With the popularity of virtual events on the rise over the last few years, it seems only fitting to offer promotional tips to those looking to plan one of their own – specifically, advice for promoting it on social media.
As you can imagine, there are many ways to promote a virtual event in general, including creating print ads to put up around local hotspots, talking about it on your personal website or blog, initiating word-of-mouth to create a buzz, email marketing and, as mentioned above, social media platforms.
Some Tips Before You Begin
We feel it’s necessary to stress is that it is important to begin promoting your event well in advance, so you have time to build awareness, anticipation, and excitement for it. This can therefore help you increase your number of potential attendees and, having said all that, we would recommend a minimum of 6 weeks’ promotion time. If you begin advertising too close to the event, you risk not enough people showing up – or, if you cut it close enough, no one at all!
It is also strongly recommended that, no matter which platforms you are using, you post a link somewhere highly visible on your social media and/or event pages directly to where the attendees are meant to register or pay, such as EventBrite. This allows them to access the portal with much more ease, especially if you put it somewhere like the overall page description. Of course, it never hurts to include it in the description of your promotional posts, too!
Then, there are the must-have aspects of your promotions themselves – the date, time, place (Zoom? Google Meets? Instagram or Twitter?), a clear agenda, etc. No matter what types of promotion you use for your event, your audience needs to know these things. Additionally, if your event is a fundraiser (for example if you’re raising money for the Canadian Mental Health Association), it is a good idea to include links to the organization or charity your event is associated with.
However, the most crucial thing to keep in mind, as with all marketing campaigns and endeavors, is consistency. By now this may go without saying, but whether the event is for you, your business, or another organization (e.g., a fundraiser), you will need to ensure your promotional material falls in line with the branding choices already made, like the appropriate colours, logos, graphics, etc.
Now, on to the fun part – planning your campaign!
Platforms and Methods You Can Use & Their Benefits
With how many platforms exist today, it’s no surprise there are so many ways of using them to promote your events. Take Instagram, for instance, which gives you the options of carousel posts, countdowns, and other types of Instagram stories – standard ones, boomerang, rewind, and more. Needless to say, Instagram is quite the versatile tool!
By the way, if you plan to do a raffle or giveaway during your event, you should include information about the prizes available. Either an Ig story or carousel post would be a good choice for this, as you can advertise a different prize or offering in each of the photos.
Creating an event page on Facebook is another good way to go because it not only allows people to see the event you’re planning to host, but it also lets them inform you whether they’re interested and, in a separate list, confirm if they are attending. Better yet, the discussion section of the page is a good area to post updates and announcements, as well as an ideal hub for your potential attendees to ask any questions they may have.
In any case, you should ensure that your event page is memorable and stands out to your audience through the graphics you use, the external content you include (e.g., relevant videos and photos), and the copy that goes along with it all.
Moving on to something a little less platform-specific, if you’ve utilized other marketing methods like writing blog posts or promoting the event through any type of in-person campaign, you can further the effectiveness of those things by posting links to your blog, photos from the campaigns, and even show a little behind-the-scenes content with you and your team prepping for the event as sneak peaks! These things create engagement, boost hype further, and could serve as the basis for word-of-mouth or social media buzz.
You can also have any sponsors, speakers, musicians, and other parties involved in the event post about it on their own social media pages to help spread the word and hopefully get more attendees. Just be sure to share information or graphics they might need so consistency is maintained.
Engagement posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok would also serve to create a buzz among your followers and raise the hype for your event – as well as give you an idea of what they might want to get out of it or see from it based on their answers in the comments.
That’s not all – you can utilize social media to promote your event even as it’s happening! Livestreaming, live tweets, Instagram highlights, encouraging active participation from viewers where it’s called for, and posting throughout the event are good ways to keep engagement and excitement up – and maybe even get some more attendees depending on whether the event space is open to all or ticket-dependent.
Using the above methods for keeping live engagement up can help mitigate any disconnect that may be felt among the audience due to the event being remote. Just be sure to have protocols in place to avoid excessive background noise, people talking over each other, and other distractions so that these methods are at their most effective.
It’s worth noting that, if you choose to, you can keep engagement going even after the event has ended by recording and posting it – or even just clips – on your social media. This gives you a head start on promoting the same event in future if you want it to be a recurring one. If you do intend to record, it is strongly advised that you inform the attendees and all those involved to ensure everyone is aware of and alright with it.
With all this in mind, how excited are you to get started on your virtual event promotion? We know this might seem like a lot to remember and focus on – which is precisely why AIM is here to help!Click here to learn more about what we can do for you if you hire us, and to fill out an application form for our services.