Until five years ago, promoting an event was pretty straightforward. Put up a few flyers, call your key clients and, if you really felt like splurging, hire a PR agency to talk it up to the media.
Times have changed. Social media now gives everyone the power to speak to an audience of thousands. But even if you have less than 100 followers, don’t fret. Media guru Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, says, “You don’t need a million followers to make an impact.” In fact, she believes that, the key is to be “authentic and transparent,” to beam your message across the Internet.
Harness the power of social media to give more mileage to your special events and fundraisers with our guide.
1. Start a Buzz.
Your content, including your language, photos and videos, must be strong enough to get people talking and sharing your message. Think eye-catching images and on-trend language.
2. Make A Connection.
Build your relationships with people first, then promote your events.
3. Streamline Your Message.
Focus on sharing content that is relevant to your industry, brand and event.
4. Respond Quickly.
Be quick to reply to questions or comments about your event. These days, a 24-hour-or-less response time is the norm on social media.
5. Start the Conversation.
Two or three weeks before your salon event, start promoting it. Add a lot of teasers to your social media posts, especially if you will be having local (or mega!) celebrities onsite when your event happens. “Generate buzz by hinting at the headline act with a Vine video, featuring the keynote or demonstrating a new product,” suggests Laura Walker, senior marketing manager for EventSpot.
6. Check Your Guest List.
Invite key influencers and bloggers to your event. “Give them [event] information ahead of time, including social media handles, hashtags, seating, contact persons, and messaging times,” says Amy Marshall of CSO Fathom, Columbus Division, adding a reminder to “provide them with special seating for the coverage and interview access,” which can influence your event coverage. And don’t forget that a nice gift bag goes a long way, too!
7. Do a Countdown.
“This isn’t a simple ‘Five days until the event’ status on Facebook,” explains James Williams a social media specialist with Articulon a marketing and public relations agency specializing in branding. “It’s more of a ‘hero shot’ that is a snippet of the event.” Use photos of causes and spokespeople that will continue to generate the conversation.
8. Reward followers.
Offer special discounts for sharing your posts. Added benefits might include a chance to go backstage or a meet-and-greet with VIPs in attendance.
Event Day Essentials
9. Create a Visual Display.
Add posters onsite to remind people of the proper hashtags you will be using and encourage them to take pictures in the designated staged areas.
10. Look for Photo Ops.
Set up a step-and-repeat area by using a backdrop that displays the name of your salon as well as the sponsors of your event. This is a very fun and effective opportunity for your event that works very well, especially on Instagram.
It’s a Wrap
11. Keep the Conversation Going.
Immediately following the event, recap a selection of tweets from your Twitter feed by summarizing what took place, cause, date, location and goal reached.
12. Show off Memorable Moments.
The day after your event, create an album on Facebook mentioning the cause that was supported, date, location and key attendees, along with the fundraising goal that was achieved.
13. Capture It.
Put together beautiful short video stories on Flipagram using your Facebook, Instagram and camera roll photos set to Top 40 music you love. Share on all of your social media platforms.