Chances are, you’ve used social media to let readers know about your events. But are you taking full advantage of social platforms and their many features, from hashtags to event pages and more, to promote your appearances? The Random House Publishing Group team that produces Open House, a special event series bringing together some of the biggest names in publishing, sees social media as an integral part of their marketing and publicity strategy. Continue reading for expert tips and advice that can help you raise even more awareness before your next appearance on social media.
Create a detailed social media promotion plan for your event. This entails gathering your social media handles, book hashtags, and a schedule for posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other channels. Fine-tune your plan to include pre-event promotion and use of social media during and after the event.
Create a Hashtag
Hashtags are a good way to centralize conversations about your event and keep the chatter going after it has taken place—especially on Twitter. Create a hashtag prior to your event and have it ready when you begin social media promotion. When creating the hashtag, be sure to keep it short, relatable, and memorable. And don’t forget to look up your hashtag to make sure it is unique and hasn’t already been used. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to tools such as Hashtagify.me, RiteTag, and Trendsmap.
Create a Facebook Event Page
The Facebook event page serves as a hub for details about your event and allows you to gather feedback from your fans. It’s easy to create a Facebook event page and even easier to share it. You can add keywords, hashtags, links to the venue, and ticketing details, and even use Facebook ads to target regional fans. Here’s an example of the page from the last Open House event.
Make a Teaser Video
Once your event is confirmed, ticket sales are live, and registration is open, make a video teaser announcement. Your short and lively video should give fans a sense of the event and why they should attend, as well as information about the time and place and how to purchase tickets or register. Post the video to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and include a link to the event’s detail page. It’s as easy as recording a video on your smartphone.
Promote in Real Time
Encourage attendees to share photos, start a Facebook Live stream, or live tweet from the event using your designated hashtag. These forms of coverage are a valuable way to maximize your exposure from each event, beyond its attendees. Also consider enlisting a friend to be your photographer and post continuous images as the event unfolds. Let readers at home know in advance when live coverage is taking place, to get them excited to tune in—and possibly even attend your next live event.
Go Beyond Facebook and Twitter
If you use Snapchat, events are a good time to try the “Our Story” feature, which highlights a location or event and creates a public feed for it. The feed is viewable by anyone with Snapchat, but only those present at the location/event can post to the feed. After you craft a snap, the local or event story will show up just below My Story. Simply check the box to send it to the public feed.
Consider promoting your event on LinkedIn if it covers business topics or learning how to achieve professional and personal success. LinkedIn allows you to publish a content post about your event and provide regular updates leading up it. On the platform, you can also promote the event to your network using direct messaging, create a showcase page, and set up an event group for ongoing networking and conversation.
Milena Schmidt is part of the Consumer Marketing Development and Operations Group.