Using Social Media to Promote Your Event

Are you in the event planning business? Event planning is a booming industry, and whether you organize a conference, fundraiser, seminar or just a simple party, social media is a beneficial tool to gain more attention and attendees. A huge advertising budget isn’t necessary to get people to show up since we’re now living in a world where social media is everywhere and as close as the nearest laptop. Here are ways to put your event in the spotlight using current technology.

The most well known sites on which to promote events are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Facebook is the largest of the three networks, with almost half a billion users. However, you can use one or a combination of all three to send what’s known as a “mail blast” to individuals who might be interested in the event. That being said, it will take a bit of work to target specific people who share your enthusiasm and each channel will require you to craft different messages.

Linked In

What you could do to make the invitation more enticing is to create a video. Facebook is the friendliest site for those types of presentations and videos can convey lots of excitement. This might spur more people to register for the event. Make a video eye-catching with colorful graphics and an upbeat audio recording. Alternatively, you can record a YouTube video and post it on Facebook.

A hashtag can create lots of buzz for an event when it’s posted on Twitter. The # symbol is used to mark keywords in a Tweet. Basically, it allows anyone to interested in a topic to find others taking about it. To make the most of a hashtag, post it well before the event. Keep it short, unique, and always use it in Tweets.

If your event isn’t free to attend, consider offering two kinds of tickets: early bird and regular. Even better, you can categorize the early bird prices to encourage more sales before the cost of a ticket goes up. If you’re still worried about no one showing up, it might be a good idea to give discounts to people who register early. Customers will feel as if they’re valued and, of course, they might try to invite their friends to come along. If you’re planning to make an event annual, you just might have scored some loyal attendees!

When the big day arrives and the event is in progress, keep the engagement level high by answering questions, sharing insights, and addressing complaints. An on-site promotional campaign, such as one in which attendees take a picture of the event and tag it for the chance to win a prize, can keep everyone present entertained. If you ask attendees to rate the event after it’s over, chances are they will have nothing but positive remarks.

Event planning is tricky and can be expensive. The last thing you want is to invest time, money, and energy only to see an event fail. But social media provides useful tools to increase the odds of success.

Quality vs. Quantity in Social Media

In this day and age, social media is the key to get the word out about a product or service. “Building a brand” is the sentence you will hear in meeting rooms all over the country. When building a base of followers and/or customers, is it better to have 1,000 people or just half that number or even fewer? Does quantity take precedence over quality? Not necessarily, because not all connections on social media platforms are equal. In the ongoing debate about quality vs. quantity, it’s better to strive for quality. Here’s why.

InstagramUsers of social media are realizing that larger networks are less valuable than smaller and more intimate circles. Take a look at your Facebook news feed. How many updates are truly inspiring and meaningful? Are postings from certain users frequently negative or hateful? When a company is using the number of Facebook likes and/or Twitter followers as a yardstick to measure the success of a promotional campaign, the numbers are verifiable at first sight. But, that doesn’t mean the campaign was successful because more isn’t always better. Why? People sometimes follow accounts with thousands of fans just to be part of the crowd.

It’s no longer necessary or logical to focus on the quantity of the audience for social media success. With a smaller audience, you can target the individuals who are genuinely interested in what you’re selling. Quality is always the right strategy. After all, you want to get people talking, sharing, and clicking.

Quality content builds a loyal and enthusiastic audience. It’s even better when they respond to your questions and ask a few of their own. The exchange of information is a two-way street – the business owner and the customers are learning from each other. Quality followers may not always buy your product or service, but they will support you in many other ways, such as attending your conferences, mentioning your name and sharing your content. Quantity is detrimental in this case. One thousand followers might seem great, but most of those people probably don’t know you or care about what you’re trying to promote.

How do you find quality followers? Connect with like-minded people in your industry. When it comes to posting content, choose what’s educational and useful to people in your network. Spice it up with entertaining posts too because every once in a while everyone needs to laugh. Try to master the 80/20 rule. Basically, eighty percent of the content you post should be helpful and the remaining twenty percent can be self-promotional. When it comes time to drive traffic to your website, you’ll be grateful for the loyal base of followers who will visit.

Social networks place emphasis on having conversations. Interact with those in your network. Ask and answer questions, and respond to comments even if they are negative.

So, there you have it. There can be no doubt that quality is vastly more important than quantity. It might be time to take another look at your Facebook account and purge those with whom you have little in common.

How to Start a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Launching a successful kickstarter campaign takes a lot of work. What is kickstarter? It’s a funding platform for creative endeavors: music, art, technology, and so on. There are many tools at your disposal to make a great campaign, but use them in such a way that reflects who you are as a person and what you’re trying to accomplish.

The first and probably most important thing is to know your goal. Are you looking for donations to pre-fund production, or is it to get the word out about a new product? Tell people right from the start where the money is going. They’ll respect honesty more than anything else.

The technology needed to make a video is right at your fingertips, but the really important part is to make an intriguing presentation for your audience. You’ll attract more support if the audience can see genuine passion and commitment, and in the first ten to fifteen seconds people will make up their minds if they want to continue watching or not. There is but one chance to sell yourself, so make it a video that sticks in people’s minds long after it’s over.

Launching a successful kickstarter campaign requires setting a conservative financial goal. In other words, keep it lower than what you really want because if the goal isn’t reached, you won’t get the funds. Imagine if you’re looking to get $10,000 and the donations total $9,700! And, you might have needed far less than $10,000 to get a project up and running. Try breaking a project down into smaller pieces and ask for portions of money to be sent at each stage of the campaign. For example, if you’re making a film you can request money to shoot it then six months down the line come back and ask for more to market the final product. Your backers can monitor your progress and if they like what they see, you’ll have a solid fan base.

