Five ways to successfully promote an event using social media

When you are promoting an event or function, social media is one of the most valuable, inexpensive and creative platforms that you have at your disposal. But there is a right way and a wrong to go about it. You need to intrigue and entice your potential audience, without irritating them and turning them off.

Here are five tips on using Facebook and Twitter to successfully promote your event:

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1. Choose your audience, know your platform
Facebook and Twitter may both be social networks but that doesn’t mean they have the same audience. When promoting an event make sure you know who you are talking to and which platforms they are on. Twitter will come in handy for industry reach, whereas Facebook can specifically target LSM’s, demographics and psychographics suited to your event. For example, if your event is a call to all aspiring DJ’s, then search Twitter using keywords like ‘music’ and ‘DJ’. Once you have found your target audience, then use Facebook to house them as a community. Once you’ve got them…now you can talk to them.

2. Leverage what is free
You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg paying for prime-time radio spots or getting Facebook apps developed. Just know your networks. For example, Facebook’s popularity relies on its core functionality, like ‘photo-tagging’, ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’. All of these actions are easily and freely accessed on the Facebook platform. With a little creativity and platform know-how you can promote your event, create a fan base and engage with them, all without spending a cent. For example, utilise Facebook’s FBML Tab function and customise it so that it becomes a promotional billboard for all new fans during the different life cycles of your event.

3. Get your people to tell their people and their people’s people
One of the greatest functions of Facebook and Twitter is the ability to spread messages quickly from one person’s social network to the next. For example, when promoting a ‘Call for entry’ message, Twitter’s core popularity relies on its viral ability to connect like-minded people with like-minded interests via #hashtagging, @’ing and retweeting.

4. Get by with a little help from your friends
Because social media is so viral in nature, having an opinion leader or “brand ambassador” promoting your event can assist in getting the right people to enter your event or, more importantly, attend your event. For example: Using peer-to-peer referral tactics, MOOKS South Africa recently used their online brand ambassador’s to promote their ‘MOOKS Battle the Beats DJ competition’ through their ambassadors own Facebook friends.

5. Power to the people
The beauty of social media is that it allows fans/followers to contribute and participate at every stage of an event. You can utilise Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘commenting’ for your event voting stages. In that way, the audience feel they are contributing to the outcome of the event and simultaneously reinforcing their relationship with the brand.

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