A Guide to Developing A Social Media Event Marketing Strategy
Amidst a wide range of marketing channels to drive event engagement and boost attendance, social media is right at the top. People use social media to connect and stay updated on current news and events. Knowing what, when, and where to post is crucial for brands to maximize their social media presence and take advantage of marketing opportunities. Here at Hamilton, we specialize in a comprehensive suite of event marketing services, and social media marketing is key to achieving any successful event. In this guide, we explain how to develop a social media event marketing strategy.
What is social media event marketing?
As we all know, social media event marketing promotes event awareness and facilitates event engagement via social media channels. Social media marketing relies heavily upon both brand-driven and user-generated content. Sharing features of an event on your socials encourages word-of-mouth marketing that spreads brand awareness and cultivates excitement.
How is social media event marketing unique?
Social media marketing is distinct from other forms of marketing due to the levels of interactivity the channels enable. Through social media, brands can cast a wide net of efforts to connect with audience members while simultaneously reaching customers individually. Brands can get feedback from viewers in real time and collaborate with viewers via live streams, chats, and gamification.
Advantages of Social Media Event Marketing
A marketing campaign’s goal is always to share information where your target audience is spending time in a well-received manner. Let's face it. Nearly everyone is spending time on social media. In North America, roughly 74% of the population uses social media in some way, shape, or form. Social media has numerous channels, many possibilities for engagement, and plenty of room for creativity. Some brands stick to the status quo, while the innovators shake things up by sparking new trends. Brands also can market on social media regardless of budget size or scope of resources. Companies do not have to pay to share, like, or comment, which allows any available financial resources to be utilized for other aspects of social media marketing, like content creation, management, and customer service. An additional perk of social media marketing is the built-in features that support lead generation, data collection, and measurement of performance metrics. These features help brands understand how to best engage with their audiences.
How to Develop a Social Media Event Marketing Strategy
Define your brand, event, and target audience when developing a social media event marketing strategy. To measure success across your event, closely examine your target audience's content preferences and habits, uncover insights, identify opportunities, and establish benchmarks. The beginning development stage involves ideation and theme generation to shape the messaging, design elements, and delivery.
Once these critical elements are established, map the before, during, and after-event marketing communications. Consider the platforms best suited for engagement with your audience and how to communicate with existing and prospective customers. Design a range of opportunities and initiatives for interaction to maximize attendance and engagement. Remember that while only so many people can attend a point-in-time event, there are countless opportunities for people to encounter your event and brand through social media. Partnerships, gamification, live streams, and resource sharing all add value to the audience experience.
The third step involves designing the creative elements that bring your marketing strategy to life. Leveraging connections, resources, tools, and creativity helps bring your vision to life and shape the most compelling narrative.
When delivering marketing communications, prioritize thorough communication and plan to minimize any unforeseen obstacles. Social media can quickly take on a life of its own, so be prepared to adjust and respond accordingly.
The final stage of social media event marketing is to reflect and evaluate the metrics collected throughout the programming. Organize and compare the results to the objectives established during the first stage of the process. Use this analysis to gain insight into attendee experiences, lead generation data, messaging performance and retention, and opportunities to optimize in the future.
Tips for Social Media Event Marketing
For the most significant impact, a social media event marketing strategy must span before, during, and after engagements. Here are our tips for each step in the program.
Before the Event
- Cultivate a sense of anticipation and generate buzz.
- Incite the audience's curiosity with elements of mystery.
- Create content like teasers, behind-the-scenes footage, and creative reveals of exciting event components.
- Offer early bird registration perks like discount codes or special VIP access.
During the Event
- Feature live streams of in-person experiences.
- Share content exclusive to social media channels, like interviews, product demos, and behind-the-scenes footage.
- Leverage clever hashtags to encourage sharing on socials.
- Highlight quotes from speakers and other memorable moments.
- Offer hybrid engagement opportunities like polls and Q&As.
After the Event
- Keep the conversation going by repackaging, repurposing, and remixing content that demonstrates success.
- Focus on building a community around shared experiences.
- Highlight press coverage, honors, and awards.
- Welcome feedback from participants.
- Invite participants to share experiences with those who could not attend the point-in-time event.
- Leverage the buzz and excitement as momentum for your next event.
To maximize the impact of your next event with a strong social media marketing strategy, contact Hamilton today!