By: MJ Pedone
Hosting an online event is an excellent way to call attention to your brand or company. But how do you standout so your event gets the attention and attendance it deserves?
First step, create a landing page for the event, as well as an event on Facebook and Google+. Next, if appropriate, create a signup on Eventbrite and/or other ticketing site. Then, send out invitations to your newsletter subscribers. These are basic steps for getting people to sign up, but there is much more work to be done.
Getting the word out about any live or online event is all about timing. The reality is, everybody is so busy with their everyday life and at times are overwhelmed. You need to put it in front of them in a way that seems natural and makes sense for them.
Here are 5 ways for promoting virtual events, which can be used to promote live events as well.
1. Create an Event Hashtag. And Tweet Often. I’m a big believer in event-specific hashtags. Social media is also a great way to spread the word ahead of time. An easy idea is to send out separate tweets naming each speaker with their twitter handle (but not leading with the handle, as Twitter sometimes channels them just to that person). The great thing–if the speaker is Twitter-savvy, he/she will retweet it to probably a larger group of followers than you have.
2. Plan. Prepare all social update texts and images beforehand. I recommend sending status updates at least twice a day and start these updates at least two weeks in advance. Use images while posting about your event on Social networks because pictures attract a lot more visitors than just plain text updates.
3. Be Specific and Be Social. Spend the most time finding the right audience(s) and catering the message for them. Often times, people want things to appeal to everyone … but that doesn’t work. Find groups that would be most excited about the event and get them talking about it; they’ll invite their friends and spread the word. Find clever ways of getting people to talk about the event such as asking questions, getting people to like, retweet/share, having interesting/humorous information, and so on. The more people interact, the more your message will be shared.
4. Ask for Help. One of the keys ways I have found in getting social media buzz is to get others to do the buzzing. Asking related (but non-competing) organizations to promote an event is painless and they’re often happy to do it. Just remember to return the favor since these can be valuable relationships for both companies.
5. Don’t Forget about LinkedIn. Post the event details and RSVP link (if applicable) on your company page. Ask all your colleagues and friends to like that update. Also, share that post in related groups as this will help your post get more exposure and will eventually increase the attendance. This will help you gain additional attendees.
A successful event will increase your company’s visibility while providing a valuable resource. The key to promoting an event is to be active and constantly engaging your audience. Need help with an online social media event strategy? Feel free to contact us and if you like what you read, be social and share.