One of the primary goals of conferences and meetings is driving attendance and attendee engagement. But what is the best way to reach your attendees? Do you know your target market? How do you determine which outlet(s) work best to engage with them? These are all questions every event planner needs to be able to answer before they can move into constructing a marketing campaign for their meeting. While this seems like a daunting task, using the proper digital channels tailored to your target attendees, you can be easily boosting meeting registration with social media.
Boosting Meeting Registration with Social Media:
Like all social media marketing, email marketing requires a significant amount of research. You will need to have an in-depth understanding of your target market: where they are from, age, gender, profession, etc. Studies prove that where your event’s potential attendees are from primarily affects what day you should send them an email. According to Eventbrite’s Maddie Veal, the UK attendees are more likely to engage your email on a Tuesday, while US attendees are typically opening that same email on Wednesday. Your target market will also determine the best time of day you should send emails. For professional events, send your emails during business hours, excluding the 11:00 am-1:00 pm lunch hours.
You also have to watch out for sending too many emails (or not enough emails) when promoting your event. If you send too many, you risk frustrating your recipients and therefore, increase your likelihood of unsubscribers and decreasing registrations. If you do not send enough, there’s a missed opportunity of quality engagement with your marketing campaign and potential attendees. It is widely accepted that you should not send more than two emails a week, but for some even two a week would be considered aggressive. There’s a fine line between tantalizing and terrorizing so tread carefully!
Facebook is rated as the most useful social media tool for event promotion and is utilized by 84% of event planners. With approximately 1.5 billion users, Facebook becomes one of the most appealing social media outlets to market your event and engage with attendees. The plot twist for using Facebook, however, is they are slowly reducing the number of marketing posts from business profile pages on individual’s timelines. So how does one use this platform to promote their event? Here are a few pointers to consider:
- Utilize Word of Mouth
- Encourage existing event attendees, speakers and sponsors to recommend and “share” the event with other contacts.
- 71% of users claimed they would be more likely to register for an event if the event was referred to them by a friend.
- Eye-catching Photos
- Users are much more likely to stop and look at your event’s post on their feed if the picture is attractive and colorful.
- Promote Speakers
- Tag the guest speakers of your event directly in your posts, post videos of them, schedule a social media takeover, etc.
For your event page on Facebook, be sure to have a call-to-action. The best example would be a direct link to your main registration page. To reward your Facebook followers, consider giving them an exclusive offer for a cheaper registration rate. Note that the only way this would be appreciated is if you put this code only on Facebook rather than all your social media outlets.
Make sure you do your marketing research. Facebook provides Page Insights, which is an analytics tool that helps you see what posts are gaining the most attention from your followers. You can see how users are interacting with posts, how many times your event page has been visited, and how the number of likes per post change over time. Be sure to pick up on what works best for your attendees and keep doing it!
While often overlooked, LinkedIn can serve as a significant marketing outlet for planning a corporate event. Studies show the overall top activities on LinkedIn are “industry networking (61%), keeping in touch (61%), and co-worker networking (55%)” (Forbes). For more professional events, create a networking group with many people from your desired industry and implement a marketing campaign into the networking page. Be sure not to make it entirely a sales pitch and continue to frequently add helpful industry information to build your brand and your reputation. Other ways you can use LinkedIn include:
- Posting on your company’s main page
- Posting on your personal LinkedIn profile
- Garner excitement amongst your connections and position yourself as a thought-leader in the industry!
- Sending Direct Messages
- Be sure to include a call-to-action and make the message personalized to each attendee.
- Beware of the copy/paste method. You want your message tailored to the contact.
Instagram has some of the most engaged users on any social media platform. What businesses find advantageous is a picture from a company will appear the same way a picture from a friend would…therefore they would get the same attention as if they were a friend posting an image. To build your SEO, be sure to use common hashtags that someone in your industry may search. As a rule of thumb, you should include 3-5 hashtags per post on average. This will increase your following, which will boost reach and buzz for your company and your event. Be sure to promote your speakers too, especially if you have a unique keynote speaker. You can post a video of them giving a quick elevator pitch about themselves, or even let them take over your account for a day to create more buzz for your event. In general, Instagram is a great tool to use during the event, but there are also several key tactics you can use to generate registration before the event.
Snapchat has an astounding 100 million DAILY users! Bizzabo considers them to be an untapped social media goldmine. Because it is fairly untested for businesses, not many event planners use it for marketing events just yet. The catch-22 is the photo/video you post will disappear in 10 seconds, or if it is on your Snap Story, it will disappear in 24 hours. However, if your company is very involved with Snapchat, to begin with, it may be advantageous for you to tease your event’s marketing campaign on it.
You can also use this platform for during-event marketing by using custom Snapchat geofilters to create buzz and awareness while it is operating. Just remember your audience when considering which of these channels to utilize for boosting your meeting’s registration numbers.
Snapchat may be a fresh approach to attracting Millenials to your registration page, but it’s unlikely to grasp the attention of those attending an executive-level meeting. Always perform your due diligence on prospective attendees to determine which methods will fall flat, and which methods will rocket your attendance numbers to new highs.
For more information on registration for meetings and events, go to our Events page!