06 February 2012

How to Use Social Media for Local Event Promotion

Here's a re-post from the archives.  I still believe there is some relevant information for small businesses given some recent conversations I've had.
"With independent retailers still struggling with trying to figure out how to effectively use social media marketing to promote themselves here are some successful strategies we've observed. One of the most effective ways a traditional brick and mortar business can use social media to draw consumers to their location is by holding a Tweet-up. What's a Tweet-up? It is just a way for people within a geographic proximity to each other that interact on Twitter to meet off-line.

Tweet-ups are a great way for several businesses in close proximenty to work together to promote the event and showcase their services. For example a salon, bakery and photographer can organize a Tweet-up and promote the event via Twitter, Facebook and other social media properties inviting consumers to attend. In this example the salon can offer a free consultation or other loss leader service, that bakery could provide samples of their treats and the photographer can document everyone having a good time.

Sites like Twtvite.com or Eventbrite.com offer tools to manage the RSVP process for the event. There is no fee to use these tools if your event is free to attend. They offer some basic measurement tools and the ability to track RSVPs. You can have multiple organizers, list sponsors and have a branded URL. Name tags and check-in sheets can also be generated with a click of the mouse. They are very user friendly tools.

Eventbrite is a great tool if you plan to charge a small fee to attend. It offers PayPal integration and fees are quite minimal. You can chose to include these fees in your ticket price or pass them along to the consumer. It also will push your event out to local event pages if you choose to make the event public, and you can upload to your Facebook Fan Page with the click of a button. Due to a time zone glitch you will want to double check the dates on the Facebook event before sending a not to your fans. I could probably write a whole article on Eventbrite alone as there are so many useful features.

Using social media marketing to promote your event will not only attract fresh faces to your business, but it will increase your overall online footprint. Every Tweet is indexed by the major search engines. Additionally it will attract a social media savy consumer base which will likely Tweet about their experience at the event to their networks. The use of a Hashtag, a word or acronym preceded by a # sign (i.e. #Event), will allow you to track the reach of these Tweets.

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