Planning is the most critical stage of event promotion, and usually the one businesses tend to focus on the most; after all, an event isn’t valuable if nobody attends. To spread the word about your upcoming event on social media, first create an event on Facebook and allow your fans to RSVP. Be sure to include relevant information such as time, date, location and a link to your website, and attract guests by promoting the event with regular posts. If your event has an entry fee, try creating a Facebook or Twitter contest with tickets as the prize to generate public interest.
Create and start using an event hashtag to encourage conversations among fans that are looking forward to attending. The hashtag should be relatively simple, but specific enough so it can be easily identified and unique to your event. Be sure to include it on all communications about the event in order to label and link together these messages.
While your event is taking place, be sure to take the opportunity to share live tweets and a few status updates with your fans. Content can include quotes from speakers, photos of guests, or short sound bytes. Remember to attach your event’s hashtag to all your communications, and display the hashtag prominently throughout the event’s location so guests are encouraged to post about the event, too
The entrance to your event can be a great place to incorporate social media. Create an event on Foursquare at your location, and post a sign reminding guests to check in. The entrance also offers the perfect place for a photo op, either for guests’ personal social media pages or for your business to upload. Even if the photo op is just a small posterboard displaying your business’s logo and the name of the event, guests will be encouraged to snap a quick picture with their phone or camera. If you are able to dedicate one person to the photo op location to take pictures of guests as they arrive, this can create even better opportunities to generate social media buzz about the event.
While many businesses stop talking about an event after it has ended, the positive publicity from an event can last long after the doors close, particularly if it was well-executed. Soon afterwards, post any remaining photos or videos to your business’s Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest page, and encourage guests to do the same. For those who were not able to attend, write a blog post recapping the event with quotes from speakers and interesting information that was presented. Finally, send out a survey through email or social media for guest feedback on the event. Even if you receive one or two critical remarks, the responses will help you to improve future functions and encourage guests to return. With the right social media strategy, your event can be a major opportunity for your business to gain positive publicity.