So, now the campaign is in full swing and donations are coming in. Is your job over? Certainly not! Things are just getting started. Providing consistent updates throughout the project will show you’re active and motivated. Investors will want to know how their money is being used, so respond to their questions and messages. As the campaign moves along, remember to thank those who donated. They like to be acknowledged and sending a personal email with a message of thanks will make them feel appreciated.

As stated earlier, making a kickstarter fundraising drive a success is no small feat. Donations never come in by themselves. It’s going to take a long time to build a “tribe” of supporters who believe in what you’re doing. Last but not least, make sure you’re selling a top-notch product. How can any business survive without one? Be honest about absolutely everything and treat your backers with friendliness and generosity. Perhaps your next crowdfunding adventure will turn into an amazing success story.

How Businesses Can Take Advantage of Trending Topics

Trending topics, ranging from the death of a major celebrity to the latest baseball scores, get lots of people talking. There’s no denying the fact that social media is here to stay, and news stories are broadcasted around the world in just a few minutes. How can businesses use trending topics to become more visible and competitive? Timing is a critical factor because if a conversation ends, then whatever comment you post won’t be seen.

When a news story goes “viral” it’s being shared on a massive scale, and millions of people are viewing and chatting about it. Knowing when one of these stories is out there on social media involves nothing more than checking in with Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis. Those two sites aren’t the only places you can look; there are quite a few of them with unique features. Here are ways to take advantage of trending topics.

Some topics are difficult to anticipate, and others are in plain sight. To be the first company to talk about a trending topic, look at your calendar at take note of upcoming occasions such as holidays, events in the entertainment industry, sporting events, or anything else of that nature that relates to your brand.

Trending tweetIf you look at the left hand side of your Twitter profile, you’ll notice a list of trends. This is what Twitter users are talking about at this very moment, and you can adjust the geographical parameters to match your location. Another way to see what’s hot right now is to click the “Discover” button at the top of the page.

Facebook has a similar feature. In the right hand corner there is a trending topics section in the user’s news feed, and they’ll be customized for that particular user. There is a slight difference with Facebook: there is a short description of why these topics are trending. However, Facebook doesn’t list trending topics in “real” time like other sites.

Make a trending topic work for your company by adding relevant comments. Randomly sharing blog links will have little effect and can be detrimental to your image. When a big news story hits cyberspace join the conversation early, but use caution when trying to capitalize on a trend. Conversations flow in all directions and trending topics can change without much notice. Be careful not to post anything that appears inappropriate or irrelevant.

If you’re a regular user of Twitter, then hashtags will be familiar. They are an integral tool of marketing and can’t be ignored. Make a brand hashtag that is unique to your business. You can think of it as a social media signature, and it’s important to make it short and memorable.

When there is a trend that relates to your business, using a trending hashtag in your content update can get your message seen by a big audience. Just be mindful enough not to spam trending topics particularly when they’re not connected with your business. Your twitter account might be suspended.

Facebook Contests Done Right

Do Facebook contests really work? They do! If you’re planning to organize a contest on Facebook and want to ensure its success, there are some guidelines you must follow. When done in the right way, Facebook contests can allow business owners to increase sales and ensure customer loyalty. Aren’t these the most important things in the business world? Before you begin a contest, consider if it’s absolutely necessary. Running a contest because everyone else is doing it is a mistake. If you’re seeking more Facebook likes and increased brand awareness, then a contest might help to achieve those objectives.

Step One

The first thing to do is to know what market you’re trying to reach. Who do you want to take part in the contest? Once you have a firm idea of the people whom you’re targeting, you can promote the contest accordingly. Next, decide what type of contest will work best. Will it be a sweepstakes contest? These are easy to enter and boost product/service likes and awareness. A prize is given to a random winner (very much like a name taken from a hat) on a specified date. Or, will it be an instant win contest? This operates like a casino slot machine, and rapidly engages your fan base. There are other types of contests too: photo contests, essay contests, and video contests.

Step Two

The next step is to become familiar with Facebook’s policies. The list of what you can and can’t do is long. For example, you must state loud and clear that the contest is not being sponsored or administered by Facebook, and they are quite adamant about this. Winners have to be notified by email or phone before their names can be publicly announced on Facebook. And, calls to action such as “Don’t forget to vote” and “Tell your friends” are prohibited.

Short StackIt’s no longer a requirement that contests be run on a third-party app, but it’s still a good practice. First and foremost, your life will be so much easier because the contest is simpler to run. Secondly, you’ll get real-time analytics, which are great for measuring how many people enter the contest. You can collect email addresses and interact with participants even after the contest is finished. Have you thought about making the contest open to Facebook users who don’t live in your own country? If you do this, work out how you will ship the prize to the winner.

Even after the contest is over, the job of marketing isn’t. To develop positive relationships with those who entered the contest and to entice potential customers, do a follow-up. Here are some ways to do that.

Congratulate the winner, and if geography isn’t an issue meet the individual up close and snap a photo with him/her receiving the prize. Make a blog post with the photo and thank all who participated. Make sure to invite them to the next contest, taking place next month or next year. Run different types of contest each time, and remember to have fun!

For example if you have just opened a new barber shop and want to spread the word about the new shop, you may run a facebook contest. You could offer a few free hair cuts or one the best beard trimmers on the market to try and make your potential customers take notice of the contest and want to engage in the competition.