Using Social Media Tools for Corporate Event Marketing
The days of promoting corporate events only through flyers and postcards are long gone, replaced by online marketing and social media campaigns. The good news is that there are many free social media and online event marketing tools that will help even a beginner take charge of their own online corporate event marketing.
Establishing an Online Presence for the Event
Promoting a Corporate Event on Facebook
Click Here to Create a Page on Facebook
Event and Page:
1. Send out invites to friends, Facebook “fans”, and others in the company or event team.
2. Add a Facebook like box and share button to the event website (to find these, log in to facebook and use as the Page (as shown above) then click on Manage->Edit Page->Resources->Use Social Plug-ins; Follow the instructions for each plug-in to generate a code to add to your website’s html).
3. Consider using targeted ads on Facebook to promote the event. These are not free, but are very cost-effective and can be taregeted by demographic and/or interests. Ads can be found on the main page, when logged in as an admin, by clicking Build Audience->Create an Ad in the upper left and following the directions given.
For more advanced users, you can easily run contests, and pre Social Media Events, with prizes and free tickets to your event with targeted ads pointing to these contests apps using a “No Code” point and click app manager like NorthSocial.
The main benefit of Facebook is the wide reach and ease of sharing information and the built-in analytics to track how widely your information is being shared and talked about. A main drawback, especially for longer-term or recurring events are the frequent changes to the Facebook page layout and format, requiring page owners to change and update the content and design to keep things up-to-date.
Corporate Event Marketing with Twitter
Twitter is another very popular free social media website and phone app. It not only lends itself well to advance event promotion but it is a great way to promote interest and foster connections during the event by “live tweeting” the event, or sending out messages via Twitter Hastagsin real time.Registering for Twitter is as simple as going to twitter.com, finding a username that is not taken, and setting up a quick profile. Most users will benefit from a third-party service such as HootSuite or TweetDeck. These are free for the first few accounts and allow users to monitor and post from multiple accounts and to schedule tweets in advance. This feature shouldn’t be abused, because it can come across as spammy and does tend to lessen user engagement on posts, but it is a goof way of maintaining a presence and getting your message out when you are mobile.
One of the most important things to do for your event on twitter is to create a hashtag, or a short phrase or code that will be used to tag posts about your event (#MyEvent2012, for example). Find one not currently in use Register It and add it to your tweets, then set up and follow that hashtag in a suite like Hootsuite mentioned above. Then find others talking about your event so that you can engage them in conversation and see what sort of buzz the event is generating.
You can share exclusive content or tips and maybe even mix in giveaways or upgrades to people who reply to certain tweets with the hashtag or ReTweet your posts. Be sure to mix promotional posts in with useful tips and information and conversational or engaging comments, so followers do not feel overwhelmed with ads…
The advantage of Twitter is that it is very easy to keep track of the conversation surrounding your event by using a hashtag and setting up saved searches. It is also easy to see and respond to replies or questions in response to your tweets. The downside is that tweets are limited to 140 characters and, while links are allowed and encouraged, they can get lost in the rapid flow of conversation.
Using Other Social Media Sites to Promote Corporate Events
Some other social media sites that you can use to share and promote an event include Google+, LinkedIn, and Foursquare.Google+ (plus.google.com) is similar to Facebook in many ways and, while not as popular yet, can help improve your site’s visibility in searches via the +1 button. You can create a business or fan page on Google+ and share it with your circles and you can also share event photos there to attract more attention and get the word out. One of the features that could really help your event is having a Pre Event “Hangout” with Google+
including Event Speakers, Celebrities or Musical Performers to generate pre event buzzLinkedIn (linkedin.com) can be especially powerful for promoting trade shows and events of interest to your business connections. You can create an invite on LinkedIn and invite your connections: When someone RSVPs to an event it posts to the profile feed of all their connections, spreading the word for you amongst industry insiders.
Foursquare (foursquare.com) is a website and app that allows people to check in from a location. You can set up a location for your event on foursquare so that it shows up on their followers’ pages when they check in and maybe set up a special offer to encourage them to check in with priizes or badges. Many people link their foursquare accounts to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, meaning that you get more promotion on those sites as well.
Corporate Event Marketing through Blogging
Last but not least, consider blogging as a way to market your event and as a way to feed information, photos, and other details to the previously mentioned sites. You should set up a blog on your company or event website to post news and information. This also makes it easier to create links on Twitter and Facebook, and you can use a site or application like NetworkedBlogs (networkedblogs.com) to automatically link to each post from Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to tie the whole social media event marketing strategy together and you can join in on the conversation and leave comments on other blogs related to your event or industry with a link back to your own blog, as a way to both attract attendees and boost your site’s search engine ranking.
There are HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of ways to use the internet to help promote, market and plan your corporate event! Find the strategy that works best for YOU!