With more and more events moving from the physical to the virtual space, it’s important for both event managers and digital marketers to understand how to leverage social media to market their virtual events. Incorporating the right social media strategies can help you build excitement for the upcoming event, gain credibility, increase participant count, and boost engagement.
The ultimate aim of a business expo or a virtual conference is to build a trusted network, create brand awareness, or generate income. Whichever your goal is, here are some well-thought-out tips to help you market and promote your virtual event through social media.
1. Be Choosy. Choose Wisely.
‘Should I start tweeting about my virtual event? Or would Instagram help me pull in followers? Would LinkedIn give me better engagement? Or can I sell better with Facebook? Oh, and what about YouTube?’
Yes, we hear you! It’s easy to get confused with all the social media platforms out there. First things first, analyze the platforms even before you start drafting elaborate event marketing strategies. Think about your industry and your target audience. Which social media does your niche audience use most predominantly? That should be your go-to as well.
Here’s a quick guide to help you make an informed decision on which social media platform would work best for your virtual event.
The Twitter community, although smaller than that of most other social platforms, is a very passionate and engaging audience. Twitter is great for quick conversations with the audience. It’s also quite easy to get influencers to retweet or post about your event.
When hosting business networking or knowledge sharing events virtually LinkedIn can efficiently help you target decision-makers, business professionals, and technical folks. It’s best to announce and advertise news about corporate events on LinkedIn.
Being the largest social media platform today, there’s a high chance that a greater number of your prospects are on Facebook (even if not active). The advantage is that you can narrow down and target your niche with high precision with Facebook Ads. You can also create event pages to keep engaging with your audience and nurturing them even post the event.
If you have a repository of eye-catching images, videos, and graphics, Instagram could aid in gathering a following. You can use the platform to build and spread awareness about your virtual event either organically or through promotions. However, the rate of driving traffic and sales from Instagram would be lower than those in other platforms.
YouTube has the highest organic traffic and gives you the possibility of leveraging SEO skills to pop up on relevant Google searches. If you’re using event management platforms with aesthetically pleasing and customizable content, you can effectively leverage YouTube to tell a story about your virtual events and gain traction.
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2. Get Influencer Shoutouts
If you aren’t capitalizing on influencer marketing to promote your virtual events, you’re missing out on participant goldmines. Through influencers, you get the opportunity to tap into their followers and build credibility for your business.
It’s quite stunning that even by getting one influencer, and the right one at that, onboard you can increase your participant count by thousands. However, be sure to take into consideration your niche, the event topic, and the social media platform you want the influencer to promote your event.
If you’re unable to find the right influencers, try collaborating with your guest speakers. They’d sure be more than happy to help you with cross-platform promotions! You can even try out a co-branded video highlighting your business solutions through case studies.
3. Advertise With Paid Promotions
With paid advertising on your social platforms, you can reach prospective participants who aren’t following you yet. Ads are also a great way to increase awareness and visibility, invariably driving in a significant amount of participants.
You can target specific audiences based on industry or job title. You can also customize your ads to steer clear of competitors. On LinkedIn, you can run lead generation ad campaigns that will direct the audience to fill out a form with basic information including name, job title, and email id.
While targeting new prospects, don’t forget to retarget those who had previously visited your website. You can also retarget your email lists. Always perform an A/B test with your ad sets and double up on the ones that perform best.
4. Go Organic
Yes, paid promotions can help you reach new people and but don’t forget to take advantage of the amazing organic features social media platforms offer. It’s obvious that you need to consistently post about your upcoming virtual event and leverage relevant hashtags. Make these posts subtle reminders that educate your audiences.
Apart from scheduled posts, let’s quickly look at a few other features that you can improvise on.
If your virtual event focuses more on awareness, engagement, and networking, live streaming even is one of the best ways to promote the event in real-time. Leveraging going live on social platforms that provide the facility to do so opens doors to genuine conversations, engagement, and conversions.
Research shows that Instagram stories alone brought in 15x more engagements than feed posts. For virtual event marketing, you can use stories to tease about the upcoming event, run countdowns, or simply link to your landing page.
Don’t forget to create event pages on Facebook or LinkedIn and invite your network to attend your virtual event. By doing so, your network can RSVP to the event and the platform will make sure to send them timely reminders automatically.
Don’t stop your efforts to market and promote your virtual event on social media as soon as the event is over. Go a step further and make sure to keep engaging with your audiences through personalized messaging. Keep your event profiles/pages active by posting testimonials and repurposing content.