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Social Media Marketing for Events: The Good, the Bad and the Uggers

Industries and businesses differ in the way they use social media.

One reason for this is a tendency to try and adapt traditional marketing techniques to be effective in the world of social media – and this isn’t always easy, nor advisable.

The events industry is a prime example of businesses struggling to let go of legacy marketing tactics and trying to replicate them online.

The outcome of this is often far from pleasurable to the eye.

As someone who works closely with hundreds of event organisers in my role at ticketscript, I’ve picked up a few best practices for those looking to make the most of social media.

True, some segments of the B2B events marketing sector are relatively forward-thinking compared to their consumer-facing counterparts, perhaps due to budget or simply the size of the organisation, but overall, players in the events world have plenty of catching up to do.

So, even if you’re a smaller event organiser, there’s no reason you can’t address your social media marketing to see if you’re really doing the best you can – here are some pointers to start you off.

In order to end on a high, we’re going to buck the trend and start by examining uglier goings on in social media event marketing.


The Ugly

Who knows why, but many event promoters fall foul of some frightful social media sins that should really be long forgotten.

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It’s great that small businesses in any industry are taking on social media, but it requires a little consideration to really make it worthwhile. For example, some habits that need to go:

  • Tweeting and posting on Facebook ALL IN CAPITALS - Do your audience really want to be shouted at? Copy that works on a poster probably doesn’t work in a tweet; your words should always be crafted to suit the medium.
  • Using more !!!!! than actual words!!!!!! - As above, really. An equally lazy tactic which has the same, unhelpful, outcome of making it seem like you’re enduring some kind of unpleasant episode rather than providing your audience with useful or interesting information.
  • Constantly repeating repeating repeating the exact same same exact phrases - If it didn’t work the first time, it certainly won’t the second time. If it *did* work the first time, don’t be complacent and annoy people with it again.
  • Send auto-DMs to your new followers - You might think setting these up is super-skilled socmedbiz, but you’ll feel less smug when you find those hard earned followers immediately disappearing upon receipt of your unsightly spam.

The Bad

 

So that covers the most extreme examples of what not to do.

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Now to look at social media approaches that are generally inoffensive, but also ineffective.

  • Pure broadcasting: Doing nothing but posting links to your own content, products or services is a classic no-no when it comes to social media, but it’s rife in the events industry. Be conversational

  • Lack of personality: What do you and your brand care about? What kind of people are you? Think about how you express this through your social activity, humans respond to humans, after all.

  • Lack of focus: Sharing external content or being conversational with partners, customers and other people from your community is what social media is all about, but don’t lose sight of what you’re ultimately there for. So many Twitter accounts for events companies overlap into the personal lives of those running it, make sure you draw a line when necessary.

  • Just hoping, and hoping: You can set up a Facebook page, start a Twitter profile, post pictures to Instagram, even decide to sort out a blog. If you want people to actually see and engage with your stuff, however, you need to think about how that’s going to happen. For starters, as said before, find your customers, friends and business partners – and talk to them.

  • Careless copy and design: Not everyone’s a natural wordsmith or flamboyant artist, but don’t underestimate the importance of checking over everything you publish online and maintaining certain standards – it shows you care about your events and people will take you more seriously because of it.


The Good

 

Don’t be disheartened – for all the social media vandals and reprobates, the events world includes some very upstanding citizens too. In fact, there are some real pioneers whose creative prowess with social media should inspire even the most know-it-all guru.

Companies like Secret Cinema display true genius when it comes to social media marketing.

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They use their social spaces to post masterful multimedia content about upcoming shows, through which they drum up huge amounts of buzz in the lead up to their highly anticipated announcements.

All of their activity is very much campaign-based, and sticks to a theme in order to gain momentum for everything they put on.

Using a pre-determined theme like this is a great way to keep your content on brand whilst allowing you the freedom to create and share lots of content.

Social media success like this isn’t an accident; it comes about from a considered, disciplined, creative and discerning approach to publishing content and monitoring social media.

It might sometimes seem like a chore, but there are countless examples out there proving that, if you get it right, social media can do wonders to take your event to the next level.