Social Media utilized for businesses purposes is relatively new in comparison to traditional marketing strategies. Social media used to promote events and seminars have been compared to word of mouth marketing, which has been around for quite a while. Similar to word of mouth marketing, social media used correctly offers the unique opportunity to gain a tremendous amount of exposure for events and seminars.
One of the most important things about using Social Media effectively is to know your channels, followers and audience. The user demographic on all social media channels is very different, so when sending your message by way of social media it is good to keep this in mind.
Channels that you should incorporate into your marketing strategy:
SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS
Facebook: Is one of the most powerful social media channels available. It presents you with the opportunity to harness this power to expose your seminars and events to, not only your friends and followers, but the friends and followers of your friends as well.
Seminars and events:
- Facebook Business Page: If you do not have a Facebook Business Page, you should create one. This presents you with the opportunity to have people “LIKE” your page AND you can now market to them. Facebook page followers usually prefer that you post two to three times per day.
- Upon creation of your business page, make sure you add content about your business, and or what you do. If the primary focus of your business is seminars and events, make sure you list as much detail as possible about what kinds of events and seminars you conduct.
- Creation of a Facebook Cover page is very important. This allows people that have liked your page to get an idea of what you do and what your business is all about within a few seconds, just by viewing your cover page. The Facebook cover photo dimensions are 315px x 851px. You can find a cheat sheet of all social media images sizes online. Remember to view the Facebook cover photo terms of usage.
- Facebook Events: This is a great channel that you can use to create and promote your events.
- Personal Page Events: If you have people that you are connected to on your personal page, you can utilize this avenue to invite them to your event. If you have never created an event you can find instructions on The Facebook Help Page.
- Business Page Events: You also have the ability to create events on your business page. You can find instructions for that on the Facebook Fan Page Event Help Page.
Twitter: Is a very different platform than Facebook because it lends itself to a more conversational tone and followers are extremely tolerant to more sharing of content. This is especially the case if you provide information that is helpful to them in addition to your self-promotion pieces. Most of the people that are following you on Twitter are following because they are interested in what you are sharing, your events, promotions etc. So, they are very open to 140 character short bursts of information about what you have going on. Just remember to also include useful content, NOT just self-promotion content.
Seminars and events:
- Just like Facebook, make sure you create a bio for yourself. Add your website or blog URL if you have either.
- Create a twitter header image; the size should be 1500 x 500. If you have the ability to create multiple graphic headers you should consider using different graphics to promote each of your events. If you chose to go this route make sure you have a basic graphic to use for your header image that will be utilized after your events and perfect for general purposes.
- Check out the Twitter Help page for more details about customizing your profile.
- Strategy: At one time people just tweeted, but this, like any other social media activity, has evolved.
- Scheduling Tweets: It is a good idea to start tweeting about your event/seminar a few days ahead of your event, but it is essential the day before your event. Scheduling these tweets is advisable. Find our more in the Free Social Media Tools section below.
- Live Tweeting: Is the latest rage now and if you can arrange this and if you think it may be beneficial to your events, it is advisable. Live Tweeting encourages engagement, your followers feel connected to you. Also, most importantly, everyone that is live tweeting with you is ALSO tweeting about your event to ALL of their followers. This is a way to extend the reach of your event, with the help of your followers.
TV has started utilizing live tweeting as an avenue to increase engagement among fans and actors and it has proven to very successful. So live tweeting during events is something to consider. Twitter recently quantified the impact of live tweeting during television events.
Vine: Was considered rather silly when it first arrived but later people realized how powerful this platform could be for engagement and social sharing. Vine is an app that allows you to video very small snippets of video and loops them together. They are easily shared and people LOVE them. Twitter owns Vine so it is really easy to share between these two platforms. Tide is a company that has successfully utilized Vine for marketing campaigns.
LiveStream: Is a platform that allows you to live stream your event by way of video. This could provide a great avenue to expose your event to people while it is taking place. This platform actually allows you to engage with those that are watching your event as well. This is a very powerful channel that should be added to your arsenal of tools.
LinkedIn: Is one of the most power social media platforms utilized primarily for businesses purposes, and they have absolutely NO competition in this space. For business events/seminars it is essential that LinkedIn is utilized.
Seminars and events:
- Connecting: LinkedIn is a powerful platform in which to connect and network with like-minded professionals. It started out as a platform, which was viewed as an online resume, however they have grown beyond this due to a variety strategic company acquisitions.
- Company Page: Is an essential part of keeping your network abreast of what you are doing, your events and seminars.
- Groups: Is an area that should be utilized to present yourself as an authority in your industry. It can also be used to promote your events and seminars.
