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How to make a virtual event successful by using social media

Imagine hosting an event without any participants or attendees? Doesn’t make sense, right? Making people aware of your event is the most important aspect of hosting any event. And that’s where marketing fits in. Although traditional techniques of event promotion still exist (print marketing), however, social media has proven to be an increasingly effective medium to boost audience awareness and participation, especially in the case of virtual events.  Let’s take a look at some of the important social media engagement stats by Statista, 2020:
  • About 3.2 billion people use social media every day—that’s roughly 42% of the world’s population.
  • 73% of marketers claim that social media has been very effective in their promotion efforts. 
Implementing an effective social media marketing strategy can turn a mediocre virtual event into a memorable and productive one. The major objective of marketing any virtual event should be to increase registration, participation, as well as to building and promoting strong brand awareness. However, it is understandable it can be difficult to figure out how to use social media to maximize the coverage of your event. So, here’s a guide to help you promote your event on social media before the commencement, on the day, and after the event is wrapped up.

Before the event:

  • Before the event starts, you need to spread the word in the world through various social media channels. During this time, the aim is to raise awareness of your event and brand, as well as increase participation and attendance. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are the best social media platforms to reach audience however all these platforms require different approaches, for example, your content for Twitter should be brief and precise as it only allows you 240 characters, Instagram mainly focuses on images, so make sure to create informative yet eye-catching images, whereas, Facebook and LinkedIn are the perfect places if you have a lot to say about an event’s specifics and how it relates to your mission.
  • Structure your social media posts wisely. Your posts should contain important information like, date of your event, different activities that will take place and speakers and chief guests attending your event.
  • Reach out to your industry influencers, supporters, speakers and sponsors. Ask them to post and repost about the event. This can help you find potential attendees and participants outside your network.
  • One of the most popular and easiest ways to connect with people on social media is #hashtag. Hashtags can enable you to meet a global audience with common interests. So, make sure to create your hashtags. Ask your supporters, influencers and sponsors to showcase these hashtags in their posts or reposts for wider reach.
  • Increase the interest and anticipation of your attendees by adding small teasers ( you can use Instagram and Facebook reels or Youtube shorts). You can add sneak peeks of speakers’ quotes or some fun features of your event.

During the Event:

After deriving registration and creating excitement and anticipation amongst the participants before the event, your goal will be to
  1. Satisfy and engage with your audience: Your attendees should always be your priority. After all, if they didn’t show up to attend your event, it wouldn’t take place. So focus on attendees and look out for opportunities like:
  • Reviews from attendees about the event
  • Share the photo booth images on your social media
  • Impactful Quotes from speakers, chief guests or Sponsors
  • Shoutouts and reposts from your sponsor or partner etc.
When you’re sharing on your channels, take a look at what other people are saying about your event and repost, like, and share and comment on the posts. Bad suggestions and complaints should not be ignored; they are the ultimate indicators of what is wrong with your situation, so answer them. Read to know the importance of the right EMCEE.

2. Share posts on the social media accounts with those who were unable to attend – no matter how jampacked your event is with the audience. There will always be some attendees who couldn’t attend your event for some reason. Show them what they missed out on and ignite the feeling of FOMO within them by making impactful social media posts. 3. Gather content for future promotions: keep the event fresh and memorable for a long time!! Capture and gather content, videos, photos, data and testimonials, it can help you advertise yourself and the event for months or even years. These pieces of information can be circulated and promoted in a variety of ways, including blogs, social media posts, email blasts, and more.

After the Event:

Structure impactful posts on LinkedIn or Facebook after the event to highlight important takeaways and learnings. Include Instagram or Facebook reels or YouTube shorts to help share the fun and interesting stories of your event, and use your industry hashtags to help your content reach a wider audience. Be sure to tag attendees so they can share your posts with their friends, colleagues and families. Do not forget to keep your supporters and attendees informed about future events. Finally, make sure to send a survey to your supporters, sponsors and attendees for their feedback. This will especially be useful when organising a future event. These reviews and suggestions can help you understand what to change or double down on the next time.