Using Social Media to Supercharge Your Event
Ideas & Tips for Spreading the Word
In a world filled with digital likes, shares, and favorites, social media can be a powerful tool for promoting and supercharging any event – your fundraiser , race, prom , neighborhood cleanup, carnival , product launch, professional panel, or even a special anniversary, reunion , or birthday. It offers the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing, but with a MUCH bigger community that has a MUCH easier way to spread the word about your upcoming event to their own personal networks. Whether you’re already social media savvy or a newbie, these tips and tricks will help spread the word, boost turnout, and make any event more memorable and successful!
1. Match your Platform(s) to the Audience: Figure out who the target audience is for your event and where they spend their time interacting on social media – meet them there! If you’re targeting Gen Z, then TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and sometimes Twitter are great platforms to start your promotion. For Millennials and moms, you’ll find Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are solid choices. If most of your attendees are over 40, Facebook and Twitter are likely the best way to reach them. For professional events, LinkedIn should be your first stop and likely Twitter and Facebook next.
2. Start Promoting Early: If you’re using social media to recruit participants, volunteers, and donors, or for the purpose of selling tickets, you should start promoting on social media 6-8 weeks before the event to pique people’s interest and build excitement. The same goes for an ‘all invited” kind of bash – tap into social media for your “save the date” announcements and to post and track RSVPs. Check out our fave party invitation sites here – most sync with your social media accounts.
3. Create a Dedicated Account Page: Having a dedicated account page can help you showcase all the details of your event in one place, such as date, time, location, entertainment, prizes, etc. You can set one up through Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even TikTok. You can even have multiple accounts across different social media apps to reach more people.
4. Create Buzz: Social media is ideal for generating buzz around your events – consider these ideas:
Post a countdown to event day. You can do this easily on your Instagram or Facebook story.
Post teasers to help get people excited about your event. Hosting a live auction? Tease some of the auction items. For a race, share route highlights, sponsors, and post-race entertainment details. For a professional product launch, reveal a new feature or color. Having live music? Share the band’s top song.
Create a hashtag! Use it in your pre-event promotions and print it on posters hung at your event along with a QR Code with links to your social media accounts. This way attendees can’t miss the hashtag and are able to use it to promote and share their own participation during the event.
Host a contest! Ask people to tweet or post questions before a panel discussion, share a video of their prom-posal, or a picture of what they plan to wear to the event. Offer door prizes, free passes, or access to special events to people who use your hashtag or mention your organization in their posts.
Provide sneak peeks, such as pictures of the event space coming together, swag bags, and catering highlights.
Design a custom filter for the event on Snapchat or Instagram and ask attendees to use it with their posts.
Share exclusive content related to the event with your followers. This again could include sneak peeks, behind the scenes photos or interviews with guest speakers, sponsors, and event entertainers.
5. Engage Followers: Interact with your community by responding to comments, sharing encouragement, and fielding questions. Recruit a ‘buzz team’ of influencers (volunteer or paid) for larger events – a group of insiders with their own large social media followings to initiate the conversation and to boost, like, and share content posted by other attendees in a timely manner. After the event, use social media to share survey links to get feedback and ideas for improvement from your participants and attendees.
6. Plan Sharable Spaces & Props for Event Day: Seek opportunities for social media sharing during your event. This can be a simple photo booth with funny stick props and hats for a family reunion or birthday party, a giant picture frame with the event hashtag for the finish line at the race or at the gala, painted face-in-hole props to match the theme, a costumed superhero for neighborhood cleanups, or elaborate designed spaces with neon signs, murals, flowers, and balloons for professional events. Get creative – what will get attendees excited about taking pictures and sharing in their own feeds?
7. Create an Editorial Calendar: Having a consistent cadence of posts in the social media feeds where your target audience is likely to engage won’t happen by chance. Plan what you will post and on what platform in an editorial calendar that includes a detailed schedule. If you’re enlisting the help of a ‘buzz team’, include details of who will be responsible for posting and engaging others each day. Facebook and Meta have a Planner feature that allows you to schedule posts in advance and tools like Hootsuite allow you to do the same for Twitter and Instagram.
8. Paid Ads: Depending on your budget and goals, consider using paid social media ads to help you reach a wider audience.
Tap into this amazing resource to build excitement around your event and get the biggest turnout possible. Happy event planning!