Are you planning an event for your law firm? Wondering how you are going to be able to create buzz that will get people excited about attending. Well, have no fear. We are here to help you with a fool-proof social media event strategy, and you don’t have to be a professional party planner to pull it off. In this blog post, we will give you tips and tools you need to generate awareness and boost attendance.
Whether you’re hosting a networking event, a CLE conference, or an industry roundtable, your guests will attend for the same basic reasons: to connect, learn and engage with their peers. These are the same principles that drive people to use social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These similarities are the making of a perfect relationship, which is why a well-executed social media strategy can be so essential in ensuring a well-attended event.
Ready to plan your next event? Once you have confirmed the date and location, it’s time to deploy your social media strategy.
1. Get started right away. You don’t need all the details to start promoting your event. You can always tweak your social posts as new speakers, sponsors and influencers are added. Here are a few things to remember about your social posts:
• Use Visuals: Create an image to use in your social posts on Facebook and LinkedIn. The image can include pertinent details such as date, time and location. Hubspot, a well known content marketing company, reports that content with images gets 94 percent more views than content without images. You can create an image by using simple free tools such as Canva, PicMonkey or Stencil.
• Engage Colleagues: Once you have created your visual masterpiece DON’T forget to share it with your co-workers via your internal communication tools, such as Slack, Yammer or email. This will make it easy for them to get excited about the event and help promote it.
• The power of the #hashtag: Hashtags can help you organize your event communications and improve their effectiveness. A strong hashtag will help you create and target a following before, during and after the event. You want your hashtag to be unique, clear and memorable. For more details on how to create the perfect hashtag click here. Once you have selected your hashtag, use it EVERYWHERE: Tweets, posts, all promotional materials, presentation deck templates, live streaming boards, and any other places you can think of.
• Use Twitter! When tweeting about your event, include your #hashtag, @mentions (your speakers Twitter handles) and an interesting bite of information about the event along with the image you created.
Pro-tip: Sending out the same tweets or similar versions of a tweet will bore followers. Mix it up! Send highlights, a countdown, quotes from speakers or other interesting information. You can even ask questions like, “What are you doing on [event date]?” with a link to event page on your website.
2. Leverage your speakers, influential attendees and sponsors individual social networks. These are powerful allies who are invested in your event’s success and who can help promote the big day to their friends and followers and get other potential attendees interested in attending. Follow these rules of the road:
• Don’t hog all the spotlight: Add their Twitter handles, company logos and photos to your posts on ALL networks. The idea here is extend your reach and promote engagement. You tell two friends and they tell two friends and so on… The easier you make it for others to share your posts, the more likely that they will.
• Share the love: Curate content from your influencers (usually someone with more than 1,000 followers). If you want them to share your posts, it’s proper social sharing etiquette for you to share theirs. You can say something like “check out @G2BS latest blog on PPC and see what else they have to say when they join us at ___ (the event name or hashtag)” The idea is to increase your reach by using the influencer’s network.
• Give a proper shout out: Make sure to engage your sponsors beyond featuring their logo in the invite or on your website. Mention why you are excited to partner with them in your social posts. You want your sponsors motivated to retweet and share your posts, once again expanding your reach.
3. Time is money so…schedule, schedule, schedule your social posts.
• Use power tools: In just a few minutes, using tools like Hootsuite or Buffer, you can schedule all of your social posts for the week across multiple social networks from one dashboard. You worked hard and created these great posts, so be sure to get them out there! You want some form of event-related communication going out on Twitter every day right up until the day of the event, and at least twice a week on LinkedIn and Facebook. Just remember: Mix it up!
4. Do a little homework: Use the information you get from registrants to open up a dialogue before the event. This takes a little effort but it’s worth going the distance — and it will help build excitement and anticipation.
• Send a love note: Once the attendees register, send them something via social media that’s of interest or unique to them. Some suggestions include: a link to your latest eBook; an article that you recently read; if they are from out of town, a restaurant recommendation or your favorite hotel; or ask them what session they are most looking forward to attending. Get a dialogue going, this will build a relationship that will last beyond the event itself.
With these tips and tools you will generate conversation and create a buzz about your event before it takes place and long after it has ended. If you’re looking to connect, share and engage with your network, start right by implementing a social media event strategy.
Stay tuned for our second part to this series: “How to use social media during your event.”