- Articles: Pulse is the newest option that is really being aggressively pushed by LinkedIn. This portion of the site allows you to post articles directly to LinkedIn, instead of using an outside blogging platform. This is a very powerful tool because when you have completed your article and it’s posted, everyone in your network will be notified that you just posted a new article for the LinkedIn Pulse .
Slideshare: Is a great platform that allows you to post PowerPoint and Keynote presentations to a social format. This allows followers to view, share and embed your presentations to their blogs, websites etc.
- LinkedIn owns Slideshare so your Slides can also be incorporated into your LinkedIn Profile using the LinkedIn Slideshare app.
Seminars and events: If you utilize a PowerPoint for your event or seminar, AFTER you’ve completed your event/seminar, you could post your slides for those that were unable to attend your event.
Google: We all know the power of Google, so utilizing some of what Google has to offer is a definite MUST for promoting your seminars and events.
- Google Plus: Is one of the most powerful, yet underutilized social media platforms. The biggest benefit of using Google plus is that content shared on Google plus is factored into search results and will increase your search rank. Your Google+ Page will allow your personal page, your business page and YouTube channel to work together seamlessly to help you to promote your business, seminar or event.
Seminars and events:
- Get started by creating a personal Google plus page.
- Just like Facebook and Twitter, you have an area to create a cover page. The dimensions are 1192 x 2120. This space, just like for all of these platforms is very important because it is “prime real estate”, so you can announce different real estate like burnaby condos for sale or other properties. The cover page presents you with the opportunity to showcase your talents, display your unique value proposition, and promote yourself and your events.
- You can get started using the Google plus Get Started
- Google Plus Events: Is a platform that allows you to create an event and invite those that follow you. To find out more about events, check out the Google Plus Events Page.
Seminars and events: This event option should be used at least one week before your event, if possible. You can easily post your seminar or event to this platform and share it with your followers. What’s good about inviting people to your event is that the friends of the person attending your event will also be notified about your event. This is a great way to extend the reach of your seminar or event past just the people you are connected to.
- Google Local: IS an amazing and free way to present your business locally. This page, after created is extremely powerful because it utilizes Google Maps in search results, so your business can be found.
Seminars and events: Make sure your contact information is up to date so you will be found in search locally. Start by verifying your business with Google Local.
- YouTube: Is the second most searched platform and one of the most utilized platforms online. People love to watch and share videos, so this platform is a “must “when promoting event/seminars and businesses.
Seminars and events: If you have the capabilities to create a short video about your upcoming event, you could share that on your social media channels to create a buzz about your event or seminar. Creating YouTube videos are a lot easier than they use to be, due to smart phones.
FREE SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS
Social Media is free if you don’t count the amount of time that it takes to fully take advantage of its benefits. If you go by the “time is money” philosophy, social media might not be considered free at all. The key to utilizing social media to harness the power to promote is taking advantage of ALL of the available tools used to help you work smarter not harder.
Scheduling tools will become your friend and FREE scheduling tools will become your BEST friend. There are a variety of available FREE social media tools to help you manage your time, while giving you the ability to take advantage of all that social media has to offer. You can select to utilize a few or all of them depending on what meet your needs. I use a combination of Facebook scheduling for Pages, Buffer and Laterbro.com. I use Facebook scheduling for pages to schedule my page posts, Buffer to schedule Google plus and Twitter if I have a small amount to post and Laterbro.com if I need to schedule a large quantity of Twitter posts.
- Facebook Scheduling for Pages: This was one of the best things ever for people that use Facebook pages to promote their events, seminars and or businesses. To find out more about scheduling posts on your Facebook Page, go the Facebook Help Page.
- Buffer: Is one of the best social media scheduling platforms available. Buffer offers a free option and an upgraded version, which includes advanced scheduling options and analytics for your posts. The free version allows you to schedule up to 10 posts on 2 different social media platforms. I like FREE, so I utilize all free options on all platforms.
- Laterbro.com is a FREE platform that allows you to schedule posts for Twitter or your personal Facebook page. This is great if you have a larger quantity of tweets to schedule.
Blogs are a great way to promote events and seminars at your own pace and timeline. Your blog allows you the freedom to post content about upcoming events weeks ahead of time to build a buzz about the event. These blog posts can additionally be posted to social media channel to further extend the reach of the seminar or event.
A few things that should be considered as additions to your blog:
- Add a calendar of events, this allows your readers to see current and future events and seminars. They can plan to attend your event in advance.
- Add as section/page for EVENTS/SEMINARS to your navigation; this allows your blog readers to plan for future events. In this section you could also add a submenu.
- Include a Past Events section in the submenu of your navigation. You can add pictures, videos and other content from past events.
- Include a Future Events section in the submenu of your navigation, which allows your readers to see what events are coming soon.