Guest blog by Jon Leighton, Director of Land Digital
With a mammoth 3.49 billion social media users worldwide (that’s almost half the world’s total population), the value of social media as an effective event marketing tool really speaks for itself. What’s more, social platforms are only continuing to grow, with a new user signing up to social media every 6.4 seconds.
With that in mind, today our friends over at Land Digital are looking closer at how best to utilise different platforms based on your event type and target audience, helping you ensure your next online event marketing strategy has a solid organic reach that converts into plenty of attendees.
Boasting 2.45 billion regular monthly users, Facebook is the biggest and perhaps most valuable social platform in any event marketer’s arsenal. This is because Facebook’s event feature enables a simple and direct means of event promotion - allowing you to directly engage a target audience through various mediums.
To effectively utilise this feature, it’s essential to include as much detail as possible on your event page. For example, by ensuring the exact address of your venue is detailed, facebook will include a handy GPS location tag that enables users to get directions from their current location - making this platform an incredibly user-friendly means of event marketing.
Moreover, description boxes are positioned at the top of an event page, meaning users can quickly find out what your event is all about. As such, provide users with as much detail as much as possible here, from start and end times to ticket links and booking options.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of Facebook is that, whatever your target audience, one thing’s for sure - they’re on Facebook! In America, for example, 71% of adults use the platform - with the fastest growing demographic being seniors. To more directly reach your desired audience, look to utilise Facebook ads and promotions, that enable you (for a fee) to push posts to a specific custom demographic - whether that be by gender, age, interests or location.
With 1 billion users across the globe, event marketers should look to utilise Instagram as an opportunity for audience engagement. After all, what better way to spread the word about your next event than by having other people do the promotion for you?
This can be achieved through various different means. Firstly, focus on Instagram stories - a relatively recent feature that allows users to post a temporary update to their followers for a 24 hour period. Post your event poster or advertisement regularly, as this will keep you fresh in the minds of followers without hindering the aesthetic of your instagram page by making it look spammy. Further still, you can pair these story posts with a ‘swipe up’ CTA - a simple, user-friendly feature that can redirect users to a point of purchase or your event page.
In addition to this, launch a promotional campaign that encourages users to post about your event on their own stories. By reposting stories your page is tagged in, not only are you offering users an incentive to post about you - but you’re also benefiting from free promotion by extending your organic reach to the followers of each individual user posting. For added incentive, look to create a fun custom filter or geotag that users will happily post - all to the promotional benefit of your event.
Depending on your budget, another commonly used event marketing strategy on Instagram is influencer marketing. This is the practice of paying a professional social media influencer - defined as someone with a substantial number of followers and significant organic reach - to promote your event through a post. Though this can be a very effective means of event marketing, it often doesn’t come cheap, with the most common influencer budget being $1,000-$10,000, followed by $100,000-$500,000, per year.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram tends to have a more concise user demographic, with a significant 34% of users falling between the 25-34 age bracket. Likewise, 31% of users are between 18-24 - meaning that it’s only worth implementing these strategies if your event is geared towards younger attendees.
Over on Twitter, it’s all about those hashtags. Be creative and come up with a hashtag that is both relevant and catchy, including it on all your posts with the hopes of getting others to do the same - generating a subsequent buzz amongst the platform’s 330 million users.
When it comes to tweeting, it’s all about encouraging engagement. Research shows that using hashtags in your tweets can actually double engagement, meaning more retweets and, in turn, a further organic reach. Not only this, but a branded hashtag enables users to quickly and easily find content relating to your event - meaning you’re able to cleverly generate more buzz by encouraging attendees (and potential attendees) to interact with each other about your event.
With 37% of users being between 18-29 and 25% of users being between 30-49, event marketing on Twitter enables you to reach a wider scope of ages than on Instagram. Be sure to delve deeper into how your target audience interacts and engages with the platform though to ensure you’re targeting your demographic effectively. For younger audiences, for example, video content may be a better way of promoting engagement than a poster or infographic.
TikTok is the fastest growing new social platform, already boasting 500 million users to date. Combining short video content with a viral-friendly interface, event marketers should be looking to jump on the TikTok bandwagon that has seen the app downloaded over 1.5 billion times.
The best way to utilise this increasingly popular platform for event marketing is to utilise the trends. Whether it be the tumbleweed challenge or the Haribo challenge, look to post your own, personalised take on viral trends to increase viewership and your subsequent page exposure. With 66% of users being under 30, TikTok is only a relevant event marketing tool for those targeting a younger demographic. With the right utilisation of the platform, you’ll not only be presenting your event as current and relevant, but also moving your marketing strategy away from traditional methods that often lack appeal with a younger audience.
So, it’s clear to see that social media platforms are an incredibly valuable tool for spreading the word about your next event. We hope that with these tips, you’ll be on your way to a better informed social media strategy that, in turn, will improve your turn-out and affirm your event as a success.
Jon Leighton is the Director of Land Digital, a full-service digital agency providing made-to-measure marketing, design and development solutions to help businesses in the UK solve their commercial problems.