Is Viral Marketing on Your Event Planning Checklist?
The Sprocket Report
If you’re planning a corporate or not-for-profit event, you want it to be successful and well-attended. But while busily working through your event checklist, you may be hurting your own viral marketing opportunities.
Everyone understands the power of social media and folks want news of their events to “go viral” even though they ignore the most basic online marketing tactics. While there is no “go viral” magic wand, there is much you can do to make it easier for word to get around.
Give a website link
Your event info should be attractively displayed on a web page so you and your followers can simply share that page link. Obviously you can’t supply all the details in Twitter’s 140 characters, so a link is mandatory. Facebook, blog and email posts should also use the link. Parking, prices and other information is important to provide, but not in a marketing message that you want to be shared.
Also be sure to check that your links are working. We recently saw a blog post about a cool upcoming event that ended with the Call-To-Action of “Register Now!” But there was no link to a registration page nor contact info even without a link. Why frustrate your reader at the exact moment they’re ready to take action?
Finally, remember to include an eye-catching graphic. When you post your event link on Facebook, that graphic will also appear which makes your post more likely to be noticed and shared.
Make it more than just a PDF
Sure, you slaved over that flyer of your event, but resist the temptation to just post it as a PDF. While PDFs can be indexed in Google now, you’re still making things more difficult than they need to be. Readers who click on your event link will then face the extra step of downloading the PDF. That can be aggravating on a cell phone. Even more aggravating, they’ll have to pinch and swipe to read any of the information once they have downloaded it.
Also it makes a lousy looking graphic if you post it on Facebook.
Feature each of your event items
Sharing just a list or a calendar of your events sends a confusing message to your readers. If you are trying to get folks excited about your Kids’ Fair, why make them wade through information about the Shred Event and the Senior Expo? Each event merits its own news article – with its own graphic, of course – so that you can share each one separately.
Also consider whether you need to write two separate posts for a single event. If you want to encourage sponsors and sell booth space to the Kids’ Fair, you should write and link to one article to be shared with a specific audience because families with kids don’t care how much extra it costs to have electricity at a six-foot display table. Then when it’s time to encourage visitors to the Kids’ Fair, there should be a different article at a different link describing what’s cool at this event for kids.
Long-time followers of The Sprocket Report know that successful event promotion is a perennial quest of ours. Springtime is when folks start pushing summer events and we can’t help face-palming at all the missed marketing opportunities. If you’d like help with your social media marketing, just give us a call. We’re happy to help!