Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest blogger, Katherine Salt. Learn more about her in the bio below this post.
Social media not only helps you start conversations online but and important element of it is enhancing relationships offline, especially in terms of event planning.
By adding a digital component to your events you can:
- reach a wider audience,
- engage with your attendees before and after the event, and
- generate buzz increasing attendance and ensuring a memorable event.
The Set Up
An event will never be a success if nobody shows up. There are many event tools provided by different platforms that you can use but the one to choose will depend on the type of event you’re hosting:
Facebook: With the huge potential audience available, Facebook is often the go-to place to share an event. Not only is easy to do with their event pages, but it is easy to invite friends, promote to their communities, and feature on your Facebook brand or personal page.
LinkedIn: This network is perfect for the corporate market. Again, very easy to set up with promote options. However I found that LinkedIn advertising can be rather expensive in comparison to Facebook and is not as effective. So definitely something to keep in mind.
Twitter: This may seem like an unlikely place to set up your event due to the fast style of information flow, but it’s really easy to setup your event on Twitvite and share the link in tweets. Keep in mind, the Twitvite is probably not necessary if you are implementing a Facebook or Linkedin event page… you can just tweet out those links to keep all your RSVP’s in one place. But definitely take advantage of the viral nature of Twitter if you think your event audience is there.
Meetup: This network is great for setting up regular event meet ups. Interested people can join your meet up group to keep up-to-date with future events, allowing you to build a community there as well. There is a monthly fee for organizers of meet ups so the most benefit is to those who are holding repeated events.
Google+: A new event application has just been launched in Google +. This is great for reasons just like Facebook and Linkedin because if you have an audience there, it makes sense to share events there as well. Google + is obviously very connected with Google Calendar, so that’s an advantage as well. But unless you have an existing audience on the network that would make sense for planning an event, it may not be the best option for you.
Eventbrite: If you are holding an event that attendees will have to purchase tickets for, Eventbrite is great to work with in terms of embedding registration on your website, collecting money, and tracking your attendee list. Here are some more benefits to consider:
- PayPal and credit cards accepted for easy payment
- Instant access to registered attendees and an Eventbrite contact management system
- Can be integrated with a Facebook page, website, or Mailchimp very easily.
- Event footer can be added to your email signature
- Facebook like and Twitter tweet buttons to encourage social sharing
- Organic email list growth per registration requirements of email addresses
When sending out your invitations, don’t just invite everyone you’re connected with. Make sure you’re targeting people who can actually attend (relevant and/or in the same zip code!) Sending invites and follow-up emails to people who haven’t opted in is spammy, so make sure you’re getting permission first. Not only is it good manners, but you are less likely to end up in the junk email folder. It can be disappointing if you aren’t flooded with responses but people are busy and can quickly forget an invitation so don’t be afraid to follow up with a personal email or telephone call.