7 tips to boost your event promotion with organic social media
Driving attendance to your next event might be one of the major headaches. Let’s admit it - event space is oversaturated. Your future attendees receive tons of promotions, ads, emails a week (or even a day!). You might create the best attendee experience ever, but who cares if no one shows up?
Traditionally key promotion channels you should focus on are:
Social Media: paid and organic
This year though one of them completely skyrocketed! Organic social.If you ask me why, I would say due to the high amount of ads, sponsored content and low quality targeting, people start trusting more what is created by other people and appears on their feed organically.
Based on my own experience, registrations coming from organic social can be as high as 30% of total sign ups.
Udi Ledergor, CMO of Gong, in his recap of #celebrate20 - Gong’s flagship virtual event, also highlighted the value of organic social media promotion.
However, it’s not like you can do a post or two and registrations will simply follow. There are a few tricks you need to play in order to succeed.
1. Use your company profiles across all platforms. You have a superior platform (LinkedIn for example), but you should not ignore your other platforms the company has a profile on.
2. Engage your employees to post and share with their networks. And not just copy paste or re-share, but create a genuine post with a story that connects them to this event. Even though turning your employees into LinkedIn influencers is almost a mainstream, it works. Having Gong employees share the news about the upcoming event definitely played its part in the overall success.
3. Ask your speakers and sponsors to share with their networks. Don’t expect it to be an action speakers will do “by default”. Take time during the kick-off meeting to highlight the importance of it, provide all the assets (images, videos, links, even sample texts!) and follow up on it. Speakers are busy so they might forget. Or maybe they are just not ready to rave about your event on social? Make sure to excite them about what’s coming up and turn them into your advocate.
4. Agree with a few partners of yours to co-promote your event on social media. If you are working with multiple partners - involve them in the event. It can be either speaking or moderation or any other activity. In return ask for promotion. Sharing on social media is usually easier to agree upon than getting on the newsletter. Though I would always try to do both!
5. Use an incentive program to encourage registrants to share the message across their networks. May it be a gift for 10 people who register via your personal link or an individual meeting with one of the speakers -you can always find something that does not sound cheesy and delivers extra value to attendees.
6. Come up with different angles and interesting stories. Share more about your event, speakers or content to spark interest. No one wants to engage with another "we are thrilled to announce [NAME OF YOUR EVENT]". Be creative, be bold and be different. Your copy is your everything.
7. Engage with relevant communities and share your message there. But you can't just join a community and promote right from the start. You have to be a part of it and an active contributor for some time to gain trust and audience. Then you will have the privilege of sharing something and having people react positively. So think long-term and join a community or two that are most likely to be interested in your events.
I have recently run an event relying SOLELY on organic social promotion. It worked pretty well! More than a hundred sign ups with 51% show up rate - not bad for a first time local virtual event.
Even though we hear success stories of events with thousands of registrants, there are many more initiatives that fail to scramble minimum required attendance.
Being creative in your promotion efforts and utilising all the tactics available at no cost will definitely save you some stress and guarantee a high quality crowd at your next gathering!