Social Media Marketing
Social media is a powerful tool that allows businesses to reach a valuable set of prospects or customers. Social media marketing helps you gain traffic to your website, generating more potential customers and clients, thus benefiting your business. At its most basic level, social media is an extremely powerful and completely free online tool that is available to anyone and everyone that can be used to help meet their business goals.
Each social media platform caters to different purposes. Twitter is great for interacting via short messages and sharing content you think would benefit your audience. LinkedIn is perfect for sharing more in-depth, thoughtful content pertaining to leadership that appeals to a more professional audience, and Instagram is the ideal place to advertise your product, venue or service through visual content.
Whether you’re an event planner or work at a venue, social media is essential in the event industry to market your services and to stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive industry.
We’ve pulled together a few reasons why social media marketing is vital to the events industry for both venues and event planners so you can effectively use social media to elevate your business.
Social proofing is the psychological concept that suggests people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the “correct” behaviour. It boils down to the fact that we subconsciously feel we are acting correctly when we’re following the crowd. So how can venues use this concept to their advantage?
If potential clients see fantastic online reviews for your space, other potential customers will be more likely to book. Social proofing demonstrates the demand for your venue. Reviews make you seem more credible and more desirable.
It’s like when you’re searching for a new restaurant to check out. You’re more likely to choose a restaurant that has a lot of reviews, especially if they are mostly positive. If you can show potential new clients that your space is regularly booked and that bookers rate your venue positively, you’re sure to generate more business.
Hosting reviews on your website or expanding your presence on venue listing platforms is important for attracting customers who are considering booking your venue — but social proofing doesn’t have to stop there.
Social Media Marketing
You should always be looking out for ad hoc reviews on social media in addition to retweeting great reviews or comments and replying to comments on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You could even use Instagram to highlight your most glowing or high-profile Google reviews. Get creative with repurposing your reviews; incorporate them into your social media content so potential customers can see just how great your feedback is.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool, and the fact that it’s free adds to its desirability.The best way to make use of this tool will vary slightly depending on whether you are a venue manager or an event planner.
Social Media for Venues
If you are a venue manager, your primary aim for social media should be to advertise your space to the best of your ability. You should always start by decking out your profiles with amazing photography of your venue. After that, begin regularly posting your beautiful photos Instagram, talking about the types of events your space hosts on Twitter and writing helpful content for your corporate audience on LinkedIn. If you consistently post visually-appealing and thoughtful content on your social media accounts, you will see an improvement in your conversion rates and an increase in inquiries.
An increasing number of people conduct their research on products or services via social media, especially Instagram. According to Sprout Social, approximately 75 percent of people purchase a product after seeing it on social media. Of that percentage, 60.7 percent need to see a post 2-4 times from a company before making a purchase. This just goes to show that being visibly active on social media is vital to growing your customer base.
Staying active on social media and constantly monitoring your channels is also important for venues as it allows for quick and straightforward communication. If event planners contact you via social media, responding promptly is a great way to prove your professionalism and could help you stand out from the competition, attract new clients and encourage repeat business.
Social media for venues is all about social proofing and proving to new customers that you are the best place to book their event based on ratings and the experience of previous customers.
Social Media for Event Planners
If you are an event planner, the most impactful way to use social media is to create buzz around your upcoming events. Develop a comprehensive content plan in the weeks and months leading up to your event to excite guests and gain maximum exposure. But why stop there? Social media can also be utilized in a number of other ways:
If you’re planning a huge event like a conference or Christmas party, why not create a hashtag your guests can use to share their thoughts, feedback and reviews? A hashtag is a free and easy way to boost engagement, show off your success and collect feedback to improve future events.
As an event professional using social media, conducting your own research regarding venues and events is key to broadening your horizons. It’s also a powerful tool to gain industry insight and knowledge by following other industry professionals and by reading the latest industry news. For example, take a look at these 15 blogs we think every event professional should follow. You can also follow hashtags such as #EventProfs to see what other people in the industry are tweeting about. You never know, you might stumble upon something amazing that can help with your next event.
Social Media Ideas for Events
Christmas parties are some of the biggest events of the year. Let's explore how social media can increase your bookings as the manager of a venue or assist with your planning process and engagement rate as an event planner.
As a Christmas party venue, you need to begin your targeted social media marketing as early as possible. Christmas is a crucial time of year to boost your revenue, so make sure you’re at the top of everyone’s list for 2018.Use social media to advertise your Christmas offerings, whether that’s posting Christmas-themed Instagram photos, producing short videos of previous Christmas parties or replying to LinkedIn comments from people seeking recommendations.
As a Christmas party planner, your mantra should be “the earlier the better.” You can use social media, particularly Instagram and Pinterest, to gather inspiration, from themes to venues and everything in between. For example, the Instagram hashtag #venues has been used over 197,000 times. That’s a lot of venues to look through. This is just one simple way to see what’s out there and find something new that gets your creative juices flowing.Once you begin your planning process, think about how you can integrate social media into your event to make it as interactive as possible. We’ve previously mentioned making a hashtag, but you could also buy a Snapchat filter specifically tailored to your company for the evening or stream a Facebook live video of your event to keep people in the loop and promote the results of your labor. The possibilities are endless.
Advantages of social media
Social media is ultimately a free and useful tool that can prove effective when it comes to marketing your venue or helping to plan your events and encouraging attendee interaction.
When applied correctly, social media can generate extra business for your venue and improve your brand reputation via social proofing. On the flip side, as an event planner, social media can aid in the process of organizing a social function, provide you with important event feedback and help you get involved in industry conversations. If you begin creating your own high-quality content and forging new connections, you could even become a leader in your industry one day.
Dangers of social media
Here at HeadBox we love quality content, and that includes pictures. Content riddled with spelling mistakes, low-quality images and incorrect tags could damage your reputation rather than help to build it up. There’s nothing worse than turning off potential customers with pixelated photos or misspellings. Focus on producing high-quality social content across your channels that will drive inquiries and increase bookings. Consistently producing shoddy content will just lead to consumers disengaging with your accounts, which will ultimately negatively affect your business.
There you have it, the reasons social media is vital in the event industry and how you, as a venue manager or event planner, can use the various social channels to your advantage.
It’s a great way for event planners stay on top of their game when it comes to industry knowledge and increasing interactivity in their events. It’s also a great tool for venue managers to ensure their venue stands out from the crowd using eye-catching photos and cultivating a proactive online presence.
We live in an age where everything is becoming digitized. These are simple steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most out of social media in the events industry. Don’t waste any more time and have fun tweeting, posting and sharing your way to a five-star business.
Liv is the Digital Content Executive at HeadBox. HeadBox is the UK's only SaaS enabled online marketplace where you can instantly search, book and pay for inspiring meeting, off-site and event Spaces.