How To Use Social Media To Increase Event Engagement
Digital marketing is now crucial to the success of an exhibition or event. It has the power to reach an audience well beyond offline marketing formats, ensuring that you maximise attendance and engagement. No matter how well your event is designed and planned, it won’t be a success unless the right people know about it.
A good social media campaign can help to raise awareness and drive interest and anticipation, and will ultimately mean that you get a good return on investment. Here are some of the ways that you can make use of social media marketing to elevate your event to the next level.
Start with a strategy
Before you even begin posting and designing graphics, you need to put an effective strategy in place. This involves researching who your target audience is so that you can tailor your content accordingly. You may have several target personas who tend to different social media platforms, for example.
B2B audiences tend to frequent LinkedIn, where you can obtain detailed information about job roles and an employee’s position within the company. Facebook has the widest and most general audience, while Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) are popular with millennials. Younger Generation Z audiences may use TikTok and YouTube.
Use social media to build up anticipation
In the run up to the event, use social media to build a buzz. Create a hashtag so that all the conversations around the event can be viewed in one place and users can access them with one click. Choose a memorable hashtag and include the year at the end of it so that people know it’s current.
Countdowns and teasers to big announcements about guest speakers or special entertainers can also work well. You may wish to go one step further with contests and giveaways, such as free VIP tickets or the chance to meet keynote speakers or performers.
Measure your engagement
Once your campaign is up and running, measure the engagement metrics to check that everything is going in the right direction. If you notice that some of your content is only attracting tumbleweed, try a few changes so that all of your efforts are not going to waste.
Evidence of engagement with social media includes shares or retweets, comments, likes, growing followers, click-throughs, mentions, tags and more. Make a note of which content has particularly good rates of engagement and what is not gaining much traction. There are loads of free tools available to help you keep track of everything.
Tips to boost engagement
To encourage followers to engage with your content, include interactive features such as live polls, quizzes, and question and answer sessions.
Tailor your content for specific audiences, making sure that you are using the appropriate language, tone, images and so on that will resonate with them. Remember that good content is more of a conversation than an advertisement, so try to address the interests, needs and expectations of your audience rather than simply imparting information.
Be proactive and reply promptly to any comments, questions, mentions and so on. Remember to sound human and be friendly and humorous when appropriate.
Schedule your content
It’s important to create a consistent campaign to keep the momentum going with a steady stream of fresh content. This is much easier when you create a schedule so that you can plan the time of each post in advance and ensure that they are evenly timetabled.
Remember to optimise your post for the times of day when users are most likely to be online. This may be different for each platform so do some research to make sure that posts get maximum traffic.
Keep up engagement during the event
Live updates during the event will allow you to reach those people who wanted to attend but weren’t able to make it in person. Take advantage of features such as Facebook Live or Instagram Stories so that you can give a real time glimpse into the proceedings.
Get the attendees involved by encouraging them to share their stories using the event hashtag, and repost the best examples on your own social media site.
Follow up with highlights
Once it’s all over, wrap everything up in style with a recap of the main moments and keep it fresh in the minds of the audience. This will help you to keep interested participants engaged with future events.
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