When it comes to marketing and sales, companies run events to show the world how their solutions solve real world problems as well as establish one to one relationships. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B, B2C, a 60,000 person company, or a local mom and pop store.

Through face-to-face interactions, a company’s social media presence has the potential for increased amplification because you now have real world, personal connections to your digital audience. This is precisely why social media and events go to together like peas and carrots.

This hypothesis is based on the assumption that you have already done the leg work to build your social media presence. Agree? Ok good, now let’s get to the meat of this article.

What social media tactics should you deploy to ensure pre-event success?

  • Content – Think pictures, videos, blog posts, registration pages, and event websites
  • People – Think partners, employees, prospects, customers, media, etc.
  • Channels – Paid, Owned, and Earned

Then you can take all 3 of those elements and apply them in all 3 phases of an event tactical plan:

  • Pre-Event
  • On-Site Event Activities
  • Post-Event

Since this post is about pre-event planning, I will leave the on-site activities and post-event for later. Here is a 6 step plan for using social media to drive event attendance. Don’t you love it when you get a step by step approach?

Pre-Event Activities

Step 1: Three to six months prior to the event, you will need to take inventory of the content that is needed to communicate the value of an event to your audience. Creating these pieces of content ahead of time will make your life easier when it comes time to produce social updates. A simple checklist usually does the trick. If you’re into creating content matrices, you’ll be in even better shape. The final action within this step is creating an on-site activities and post-event plan.

Step 2: Craft social updates that are destined for your social outposts. You’ll get to the actual deployment of messages in step 4.

Step 3: You’ll need to create a document or presentation that allows people to activate the content on their personal networks. This is a step that is often missed by most companies. Why operate in a silo, when your content could be spread throughout your business ecosystem? The key is making social activation simple for your ecosystem. You’ll literally pre-craft messages for them to deploy on their personal social media profiles.

Step 4: Schedule your social messages on your preferred social media management system, while also making sure that you have the correct tracking in place to attribute registrations to social media. I use Sprinklr, but Hootsuite is a great choice for budget sensitive businesses. Lastly, apply your advertising budget to promote your updates (if you’ve budgeted for paid social).

Step 5: Monitor your campaign, and watch the retweets, shares, and registrations come in!

Step 6: Having said all of this, it’s also important to send weekly updates to your core stakeholders, which could be internal and/or external parties. This assures everyone that their social media investment is still in good hands. People love metrics and highlights of the campaign.

I believe this is a game plan that any business can use, so go out there and give it a go! My next post will be about coordinating and executing an on-site plan for social media at events.

Have you used this approach in the past? Were you pleased with how the plan turned out? If not, what were the shortcomings? Let me know in the comments below.

image credit: marketing tech blog

Read more: The Importance of Social Activation and Going Beyond Last-Click Attribution