January 14, 2022January 14, 2022Marketing10 Min ReadEvent Marketing on Social Media: Strategy and Tactics to Power Amazing EventsNolan EtherNearly 40% of event planners state that social media exposure is a key metric of event success, according to EventMB. And 58% of marketers use social media to promote before, during, and after the event.Why is social media so integral to event success? For one, event attendees expect to get updated via social media, and they rely on businesses to relay important information via their channels. Social media also allows potential attendees to interact in a live environment to ask questions, gain feedback, and engage. Organizations use social media to connect and convert their followers and drive exposure for their events. The caveat is that social media campaigns require time, strategy, and a good dose of creativity, and it’s challenging to create strategies that drive noticeable results. Some of the most common questions event managers ask about social media are:Where do you start with event marketing on social media?What tactics are worth spending time on?What type of social media content has been successful for event planners?This guide will explore the answers to those questions and more, help you define your social media event strategy, and get creative inspiration from real-world examples.Event marketing on social media: It all starts with a strategySocial media marketing doesn’t start with graphics, posting, and schedules. Successful campaigns always start with strategy.Social media strategy involves market and customer research, which results in customer segments or personas that will become potential targets for your event promotions.How do you choose segments or personas? The answer lies in your event goals. If your goal is to introduce a new product to existing customers, your event targets might be your most loyal customers or those who have been connected to your brand for a longer period.Once you dial down into your personas or segments, get more granular on their social media habits:What social media sites do they frequent?What type of social content do they interact with?What kind of content format do they prefer (image, video, text)?Find this data from your market research, and use it to determine which social networks will become part of your strategy.How to choose the right social media platforms (and characteristics of each)The platforms you use to market your event will also define your tactics.For example, Instagram is the best place to post stunning visuals. Influencer marketing geared toward fashion, beauty, and fitness are prominent on Instagram, but LinkedIn caters more toward B2B organizations. If you want to run advertising, choose the platforms that allow ads that connect with your audience. Are you using hashtags? Event-focused hashtags perform well on Instagram and Twitter but not as well on Facebook.Below are characteristics of social media platforms to help you decide which ones make sense to leverage for your marketing campaigns and include in your strategy. When choosing platforms to market your events, ask yourself the following questions to narrow down your choices.Research the demographics of the people and conversations happening on the site. Do they align with your target audience? Are your potential attendees actively using the site?Can you post content on the platform that aligns with your brand?If your audience frequents the social media site, they align with the site’s main demographic and the platform’s primary content aligns with your brand’s preferences, it could be a good choice for your marketing campaigns.10 social media tactics to market your event (plus real-world examples)How do you generate event buzz, build excitement, and promote a lasting legacy long after the event ends? Use social media to power event promotions and engagement during all event stages!Once you nail down your strategy, you will know which platforms your event personas visit and what type of content they like to engage with. As you go through the below tactics, tailor them to your audience’s platform and content preferences.In this section, we’ll outline 10 social media tactics to market your event. We divided them into pre-, mid-, and post-event tactics. We’ll also show examples from Cisco’s WebexOne event and how they used their social media platforms to generate buzz, awareness, and engagement.Pre-event tactics1. Influencer marketingTwenty-eight percent of marketing professionals choose to use influencer marketing as part of their event strategy.Influencers are experts, industry leaders, or personalities who enjoy influence in their niche. They typically have a community of followers who rely on them for recommendations, guidance, or leadership.Partnering with industry influencers to promote your event can expose your brand to a larger audience. Influencers might also be your event presenters and keynote speakers. In that case, work with them to promote the event to their audiences as well.How do you launch successful influencer marketing campaigns? Below are some tips:Reach out to 10-20 influencers, depending on the size of your event.Ensure the influencer’s audience has similar characteristics and behaviors to your targeted event segments.The influencer should share your brand values and characteristics, create compelling content, and ideally have participated in past events.Influencers can be closer than you think. Reach out to your customer base and your employees to ask for recommendations.Set specific goals for each influencer (event visibility and website traffic, leads, etc.) so you can more easily track metrics and calculate ROI for each campaign.For more detailed information on influencer marketing for events, read more here and here.2. Paid social promotionsFifty percent of event planners use paid social media ads for their events. Why? Because advertising allows marketers to get laser-targeted with their ad campaigns and target only the people interested in attending their event.Ads allow you to target your segment’s demographics, interests, and preferences to deliver the right ad with the right messaging to the right people.Organic content posting (non-ads) is also beneficial, but social media platforms might limit their exposure. Ads can bypass the algorithms and get your promotions in front of the right people—and a lot more of them.To take your ad campaigns to the next level, use remarketing and retargeting ads to increase conversions.Remarketing campaigns target people who interacted with your social profiles, which means they already showed an interest in your brand.Retargeting ads target people who saw or interacted with your social profile or website. For example, maybe you noticed that a segment of people checked out your event registration page but never registered. Send them retargeting ads with a special discount or offer to entice them to finish the registration process to increase ticket sales. Retargeting is highly effective because it targets people who already showed an interest in your brand, so they’re no longer cold traffic.What content do you post ads for? Anything noteworthy:DiscountsNotable speakersEarlybird deadlinesSession topicsEvent swagVideo highlights (behind-the-scenes planning, event teasers)SourcePro tip: Relevancy and testing are critical to succeeding with paid media. Your messaging must be relevant to the people you’re targeting, and testing different ad creatives and messages help you determine what your audience responds to. Start small and test. Once you discover which creative and copy resonates best with your audience, pour more money into your campaigns and scale.3. Using the right tools (pre, during, and