Part 2: The Event Planner’s Guide to Dynamic Social Media Marketing

hamburger with bacon, lettuce, ketchup, and tomato

Why It’s Not as Simple as Posting the Same Content on Every Account

(In the first part of this series, we talked about which platforms are good for event marketing. Review it here so that this makes sense.)

Last week’s cheat meal has something to teach you about promoting events. We’re big foodies, so hang in there for 30 seconds: Dynamic social media marketing is like a really good burger—every layer has its own function, purpose, and altogether makes something really awesome. You can use each ingredient, each social platform, on its own, but it doesn’t have the same result.

What is effective? Picking social channels with their individual strengths in mind and tailoring your promotion to the audiences that exist there.

As you know, the purpose of promotion is to communicate to your ideal customer about your event to entice them to participate. Even more so for paid or fundraising events. The question you want to answer is, why should they care?

The key to answering that question is to frame social marketing through a storyline.

Event Marketing & Storytelling

Defining Values

Stories are at the core of marketing. Good stories capture attention. Great stories wrangle attention and make people take action. Now, how does this relate to social media strategy? Because each platform has unique capacities to tell different elements of your event’s story.

First (if you haven’t already), envision your event’s story arc. What makes your event stand out among other events in your community, city, or state? What’s your “hook”?

Your core message needs to center around the deep-level values that your target audiences hold. How are you providing ways to interact with those values? These kinds of innate, big picture ideas foster the emotional connection that builds your brand value and propels participants to register.

Here is a list of event examples and the potential appeals each may have:

  • Race: growth, competition, community, purpose, defying limits
  • Professional conference: self-improvement, learning, responsibility
  • Charity fundraiser: giving to others, altruism, progress

Social Media Distribution

A Layered Approach

Once you have your story hook—or value proposition—decided, think about how to use each social channel’s focal media to highlight the various angles of your hook. This is something we touched on in Part 1 of our social media discussion and where our burger analogy really comes into play.

Using each social account to showcase different angles or pieces of your story is what builds your dynamic social media presence and marketing initiatives as a whole.

Let’s use an annual charity race that aims to raise cancer research funds as an example. Sure, you can say, “Come pay to run our race because cancer sucks,” and while true, it’s not what will drive registrations.

A more effective hook: “Cancer isn’t just a disease of one—it devastates families and communities. Your admission fee goes directly to developing advanced treatments that can save hundreds of lives.” And to whom are you marketing your event? Social-conscious individuals who either like to run or are willing to run on the behalf of a good cause.

Example Ideas for Content, Posting, & Cross-Posting

Facebook:

If we’re thinking about Facebook in terms of our aforementioned burger, it’s the quarter-pounder meat patty of social media. This powerhouse, as you may have experienced already, has the capacity for groups, invitations, advertising, image and text sharing, live video, and more.

Use the internal scheduling tool to plan out your content a week, two weeks, or a month at a time. Having a core foundation of content enables you to see opportunities for cross-posting (e.g. sharing from Instagram and YouTube) and areas of your story that you can highlight better on other social mediums. Weaving these pieces together is when you get the layered and dynamic representation of your event on social.

Let’s go over three basic post types you can plan out as a charity race organizer:

  • Text-only post: Make it meaningful and concise. No one is going to read multiple paragraphs of text. The more easily consumable it is, the better. Keep in mind that many may be scrolling on a mobile device.
    • [text] We’re grateful for the huge response we’ve had in sign-ups! Every person who joins us in our race creates a ripple effect of hope and positivity for not just surviving cancer but thriving in life in spite of it. Please share our registration link with friends and family! Deadline is [date]: [SignMeUp registration link here]

 

  • Text + photo: The goal is to create a complementary relationship between text and image. Let’s say you’re posting a photo of a cancer survivor who runs your race every year. Interview your runner to pull a few punchy quotations.
    • [interview pull quote] “‘I’m here every year to celebrate the life I have after beating cancer. It’s no small feat. I’m blessed to be able to express myself through running for a cause that is so close to my heart. And I can’t express enough how important it is for all of us to come together to make a difference in something so terrible.'” [photo]

 

  • Text + video: The goal of text with video is similar to what you do with a photo. Depending on the message you want, you can feature more information about your event; pull quotes from organizers or participants in the video; or any other detail that connects with your audience. Let’s say you’re linking a video from YouTube or uploading the original file of last year’s highlight reel.
    • [text] Don’t miss out on the community event of the year! Every dollar included in your registration goes to important cancer research that helps people have the joy of another day in their lives. Register today! Teams welcome and encouraged. [last year’s highlight reel video]

Instagram:

Instagram is a great medium to play around with an informal, personal selection of images and captions. Something to keep in mind is the amazing visual power of Instagram—as long as you’re not whimsical about what you post.

Choose a consistent styling (lighting, filters, etc.) that are in line with your event branding or organization for images featured on your account. A consistent feel helps avoid posts looking haphazard. Continuing with our example, you could experiment with photos that highlight participants, your event planning process, representations of your mission statement, and where donations are going.

Don’t shy away from also educating your audience about the importance of your cause (in this case, beating cancer). Be genuine, honest, and caring.

You have the option to share your Insta photos on other accounts, like Facebook. Only do this if you think that your audience on Facebook will connect with what you’re sharing on Instagram.

YouTube:

Upload any video coverage that you have from last year’s event on YouTube to tease what could happen this year. Testimonials from previous participants, event leaders, and those positively affected by your fundraising are great persuasive video content ideas. Cross-post to Facebook an abbreviated link with Bit.ly or another URL shortener. 

Google+:

In this instance, you can mimic most of what you post on Facebook. Google+, as a social medium, builds SEO value in Google’s search algorithm. It’s important to consider when you want prospects to find your organization online.

Unlock Your Social Media (Burger) Strategy

It’s important to remember that all parts should create a comprehensive whole. That when you view all of your social accounts as different elements of your event promotion, they should make sense together. The super cool part? Implementing a mindful, dynamic strategy will actually open up more room to experiment with what your audience likes. So go ahead. Be the burger.

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