Six ways to promote your event #LikeAPro on social media

Updated: May 2, 2016 11:50:00 AM UTC
The relatively recent Periscope for Twitter and Facebook Live have brought live streaming to the smartphones and created a new form of engagement (Photo: Shutterstock)

You have an event coming up and everyone suggests that you should promote it on social media because that’s where a major part of your potential audience is, making decisions and sharing experiences. It feels like a mammoth task with so many touchpoints and suggestions that it’s bound to get one confused.

I have put together a quick guide to get your marketing efforts in order, and promote your event on social media #LikeAPro:

1. Get the basics in place Most brands are extremely excited to try out new technologies for events and all focus shifts towards a ‘clutter breaking’ idea while ignoring the building blocks of a great social media strategy. First and foremost, decide on a hashtag and stick to it. Your event might be months away, so use this hashtag in every campaign mention so you can later track and quantify your efforts. Some other basics like creating an event page, giving incentives to people who register via social media and holding contests to generate curiosity about your event are a must. Finally, consider utilising Facebook, Instagram and Twitter’s ad platforms to market your event. Media campaigns are quintessential to driving sales and increasing the reach of your event.

2. Define your story
A well-defined content strategy will enable you to tell the story and build a personal connect with your fans. It’s best you divide your strategy into pre, during and post campaigns. While teasers are great to start with, rich media, i.e content like videos to showcase performances or highlights are the way to go. For most food festivals at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar, the leading chefs are highlighted via crisp recipe videos on Facebook or live chats on Twitter. Consider usingslow-motionor fast reaction tools as fun ways to capture the action from the event.

3. Engage with your audiences
True success on social media is when you’ve engaged people into your story. From past events, leverage user-generated content or reach out to digital influencers to spread positive word of mouth and create content for your upcoming event. Closer to the event, a lot of frantic queries often crop up on Twitter and event pages, so make sure you’re available to respond to every question that may come your way. An engaging brand that pays heed to its audience is a truly successful one that receives positive word of mouth and heavy engagements.

4. Leverage influencers and partners
If you have a celebrity or digital influencers attending your event, work with them to promote your campaign–before, during, and after the event. Sending these influencers some guidelines can go a long way in making sure they use your hashtag and tag your brand appropriately, helping the overall outreach. If your event is new and aspires to create credibility among the right audiences, you could host Twitter parties or tweet-ups where social media influencers could meet in real life and interact with each other and the brand, creating awareness for it and highlighting various facets of it. This also enhances the chance of evangelism by these influencers as you lead up to the big day. The same logic applies for sponsors and other partners who could leverage their digital presence to amplify the event further. Max Bupa Health Insurance engaged with influencers during #WalkForHealth, an initiative towards promoting a healthier lifestyle. They roped in renowned Bollywood celebrities and community influencers such as WeAreMumbai, WeAreNewDelhi and Mumbai Moms to leverage their digital presence, resulting in an overall outreach of 256 million for the event along with a commendable organic engagement.

5. Take offline conversations online
A big challenge here is how to convert all the conversations and moments from the event to social media worthy content, translating into an aspirational story. The focus to generate online buzz shifts to the guests and how you can encourage them to post as much content online as possible. The recently concluded #SulaFest by Sula Vineyards in India had a life-size installation of their event hashtag right in the middle of the vineyards, catching the attention of many and resulting in over 3,000 photos of the event, with the correct usage of the hashtag on Instagram alone, making it the winning platform for the event. Photo booths also remain a fun idea to engage your guests at an event but it works best when you add your brand’s twist to them. New innovations like digital slingshots, Instagram billboards and virtual graffiti walls are quite a rage these days as well that encourage attendees to capture these moments and share it across their social media presence. As digital marketing progresses, so will the need to integrate digital technology into your strategy, hence driving offline conversations.

6. Live streaming
Now that we’ve covered what event attendees can do, let’s shift our focus back to your own efforts. Live tweeting has become a staple at almost all events now, but how do you take it to the next level? Most major platforms offer in-built live streaming platforms which are the way to go. YouTube streaming works great for elaborate set-ups and when a brand has a big base on YouTube itself. The relatively recent Periscope for Twitter and Facebook Live have brought live streaming to smartphones and created a new form of engagement. You might have already seen notifications on your timeline telling you about everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to the president of India to the local stand-up comedian hosting a live streaming event and that’s simply because it’s extremely easy and provides a high amount of outreach too. In the end, live streaming offers a great way to interact with people who couldn’t make it to your event and creates a sense of desire to attend the next time around so ensure you’ve included it in your plan.

A thought-through plan to market your event effectively through social media can yield results in the form of bookings and footfalls, along with evangelism so ensure you invest enough time in creating a strategy that will bring out differentiation and love for your event.

- By  Laksh Arora, Senior Account Manager, MindShift Interactive

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

Check out our end of season subscription discounts with a Moneycontrol pro subscription absolutely free. Use code EOSO2021. Click here for details.