Use Social Networks to Market Your Next Event Online To Increase Attendees
Start a Blog and get your event noticed online
There are a lot of free blog options online to start your new powerful blog. You can promote your event on your blog and drive traffic to your post. You can add video into your blog post and links for visitors to add to share with their social network including their Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Linked in connections. Personally, I like wordpress. It offers a ton of add ons which are called “plug ins” which will help your blog automatically post your blog posts to your social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Linked in. Recommendation: http://wordpress.org/
Send out Press releases about your event
There are a lot of free press release sites out there. Send press releases about your event to local business publications that publish event calendars. Or for a bigger bang, enlist the business publication as a cosponsor. That will likely give you more coverage, both pre- and post event.
Submit your event promotion to online social media sites like dig, Twit This!, Stumble It! share on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.
TIP: Contribute to an interactive meeting discussion group that relates to your business on social networks on Linked in and post your event information to attract new attendees. Or for example, if you were planning a conference, you might want to start a new “discussion” on Linked in about a topic track or special session on your conference agenda and ask your speakers to begin discussions well in advance of your meeting.
The next order of business, after the email promo went out is to get your event posted on Facebook. You can set up an “Events page” for your event. You can post the some of the information from your press release, blog, email campaign and post on your event description on your Facebook “events” page. You can then invite your Facebook "friends” to view the “events” page.
So why bother with a Facebook event? Because every time someone responds to your invitation, it gets posted on their profile, which means ALL their friends see the class info too. You can expand your reach exponentially.
Moreover, when someone clicks on the Share button on your event page, it pushes the info about your event onto their profile and gives you even more exposure.
TIP: If your program REQUIRES registration, you must spell that out VERY CLEARLY at least a couple of times in the event notice because when people RSVP on Facebook, they don't automatically "register" for your event.
Online event promotion with Twitter?
In the Social Media Marketing Industry Report that was released this week, one of the findings of the 900 people surveyed, was that 57% surveyed wanted to learn more about how to use Twitter.
The idea of twitter is that you post short "tweets" either letting your followers know what you're up to or in response to someone else's tweet.
It's best if you participate on Twitter for awhile before you begin promoting your events. However, the first thing I did is I set up Twitterfeed to "feed" my blog posts to my twitter account. Every time I post on my blogs, the post is pushed out to my twitter status. That is one form of event promotion, especially if you're using a blog to promote your events.
In addition to pushing out your blog posts to twitter, you can simply write a quick tweet. I will do this several times between now and the date of an event by putting this into my update status area.
Until I update my status, that will be on my twitter profile. Since new people sign up to follow me every day, there will always be someone new to see the tweet.
TIP: at your event, ask attendees to sign up for your twitter or linked in to receive a raffle ticket
Add Video to Your Blog and Social Networks
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that online video is HOT. Video enables you to connect with your audience much more intimately than text or pictures alone.
According to a new study by Pew Internet research, Online Video is still growing at an explosive pace, and is now even more popular than social networking! (62% of Americans use online video compared to just 46% who have ever used a social network like Twitter or Facebook).
And if that isn't reason enough to jump on the video craze, YouTube is now the 4th most visited website on the Internet, with 85 Million visitors last month alone. If you want access to that enormous audience, you need to get your video online now!
Jim Grillo, CMP is the President & Internet Marketing Specialist of Online Destination Companies, Inc. which owns and operates 500 online destination marketing resource directories globally to include Hereschicago.com, Chicago’s online resource directory which reaches the desktops of meeting and event planners worldwide. Reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 916-8000 ext. 3.