thing about a customized shortlink is that it adds an extra branding element to your event, plus it’s easy to give out in person or over the phone as well as in print and online. And if that’s not enough, bit.ly shortlinks are also trackable (their ninja super-secret!); type in your shortlink followed by a “+” symbol to see the total number of clicks plus some valuable data on where those clicks came from. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of Web links!
2. Create Events on Facebook and LinkedIn.
You’ll definitely want to create Events on both Facebook and LinkedIn, and make sure to incorporate keywords so that users searching for an event like yours will find you. Also, remember to include those links in your registration confirmation email and encourage attendees to RSVP. This will let their friends see that they’re going and give them a chance to interact with other attendees prior to the event.
3. Post “teaser content” to generate interest.
Imagine passing by a coffee shop, and standing in front on the sidewalk is one of their employees shouting, “Hey, come in and get some of our great coffee!” Down the block is another coffee shop that also has an employee standing outside trying to drive customer traffic—only this person is quietly giving away free samples.
Which shop do you think will be more successful?
If your only message is “Come to my event,” it’s going to get really old, really fast. If, on the other hand, you offer some content from your presentation that people can actually use—think about those free coffee samples—you offer something of value that will pique people’s interest and make them want to know more.
4. Make it visual.
Between the astronomical rise of Pinterest, Instagram‘s $1 billion price tag, and Dan Zarrella’s recent data showing the dominance of images on Facebook, it’s hard to argue with the idea that the social Web is going visual.
When promoting your event, incorporate visuals as often as possible: think photos, infographics, charts, or text presented in an image format. For example, here’s one of the promos I created for The BIG Social Media Symposium:
5. Encourage engagement at the event.
Believe it or not, a successful event promotion doesn’t end when the doors open. Encourage your audience to live-tweet from the presentations (with your chosen hashtag, of course), post photos and video, and interact with other attendees. You’ll create a richer experience for those who are there, plus their posts will be seen by all their contacts who aren’t.
Plus, when the event is done, you’ll have a whole gallery of tweets, posts, pics, and other assets that can help promote your next event!
So, those are my “gems” for promoting events on social media: what are yours? Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments—we’d love to hear from you!
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