So you’ve hosted a few events IRL (in real life). What happens when all of your potential guests’ attention is so deeply immersed in social media over the old mainstream resources that you’ve been used to advertising in over the years? You’re not going to reach them using your outdated tactics. It’s just a fact. You can be the most physically connected person in the world, but if you’re not able to socially/digitally leverage these connections, they’re not going to go to work for you, or help get the word out about your next event easily.
First of all, I suggest having at least 6 weeks of lead time to really publicize your event properly. It takes a while for buzz to get around town, but if you position a short and to-the-point press release properly and hit up your local content creators or aggregators with a write-up and link to your event (think newspapers, magazines, local event sites, chambers).. by blanketing your marketing and possibly offering these content creators gratis passes to your first event hinting that they write, photograph or take video around it, they may appreciate your invitation in more ways than one: first off, they’ll feel like they’re a part of something new and exciting that has a monetary worth (if paid) associated with it and secondly, you’ll be giving them another reason to create some fresh content that they’re truly interested in and :. their writing will reflect that to their readers.
You’re going to need to have a Facebook account. At the very least, you’ll need a personal page where you may add your high school, college, past careers’ connections, colleagues, family, friends.. etc. It truly depends on what space you’re in, but if you’re planning on being an event promoter, I’d suggest adding anybody whom you’ve ever gotten a name, email address/business card from.
The bigger and the more well-optimized your online social circles are, the greater your influence and the more powerful your marketing endeavors will be. And these circles will keep on exponentially growing if you’re doing it right.
Now that you’ve added your friends to your own populated personal profile and you actually start looking like a real person in your connections’ and Facebook’s eyes, you need to create a Fan Page associated with what your organization represents. If you already have a name for your company or what you’d like to call your event series, then you can start there. Visit the Create a Page Facebook resource to continue. I’m not going to go into what you should say to brand your event or company better on these next screens, but if you do need to chat and brainstorm about these ideas, I can make myself available on a consulting basis for your brand as a whole 🙂
Once you’ve created a Fan Page, you’re going to want to add all of your friends to that page in order to build your reach. I’m skipping a few critical marketing steps like actually having awesome content for them to see and understand your message once they find your page, but time is of the essence here and we need to get the word out about your event.
Go create an Eventbrite account. Eventbrite has processed almost 200 million tickets thus far so odds are your potential sign-ups are familiar with the way their system works. In addition, Eventbrite will streamline your social media promotions (linking fairly seamlessly to Facebook and Mailchimp email campaigns among other mediums), checking in event-goers using their app and linking up the payment process to your business or personal PayPal account or one of their other payment processing options. Here are the features and resources on how to create your first event. I’ll wait. Go read it. It’s pretty self-explanatory and shouldn’t take you that long–but if it does and you’re getting frustrated already, you can reach out to me below for a meeting.. but this is more of your immediate route.
Eventbrite also created this handy article so that you may easily publish the event you’re promoting to Facebook, personally or as your fan page. You need to do this step so your Facebook event has an obvious link to purchase or reserve tickets embedded right on the the top of your event page. ::waits patiently while you read::
Once you have your event in order (and here’s one more Eventbrite best practices article and a Facebook events resource before we go on), you’re going to need to share it with your friends and fans of the page. Here’s a handy dandy article I wrote on a quick hack to select all of your friends (in your geographical location only please) at once to invite your friends on Facebook to your event. I swear by this method and I suggest it to all of my event-promoting clients as a super time-saver. I also highly recommend throwing a couple of Facebook advertising dollars at each event post so it will be more visible to those people who aren’t yet connected to you or your fan page, but are within a target geographical area or demographic that you’re looking to build.
Once your event is published and live on both Facebook and Eventbrite and people have been invited to it, then all you have to do is sit back and wait for your event. False. You need to create consistent content around the perks of going to your event, the people who are connected and engaging with it, pertinent images, promotions, coupons, raffles, updates.. but you can’t do this too often. If you gave yourself the proper 6 weeks, then you should market to these people from that event barely once a week until a few days before and day-of the event. The issue here is that if you send updates too early and too often, event-goers can possibly ignore your updates and notifications altogether. You don’t want them to disregard your events before they’ve really taken off.
So I think that I’ve covered about as much as I can humanly get out without giving away all of my IP.. but if you still need a little direction, I can be hired out for an hour or two call to get you on the right track. Hopefully this serves as a primer to get your teeth cut in the world of social event promotion 🙂
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Thanks again for reading and reaching,