post-event)Event marketing on social media can be tedious and overwhelming, especially if you manage more than one social platform.How do you eliminate tedious manual work, get more productive, and ensure you’re tracking your success? Use the right software tools.Use tools before, during, and after the event to streamline your social media posting and track attendee activity and metrics.Scheduling toolsSocial media tools allow you to schedule, post, and comment on your social content from all profiles within the same interface. They essentially bring all your social media campaigns together under one roof to make social media tasks more streamlined and efficient.Below are some popular social media management tools:BufferHootsuiteSprout SocialEvent trackingEvent tracking is not just limited to social media management tools. Collecting data throughout the process with metrics tracking is essential to proving ROI and personalizing your attendees’ experiences. Track your attendees from event registration to post-event survey with a tool like Socio.With Socio’s event registration software, collect data from registrants (interests, role, preferences) and automatically port the data into Socio’s database for easy segmenting. Use these attendee segments to personalize their event experiences and keep them engaged.Track your attendees’ and sponsors’ activities and successes throughout the event experience with sophisticated metrics. Get a top-level and a more granular view (attendee activity, views, networking) of how your event performs.Socio’s Data Dashboard and robust analytics give event organizers a broad and laser-focused view on what is happening behind the scenes so they can course-correct, prove ROI, and improve for future events.4. Announcements, reminders, and deadlinesStructure your social media campaigns around deadlines, announcements, and reminders. Use your profiles to make key announcements and remind attendees of key dates.Some ideas for announcements:Introduce key speakers. Show their bios and their session topics.Event dateFOMO information (Fear of missing out)Event registration deadlinesEvent activities and meeting signupsLaunch of the event’s schedule and lineupSource5. Giveaways and contestsLaunching a giveaway close to your event date can drum up some new followers and event exposure. Social media is ideal for promoting event giveaways as followers can easily share and interact with posts.A couple of weeks before its WebexOne event, Webex partnered with McLaren in a contest that rewarded one lucky winner with the opportunity to design the United States Grand Prix flag flown by the drivers in Austin.SourceWebex also partnered with McLaren to enter all registrants into a giveaway that rewarded one winner a virtual meet and greet with McLaren racing F1 drivers.SourceMid-event tactics6. Leverage hashtagsHashtags are a simple but often missed opportunity to connect your social content across the web and get some data on social analytics, depending on how often people use the hashtags.For its Dreamforce 2021 event, Salesforce promoted the hashtag #df21, which attendees also used to share images of the event in real time. SourceWebex tweeted during the event to provide updates and information on new products. Webex used a branded hashtag (#WebexOne), plus two others (#collaboration, #HybridWork) to help searchers find related content.SourceWhen it comes to hashtags, avoid posting too many at once. Otherwise, your posts will come across as spammy and overly promotional.7. Product demos and videosIf your event goal is to introduce a new product, publish short product demos or introductory videos that display your product’s use and benefits during the event. Don’t forget to include your hashtags and a CTA link for users to learn more about the new offering.During the WebexOne event, Cisco announced Socio (hey, that’s us!) as the newest addition to Webex’s events solutions. Webex posted a video on Twitter explaining how Socio benefits its current tech stack and provides more benefits to its community.Source8. Live event videos and imagesIn addition to product introductions, live stream during the event and post it on your social media profiles.Post images of the event’s happenings, highlight reels, behind-the-scenes peeks and clips, interactive polls (which speaker did you like best?), notable speaker quotes, attendees wearing event swag, etc. Interview attendees on Instagram stories and post them across your profiles. Tag speakers and attendees who are in the videos and images.On day two of the Dreamforce event, Salesforce posted a highlight reel of Day one on Instagram using its event hashtag and directing people to join them for Day 2.SourcePost-event tactics9. Repackage and repurpose your contentThe event is over, and you’ve got dozens of social media posts, graphics, videos. Should you relegate them to an archived folder, never to be seen again?Don’t waste money and throw away your event content. If you repackage and repurpose it, you likely have six or more months of content to reuse.How? Here are some ideas:Create an on-demand version of your event for digital viewers who did not attend or want to watch replays.Chop up your session videos into smaller educational snippets for social posting all year long.Repurpose your popular sessions into blog posts or podcasts and integrate them into your editorial calendar for the next six months after your eventUse it as teaser content for your next eventRework the content into a web series or short mini-course and use it to generate leads10. Engage attendees and build communityJust because your event is over doesn’t mean the community and engagement have to stop.Engagement can continue after your event and generate leads and brand awareness for months—provided you have the right platform and campaigns to keep attendees connected.Event platforms like Socio keep attendees engaged in tight-knit communities that live on long after your event. Your custom-branded community can provide year-round engagement with exclusive content, networking, topic-based discussions, virtual events and roundtables, and more. Create membership levels to personalize content and messaging as well. Socio’s community platformIntroducing the modern solution for streamlining event marketing and managementHow can you ensure your event lives up to your marketing efforts? Your marketing is only as effective as your event’s success. Without an engaging event to back up your social marketing strategy, you run the risk of putting on expensive events that lack the oomph to make a real impact. A well-executed social media event marketing strategy engages consumers, tracks metrics, and delivers results. Your event? It must do the same.With Socio, you can:Manage all event components under one roofProvide engaging activities in real timePersonalize attendee experiencesQuickly create a branded mobile event app for easy navigation and increased attendee engagementImplement live chat, Q & A, polling, gamification, and moreProvide sponsors with creative, unique opportunities to promote their brandsGive sponsors and attendees seamless networking opportunitiesTrack granular and high-level metrics to prove ROIContinue to engage attendees and build your community long after the event is overGet access to specialized training and expert white-glove servicesAnd more!Schedule a free personalized demo here and go behind the scenes with Socio and learn how to simplify event management, track marketing metrics, and create unforgettable events.Nolan EtherNolan is a Content Marketing leader at Socio (part of Webex). He’s passionate about helping brands connect with their customers through engaging storytelling and immersive experiences.