World renowned motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy, was recently in Nigeria for a series of business and leadership seminars. Luckily, the organizers (Benson Idahosa University) needed the marketing expertise of your favourite Social Media wunderkind (that’d be me, by the way).
Asides from the fact that Brian Tracy has been my lifelong idol; it was also a great opportunity to flex my digital muscles and crush this campaign… John Obidi style!
I was drafted to handle the Twitter aspect of the Social Media publicity, so I’ll restrict this article to just that.
If you’re trying to run publicity on Twitter for your event, or you’re being contracted to do it for someone else, here’s a list of 6 things you should do.
6 Ways to Promote Your Event on Social Media
1. Create a Twitter Account
This might seem like it’s a no-brainer, but it’s not. I’ve come across some events that were publicized through the Twitter handle of the marketing agency or Social Media Consultant. As the event organiser, you MUST own (and tweet from) your Twitter account. This way, prospective attendees can tweet back at you if they need further info, not the Social Media geek. This also keeps the degree of interaction and brand exposure transparent and easy to measure.
Since it’s likely a one-off event, it would serve you better to create an account in the name of the organization, rather than in the name of the event. This would ensure that you retain leads from your last event for your next one.
2. Customize your Twitter Page
Since we’re now assuming that the Twitter account belongs to the organizers, design a visually appealing background image and upload the current event’s logo as your Profile Picture. This will help your leads easily recognize your event’s branding.
3. Create and publicize a #hashtag for your event
I know you’ve probably been taught to ride the wave of an existing hashtag, rather than start a new one. That holds true, BUT NOT IN THIS CASE.
Creating a shiny new hashtag will enable people identify conversations surrounding your event. Prospective attendees will also monitor the hashtag for updates on your event.
Also encourage attendees to tweet their experience LIVE from the event to further viralize the experience.
NOTE: Do not use any form of punctuation in your hashtag or it might malfunction.
4. Use the power of Twitter Lists
I wrote a whole article dedicated to this point. Create a list for prospective attendees and add anyone who has asked a question about your event, or expressed any interest in your event. This is almost the Twitter equivalent of keeping an email list. It gives you a ready list of leads that you could directly tweet at when you need their attention. Be careful not to be too spammy or you might trigger their ire. You could also make the list ‘public’ to enable attendees network with each other before the actual event.
5. Incorporate Social Media in your offline Branding
Social Media might be the best thing since sliced bread, but mainstream media isn’t going away any time soon. So if you’re employing mainstream advertising channels for your publicity, ensure that your twitter handle and hashtag are conspicuously displayed on TV, branded merchandise, fliers, handbills, posters, billboards, etc.
6. Channel Social Media Prospects to a Lead Capture Page
Ever heard that email is the best Social Network? Well, add that to SMS and you have an effective follow-up strategy. Create a page where prospective attendees can enter their email addresses and/or mobile phone numbers. This could be done right on your website or more easily on an Event Management website. My personal preference is Eventiso.com because they let you accept debit cards for ticket purchases and they even have a FREE plan so you can try out their services before you buy.
Of course there are probably 100 more techniques for generating Social Media publicity for your event, but I intended this to be an article, not a book, so I’ll just stop here.
These 6 steps however, are the easiest to implement without necessarily spending any money.
Note To my Nigerian audience: I know that we’re comparatively new to Social Media Marketing, but please understand that Social Media is not a digital magic wand. If you intend to integrate Social Media into your publicity, please engage the services of an expert well in advance of your event.