[INFOGRAM] 7 Big Wig Tips To Promote Your Event With Social Media

Are you holding an event or a conference?

Wondering how to best promote your event with social media?

I researched and asked for tips from pro event organizers, in order to help your next event sell out.

WARNING: these tips may need you to re-book the event venue as people will flow in!!

#1. Increase Awareness With A Twitter Contest

Phil Mershon - Director of Events for Social Media Examiner

Phil Mershon is the Director of Events at Social Media Examiner. He organizes the biggest event in social media – the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, held in March. (Are you coming? I will be there!)

He recommends that you run free ticket contests on Twitter to generate buzz about the event.

In a Twitter contest people need to enter with a Tweet with a hashtag (#) in it.

“The articles about the contest usually get tweeted several thousand times and there are normally several thousand “entries” in the tweet contest. People love to share contests that have valuable prizes and a ticket to our event with 2 nights free at the hotel is very coveted.” – Phil Mershon

This type of contest is not for collecting email addresses – as there is no opt-in – but it is great for reaching new people, as the condition to enter is to Tweet.

See, I also entered their giveaway. I didn’t win, but I ended up buying a ticket.

#2. Condition For Entry Is To Share

Louise Caldwell - Founder at Eventmama Louise Caldwell is the founder of Eventmama, an event organizer marketplace.

She suggests that you ask for social sharing as a condition to apply to the event.

“If you’re running a free event and want to get the word out – why not have the option for attendees to claim their free ticket in exchange for a tweet! “ – Louise Caldwell

Selling the tickets for a low price or for free doesn’t guarantee that people will sign up. When something is free, people are less likely to appreciate it, so you may want to increase the barrier to enter from a single click to something more considerable.

This way the perceived value of the event will be higher; you may also get some traffic from the friends of attendees.

#3. Make It More Appealing By Increasing the Barrier to Attend

Peter Zaboji - Chairman at CX-Ray Peter Zaboji, the founder of the European Entrepreneurship Foundation organizes a monthly meet-up for entrepreneurs for a small fee.

RSVP-ing to his event takes at least 5 – 10 minutes, and you are not automatically in.

You need to briefly introduce yourself and then explain a little bit about your motivations, before they will respond with their approval or disapproval.

This selection process helps to build class and seriousness around the event.

Actually when I came across Zaboji’s event for the first time, it was an “invitation only” event. To get in you needed to know someone who had attended before. Alternatively, if you wanted to invite a friend, you needed to introduce it to Peter – it was the guarantee that you “vouch” for the invitee.

This “under the ground” feeling made the event appealing.

A classy First Monday

A classy First Monday

#4. Incentivize Groups To Register Together

Ahmad Iqbal - Co-founder/CEO at AtendyAhmad Iqbal is the co-founder of Atendy, an event organizer platform.

He suggests that you offer rewards to those who spread the word to their friends.

“A study conducted by a leading online ticketing solution found that on average a whooping US$4.15 was generated in direct ticket revenue per share on Twitter or Facebook. These numbers are even higher when applied to concerts or festivals ($12 per share in some cases), versus conferences or networking events which are drastically lower (around $2 per share).” – Ahmad Iqbal

This makes total sense, because events are inherently social: other people, networking, or finding opportunities are the main reason for people attending these events in the first place. They want to go with their friends. 

#5. Use Speakers To Create Content And Spread The Word

Michael (Mike) Stelzner - CEO/Founder, Social Media Examiner & MyKidsAdventures.com, author of Launch and Writing White PapersMike Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner. They do it so well, that they get to the list twice (#1. Phil is from SME too).

In this post he suggests that you use conference speakers to promote the conference and create content that will ultimately sell the conference.

“A main reason people attend events is to meet the presenters. And getting exposure is often why many experts speak at events.” – Mike Stelzner

He says that you can create great content, which is valuable for all, by simply interviewing your speakers either individually, or as a group.

They also create special graphics for the speakers, such as this one with our friend Ian Cleary, the founder of RazorSocial.com a blog about social media tools and technology.

This is Ian Cleary advertising a conference he is a speaker at.

This is Ian Cleary advertising a conference he is a speaker at.

Ian, and other speakers of the conference helped promote the event to their own audience through their own channels.

#6. Demonstrate Scarcity

Andrew Kessler - CEO/Founder of TogatherInc.Andrew Kessler is the CEO of Togather, an event marketing platform for brands.

In his post on Unbounce’s blog he advises that you clearly demonstrate scarcity or popularity, in order to create that little push for the attendee to sign up.

“Even if your event is free and open to the public, don’t shy away from communicating that there are limited spots available or only a few days left to grab the special offer that comes with an RSVP!” – Andrew Kessler

(In that post he also advises that you think of event marketing as a component of content marketing, which is a new idea that can make the idea of event marketing more favorable to the time-savy marketer.)

#7. Use Facebook Contests To Drive Traffic

Renaud Gagne - Direct-Response Marketing and Consulting http://www.renaudgagne.comRenaud Gagne is a social media and affiliate marketer at RenaudG, and an Antavo customer.

He used a simple draw to increase awareness of an event and directed the traffic to the event page.

“Every click I generated brought an average of 5 clicks because of the viral marketing psychology included in the Antavo app. (Every time someone signs-up under someone else, that person is given more points.) What you do after you get subscribers is even more important than that. In the auto-responder sequence I have put something more for them.” – Renaud Gagne

In the auto-responder sequence Renaud listed ways people can increase their chances, and directed them to the event’s page.

We are delighted for your success Renaud! (This was the draw app he used.)

This is the post that drove traffic to the app and increased the motivation of the entrants.

Consider Email

Hal Licino is a writer at Benchmark, an event management tool to reach attendees before, after and during the event. He has written a great post on how you can use hashtags, videos and saying thanks all the time.

And the info-gram is coming here!

Here is the list, with the tips above, if you want to share it. It will make you popular, especially on Pinterest!

(I was not sure how to call this graphic, but Dustin W. Stout named these kinds of images an info-gram in his post about online image terminology. Thanks Dustin!)

If you need extra help, here is a detailed post about event promotion from Ultimate Experience. They details how Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook can help you to promote your events.


Over to you

How do you promote your event? Was this list helpful? Let me know in the comments below.

[INFOGRAM] 7 Big Wig Tips To Promote Your Event With Social Media by
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Zsuzsa Kecsmar

Zsuzsa is CMO and co-founder of Antavo, a marketing tool to create sweepstakes, contests and giveaways to Facebook, mobile and web. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn!
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  • Renaud Gagné

    What that is just awesome to be here. I’ll make a case study for all the different type of promotion I will be doing with you

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Wow Renaud, it’s an honour, thank you very much! :)

  • Enstine Muki

    Good to see buddy Renaud on this list. A lot to learn from him

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Hey Enstine, I agree, Renaud is a great professional!

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  • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

    Interesting reading. Not so sure about item 3, as making access more difficult will reduce a lot your engagement… unless you are a big name and everyone is willing to spend that time to attend your event. But otherwise, people value too much their time, especially when operating online. Totally agree with all other items.

    • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

      Oh yes, that one is definitely about quality above quantity! I wish you knew Peter, he is a great person!

      • http://antoniocalero.com/ Antonio Calero

        Hey, I’m not saying he’s wrong, only that I’m not so sure… I’d love to be able discuss this further and hear his insights about the topic.

        • http://www.antavo.com/ Zsuzsa Szabo

          He is always ready for such a discussion! You can find him on Twitter!