In this guest post, Eventbrite UK’s Bel Booker explores how charities can use social media to inform their supporters about events and encourage people to get involved. So you’ve booked the venue, planned your event’s content and set up your Eventbrite event page for registration and ticket sales. Nice one! Now you just need to let people know that your excellent event is taking place. Where to start? Free of charge and used by billions of people every day, social media is an obvious starting point for event marketing. But if you’re setting up brand new profiles and don’t have an existing audience, or you want to increase your audience size, how do you get more people to follow you? Follow these 7 steps to start gathering likes, follows and shares for your event and grow your attendance at the same time.
Start with low-hanging fruit by asking all team members to like or follow your event profile from their personal accounts and promote it to their existing followers. You should also ask them to share any of your content they think their network might be interested in. Allocate 10-minutes a day to this task – they will probably enjoy being given permission to surf social media in work hours! Don’t have colleagues to ask? Reach out to your family, friends and peers to ask for their help instead!
Don’t just count on others to find you; actively find and follow people who might be interested in your event. This is the single most effective thing you can do to grow your own social media following. Followerwonk is a brilliant free tool you can use to simply search for Twitter users with the keywords or interests you want to engage with in their profiles. Engaging with these users and sharing their content will help establish you in your niche area. They will also be more likely to share your content in return. Buzzsumo, meanwhile, is a fantastic tool to help you find the most socially shared content relating to any topic. You can see the ‘influencer’ who posted the original content, a selection of those who shared it and share it yourself at the click of a button. Try to build relationships with those influencers by connecting with them and commenting on their posts. Perhaps even ask if they would be interested in providing a guest post for your blog?
As well as finding relevant influencers to connect with directly, another great way to build your social media following is through finding targeted topics and conversations to join in. Once again, there are lots of great free tools you can use to find conversations worth joining – usually organised around hashtags. Topsy is a particularly useful and popular tool for this, while Hashtagify.me shows you relationships between keywords and phrases, so you can broaden out your reach and find new, but related, audiences.
While social media may be free, to make it pay you must invest enough time. This means finding valuable, useful and shareable content and posting several times a day. You must also display good social media etiquette by responding to messages/comments and engaging with others, rather than merely blasting out marketing messages. Sharing news and research in your field is a good place to start, while you work on your own original content. Using a free RSS service like Feedly can really help cut down the time it takes you to find interesting content to share, too. Don’t forget to put social share buttons on each individual post to make it easy for readers to share. You never know, it could go viral! If not, you can always cheat and use a service like Post Planner that provides content proven to increase your Facebook likes and shares.
Did you know you can display selected Tweets and Instagram photos on your Eventbrite event page? To pull in content, you simply set up a custom hashtag, such as #besteventever, which you then use in your social media posts. The Social Stream feature can be set up on the “Manage” page for each event you create. In the left sidebar features menu, click “Social Stream” under “Invite and Promote”. Here you’ll see where you can connect your accounts, add tags, and filter by date and/or location to specify which photos and tweets to pull into your event page. Social Stream helps to showcase the collective excitement and social conversation surrounding your event.
If anyone is going to be interested in what you have to say, it will be those who are considering or already have signed up for your event. Be sure to link your social media accounts to your Eventbrite event page, so your attendees can easily connect with you. The buttons will show up in the “Hosted by” section of your event page, just below the button to “Contact the Host” with any questions related to the event. You can also add custom questions to your Eventbrite registration process asking people to add their social own profiles. This will enable you to reach out to them personally and start following them on Twitter/Instagram etc. This is good way to demonstrate that you are interested in your customer. Here’s a list of additional resources to make the most of Eventbrite’s social media features, including a new release which allows you to sell your tickets direct on Facebook pages!
People are far more likely to be interested in an event if their friends have already signed up for it. Eventbrite offers a “See Who’s Going” feature that lets users see which of their Facebook friends are attending. Users are asked to log into Facebook through the event page to access this information. They can then share the event on their own profile, perhaps seeing if any friends want to come along with them. Conclusion Taking the 7 steps above will quickly start a buzz around your event, and the further ahead of your event date you start your social media activity, the better. Unless you’re buying likes and follows or using other underhand tactics, growing an engaged audience is an organic process. Of course, it’s a learning curve, too, but Eventbrite’s reporting tells you what social media channels have been most effective and helped you to sell most tickets. This helps you understand how social media can work for you and steer your future activity. Soon you’ll have a large, loyal and ever growing social following – and sell out events too! Eventbrite is now offering UK charities £200 credit for new organiser accounts through Charity Digital Exchange.