Event marketers need to reach new attendees now more than ever. According to an Eventbrite Pulse report, 64% of event professionals called it their biggest challenge.
One way to clear that engagement hurdle is through social media. Your ideal event attendees could be more open to connecting via their preferred social channels, though this approach does give way to a pair of questions: How do you know you’re reaching the right audience at the right time? And while social media is a useful tool, how does that translate into loyal and engaged customers?
Each query can be answered through post-event marketing. After all, even your most loyal followers on social media might not be able to attend your event. If you want them to attend the next one, however, you need to engage them online.
Here are three ways social media can nurture post-event interest:
1. Compare awareness to engagement numbers
The way your awareness and engagement numbers move in relation to one another will give you an indication of the effectiveness of your event marketing strategy.
These metrics shed light on how well your sponsorship numbers are working as well as how prominent — and desirable — your display and activations are. For example, a display located in a high-traffic area with strong signage will likely have high awareness numbers. But if your display is static, engagement will likely be low as it depends heavily on what’s happening in your space.
Measuring event registration is relatively straightforward. To measure engagement, you’ll need to look at live poll responses, event app downloads, and company mentions. Keep in mind that other factors, such as display location within the overall footprint, city location, and dates will also affect those measurements. Data based on comparisons that are not apples-to-apples will not be reliable or actionable.
2. Use influencers
Your brand should host multiple social media influencers from various categories to help extend reach to your social networks. Influencers will be able to post about their experience from the start, allowing you to track and highlight those relationships to generate future buzz.
Encourage those influencers to use the company and event hashtag, and then monitor how it keeps followers engaged throughout the campaign. For example, you might set up livestreaming at your event to reach followers who are unable to attend; that stream could include influencers sharing experiences and anecdotes from the event.
3. Host a post-event contest
Your guests need to have something to look forward to when they leave the event — or you risk losing their engagement altogether.
Social media contests are an easy way to incentivize your attendees and keep them engaged, especially if the contest is simple. For example, ask attendees to share their favorite part of the event with a specific hashtag, asking people to “like” their favorites to ensure they're easy to track.
The more engaged you are on social media before, during, and after your company’s event, the more you can expect your attendee numbers grow. Considering that many event marketers worry about attracting new attendees, it’s essential to do everything you can to find consumers.
Social media is one of the most accessible and most affordable ways to reach, engage, and acquire new event attendees. Don’t let the buzz die down when your event is over — if you want to see next year’s event grow, add social media to your marketing tool kit.