Editor’s Note: Ms. Fitts touches on an under-served component of digital marketing. Leveraging tactics to expand the visibility and promote the value of your events be they large or small. We would add just a few points to remember. These events don’t need to be solely industry-focused! Think about the causes you champion that are recognized or supported by your business. Also don’t neglect to continue promoting the event as it is taking place – think of it as marketing for the next event as well as building up referral supplies for attendees to share post-event. This means using the same social techniques below for pictures and videos during and immediately following your event. Our favorite suggestion – have a post-event micro website that can hold recordings, presentations, and other materials that were circulated at the event.
Think about the last time you signed up for an in-person or online event; I bet there were social media tie-ins that were engaging, informative, fun, and worthwhile!
Some of my best information-gathering and networking opportunities have come prior to events and conferences. The reason? Well-conceived and interactive social media strategies leading up to the actual event.
Your events, just like other aspects of marketing, should have a clear strategy, and social media should be part of the plan. As busy financial advisors, you may not have the time or resources for a full-out social media marketing blitz, but consider starting with these first few basics and then add as many extras as you can to obtain maximum event participation!
- Create an event landing page (probably on your website) that includes all the pertinent information: reasons to attend, dates and times, location (if an in-person event), agendas, presenters, testimonials from past participants, pricing, and registration links. Consider apps like Eventbrite to help setup and manage your events (you can also use this tool to sell tickets), and then include this link on your webpage and social media platforms.
- Keep your target audience in mind. What will they achieve by attending your event? Make that the focus for all your social media postings.
- Use your social media channels to promote the event. Don’t forget to provide links to the landing page. For instance, your blogs, posts and tweets can offer teasers or summaries on the points you will cover (and promise more to come at the event). Consider even posting a question: “Wonder how to juggle your financial planning goals in today’s hectic environment? If so, attend our event . . .”
- Create a Twitter hashtag specifically for the event. Get people talking about the event and sharing ideas (remember, this helps people learn and make great contacts).
- Include photos or infographics with your social media posts. Use any special event graphics, but also consider free images to bolster visual interest. Or, try your hand at Canva to make your own.
- Post a video! Even a short 30-second video is effective if it helps tell prospects why they should attend your event.
- Spread the word. Ask colleagues and your professional organizations/associations to share the event link on their social media pages.
- Include bios and links to your event presenters in your posts. They will probably share your event link with their network, but if you’re not sure, ask if they could.
- Use social media sites to solicit feedback on agenda items. People want to know their ideas are important and what better way to show them then to let them help set a portion of the agenda.
- Take photos! Images get far more hits than plain text. Showcase highlights of the event after it’s over, and use them to build excitement for the next one.