Using social media as a part of your event promotion strategy is a MUST and here are a few ideas to get you sparking along nicely:
Before the Event
Make sure you set up a unique event page for each event. This can be in a series on the page for different locations and dates, but one event title per page. This page is best created on your own site event if you use a ticketing service like Eventbrite or Ticketbooth (Australia) as you want more visitors landing on your site to boost SEO etc.. then place the link to purchase tickets on that page.
Publish your event on Event Listing Sites and other social media. Once you have created your landing page it is time to get the word out and the first stop is Event listings. This takes time and it can pay to find an intern (or teenage relative lol) to do this part for you and pay them for their time. There are loads of different sites for this and you will want to target both local and wide spread listing sites for your event.
Set up a Facebook Event and ‘invite’ your friends to the your event this helps to put your workshop or seminar right in front of many readers including friends, friends of friends and others who may be checking their wall at that time.
Create a Twitter hashtag for your event and promote it before (on your landing page content and Facebook event invitation) and during the event. Encourage attendees to Tweet during the event, it can even be a competition you set up, and local based ‘check-ins’ are another way to spread the word about the current event as prelaunch for your next one.
Schedule posts on Facebook and Twitter to go out at different times of the day including weekends, so that you have the most chance of gaining the attention of the most people. After all different people use social media at different times and you will not be online 24/7.
Enlist help from other speakers or organisers, create a list of suggested posts and email outs for them to make it easy for them to follow through and help promote the event. Make sure you add in the links to book tickets or to your landing page and ask them to ‘tag’ you on Twitter using either the hashtag or straight to your Twitter username and/or tag to your event on Facebook.
Create an event badge that speakers and attendees can embed on their site sidebars, post it first on your own site and then send them the embed code that way you will be able to track statistics.
Create customised discount codes to offer at speaking events before the event, you will be able to track which of the speaking opportunities worked the best, give one of these custom discount codes to your speakers so that you can track which speakers are sending you the most attendees too.
Use content from your last event to promote this one including past video testimonials and video sound bytes from your last round of speakers. Or set up brief interviews with your speakers, if you haven’t set this up from past events and make a few short video collages or straight interviews interlaced with slides for the event as promotional material.
Encourage pre-event posting by offering prizes for the most shares, or have a blog about my event competition etc…
On the day
Have the Twitter Stream going out live on a TV screen or monitor this is easier if you have a hashtag and have that page live. Switch between the Twitter hashtag page and the Facebook Event page for live ‘checkins’ and posts from attendees.
Run a competition for to promote posting during the event.
Either do live posting yourself during the event or hire (or ask) someone to do it for you.
Take photo’s of attendees or short video’s of the excitement and post immediately.
Consider live blogging during the event
Consider Live Streaming the event
Use QR Codes before and during the event to add interesting content to the excitement, release a QR code on social media and at the event at the same time to special content, pod cast, video or prize.
Set up an event scavenger hunt using posted clues during breaks to encourage more excitment – this is great for larger events.
Video all your presentations and offer them for download after the event to those who could not be there and to attendees who might want to revisit some of the material. Give attendees a special price on the downloads.
Remember to get as many video testimonials as possible during and immediately after the event while the excitement is high
Schedule post event interviews with the most popular speakers as follow up = perhaps a Q&A and have people send in their questions to you before hand.
Keep the buzz going by posting videos, updates and more information on social media for a week or so post event as lead up to the next one.