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Social Media Event Marketing: Key Steps to Take Before, During, and After Your Event to Keep Your Attendees Engaged

Making an event successful is no easy feat. 
Sure, coming up with different ideas is easy, but the biggest challenge to selling out an event is marketing it.
Out of all the marketing channels for events that you may consider for driving attendance or attendee engagement, social media is the king. 
Another major advantage to social media event marketing is that it is not as time-consuming as some of the other marketing strategies.
With that being said, social media event marketing in itself is not easy. Knowing what to post that’ll attract potential attendees requires expert social media wizardry — something Orion knows a thing or two about. After all, we have helped manage Marriot’s event marketing.
To help you make your event a smash hit, we will share with you everything that you need to know about social media event marketing. We’ll tell exactly what to share on social media, before, during, and after your event, to keep your attendees engaged.
Let’s get started…

Pre Social Media Strategy For Events

Before your event even starts, you need to build hype around it. You shouldn’t wait until the last moment to run your marketing campaigns. You need to be proactive.

Create anticipation for event signups

If you want people to be talking about your event, you must create anticipation for people to sign up and register.
Believe it or not, a great number of people will love to talk about your event on Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, way before your event’s official launch date.
This gives you a great opportunity to leverage the buildup to your event to engage with people who have registered or who are looking to register. 
To build that sweet-sweet anticipation, here’s what you can do:

1. Tell your audience about special guests appearing at your event

You can only draw people to your event if it means something to them. For example, if the speakers at your event aren't famous, no one would bother signing up.
This is why you should hire celebrities or social media influencers to appear at your event. You can create teaser videos of guest appearances to build hype. To make things super exciting, consider releasing a single teaser of a single guest each day leading up to your event.

2. Create urgency by posting often about event registration deadlines

Wanna know why most businesses run “limited-time sales”?
Well, it's because they want to create hype. Seeing that something is on sale for a limited time period, interested buyers would jump at the opportunity.
Similarly for your event, you want to create a sense of urgency for potential attendees. Posting frequently about the event registration deadlines will definitely get attendees to purchase tickets.

3. Share sneak-peeks about the event days before your digital media event starts

Sharing sneak peeks is a great way of showing your audience your efforts in building the stage for your event. Sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits can vastly improve your event engagement and stir up the conversation about your event.
Sharing sneak-peeks also makes your fans feel exclusive. After all, you’re giving them exclusive behind the scene access to your event before anyone else. By doing so, you can establish a personal connection with your attendees.
When people start talking about your event on social media, you can jump in on the conversation and share user-generated content UGC to pull in more potential attendees.

4. Host giveaways as part of your event social media plan

People love free s**t. If you offer something for free and ask people to talk about your event on social media, people will do that - trust us!
So, if your event sign-ups haven’t been too impressive, maybe consider hosting free giveaways to get people to register. You can also offer special discounts if you’re not too keen on giving away stuff for free.

What To Share on Social Media During Your Event?

So, your event launch date is finally here. 
People actually showed up to your event - well done… pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.
Fun is over. Now we’re going to talk about what you need to share online during your event.

Create shareable content - social media event ideas

So, what content do people share?
Based on statistics, people share images, videos, and quotes.
Let’s start with setting up a stage where your attendees can interact with the guest speakers and take pictures.

1. Set up a guest interaction stage

When setting up an interaction booth, make sure that you pay attention to detail. You want your booth to advertise your event. That way, when people share pictures, they’re also going to be marketing your event.
Customize your photo booth - use props to encourage people to not only take pictures but also share them on their social media with your event hashtags. You should also focus on event planning keywords and incorporate them in your posts.

2. Share what your event speakers have to say

As mentioned before, people also love to share quotes. So, you can share quotes from your speakers on social channels like Twitter with your event hashtag. You can also mention your speakers in your tweets for the virality factor. This way, not only your attendees will share those quotes but also the people who are not at your event. 
Here’s a great example of shareable content from Adidas:

3. Share behind the scenes pictures and footage of your event

Let’s not leave everything on to your attendees. You can also create engaging posts yourself and entice your attendees to share them.
Grab a camera and go behind the scenes. Capture backstage footage and record short interviews with your attendees and speakers. You can also go live on Facebook and Instagram and get people to share your stream in real-time. 

4. Ask questions and run polls to interact with your audience

To keep the engagement ball rolling, you can run live polls, and ask questions to your attendees. Running simple polls will get people to interact. Twitter polls work great in our opinion. It’s a simple way of creating interactive content.
Aside from running polls, ask questions and talk about issues to get people to engage. For questions, ask someone on your team to create questions before your event starts. That way, you will not find yourself rambling at the last moment. You’ll only be posting quality content online. 

Post-Event Social Media Post Examples - What to Share After The Event

Oh cool, your event has ended.
Went great right?
We thought so too.
Your work is not done yet.
Here’s what you need to do to keep the engagement going after your event ends…

Assess the press coverage you got and ask for feedback

Your event may be over, but that doesn’t mean you let the conversation die.
People will still talk about your event even after it has ended.
How so?
Well, your event will get press coverage - negative or positive. People will also give feedback regarding your event.
One of the most important post-event activities is to conduct an event marketing audit
Let’s look at how you can squeeze a bit more engagement out of your event…

1. Look for all the mentions your event gathered

After your event has ended, it will get some sort of press coverage. If it was a sizable event, a lot of media outlets will talk about it. You’ll either get positive coverage or negative coverage. Either way, it is a good idea to reach out to journalists to see if they’re willing to collaborate. If you see negative coverage about your event, you can reach out to media outlets to see how you can change negatives to positives. There’s always a way.

 2. Ask for feedback to help you improve your next social media event promotion strategy

No event can be perfect.
There’s always room for improvement.
When asking for feedback, expect to receive love and hate. While we encourage you to praise the positive comments, we also urge you to not ignore negative comments. After all, negative comments will help you improve your next event.
To make your feedback drive engaging, you can share a survey for your attendees to fill out. Once you receive the filled surveys, follow up with your participants and tell them how you’ve listened to their concerns and will work hard to incorporate their suggestions in your next event.

Using Social Media For Events - Wrapping up

There you have it. 
We’d love to see you implement what we’ve discussed in this guide in your next game-changing event. But if it’s too much for you to handle on your own, leave it to professionals like Orion. You can always choose an event marketing agency to handle your advertising needs.
If you’re hosting a virtual event, make sure to read this guide: How to Host a Virtual Event.

Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.