How to leverage social media to promote your event

Your business already understands the value that exhibitions bring to the marketing mix and how they can be instrumental in increasing growth and sales.  Make sure you are using social media to enhance your efforts and gain additional exposure for your business or product.

In this current technological age, social media platforms can be used as powerful tools that can amplify your message to an infinite audience. Here are some ways to take advantage of social media to promote your exhibition.

  1. Begin early

Social media platforms serve as smoke signals to alert your audience to start getting excited about what you are doing.  Set up all of your content well in advance and start building some momentum and excitement in good time, by highlighting content, exhibitors, product information and speakers.  Ensure that the social media messaging mirrors all your other marketing efforts to attract the right audience and partners.  Encourage interaction on all platforms to establish relationships and an ever growing following.

  1. Which Social Media Platforms to use

It really depends on your event but the most used platforms are You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+  All can attract large audiences and, if possible, you should use them all as people have their preferences on which ones to engage.  Create a blog for your website where pertinent information can be uploaded and shared across all platforms.

  1. Create a hashtag #

Hashtags are the glue that ensures you can monitor everyone that is talking about your product, business or event.  Brainstorm what sums up your message best and develop your unique hashtag (s) for the event.  Be sure to promote your unique # on your website, on all your communications, social media platforms and your mobile app (if applicable) for the event.  Keep it short, relevant and easy to remember. Hashtags enable your audience to interact with the content you post as well as with others across different platforms. Hashtags allow you to gain a clear indication of the interest and interaction related to your messages.  If it is being used, you know you are relevant!

  1. Get to know your influencers

One of the greatest things about social media is the creation of marketing evangelists who promote your exhibition and spread the word in their own unique circles. This will build relationships with your stakeholders and industry thought leaders. Use social media to encourage your event speakers and other influential individuals to promote your event.  Don’t forget the #.

  1. Encourage Interaction

Entice your audience to interact by running polls, asking pointed questions, quick quizzes and create content they can share. This includes your articles and blog posts. Offer goodies and / or discounts that your audience can redeem and benefit from.

  1. Manage well

It is of paramount importance, that if you are putting messages out there and encouraging engagement, that you appoint the correct person to be in charge of interacting with your audience on social media.  Responding and interacting from your side is of great strategic importance. Appoint a reputable PR agency to do this on your behalf or ensure that appointed person from your organisation is accountable for all the interactions on your behalf.

  1. Share

Whether your content features on blog posts or social media updates, share consistently across your social media networks.  Make use of powerful images to grab your audience’s attention. Since social media streams are constantly on the move, don’t hesitate to share the same content more than once. Check when your target audience is most likely to be online, notice the pattern and share accordingly keeping in mind the difference in time zones. On Twitter, keep your updates below the 140-character limit so that your followers have room to add their own message when they retweet. Offer updates about what is happening during the days leading up to the exhibition. This can be about your participants, speakers, team, sponsors, what to expect and so forth. Include calls to action where relevant.

  1. Measure and monitor

Every marketing investment has an ROI and social media is no exception. Before you start with social media activities, get an overview of your website traffic, subscribers and social media stats. Set goals and parameters to check to see how well your strategy is working so that you can make timely changes. Compare results on a regular basis to record the progress.

At Reed Exhibitions, social media forms a critical part of our relationship with a wide client mix and each exhibition has its own unique hashtag to help people follow the event.

Check out some of our social media sites:

www.facebook.com/WTMAfrica

youtube.com/watch?v=NwqSx6PoR5k  (WTM Africa)

http://www.linkedin.com/company/decorex-sa

http://blog.mediatech.co.za/

https://www.facebook.com/SBusinessExpo