The inception of social media has made it incredibly easy for people to connect with others from anywhere in the world. Regardless of your location, you can now instantly establish connections with friends, family, or associates. A large number of businesses, both online and offline have identified social media as one of the most effective as well as cost-effective tools to promote their brand. Event managers too admit that few options are as beneficial to their profession as social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, social networking sites have the potential to reach out to a large consumer base and help your business reap excellent rewards.

The best thing about social media is that any individual or company can join networks for free. All you need to do is create an account with a website. Here, we will discuss the importance of social media in event and exhibition promotion.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites. It can be used as a scalable, effective, and inexpensive tool to promote your company’s event. Preparations must begin at least a month before your event. Sign up on the network and create your company’s profile. Developing a presence on Facebook and establishing connections can determine the amount of success your company will have. Add friends and join groups to increase your fan base. Then, create a page dedicated to your event. To do so, you will have to enter the ‘Events’ division of the company’s main page and click on “Add Event.” Crucial information regarding the event must be entered in the ‘Description’ section. If you add more information, more people will know about your event. Specifics such as entry fees, date and time, address of the venue, dress code, and other details can be included on the page.

Once the event page has been created, you will have to attract audiences. People who have ‘Liked’ your company, or those who are ‘Fans’ must be invited to the event through Facebook. The rate of response can be significantly increased if you also send out emails to the people you invite via Facebook. Links to your company website must be inserted in your company’s Facebook page so that interested folks can check it out to know more about your events. Joining groups can have a great impact on your efforts as your event will be exposed to many more users.

Fans must be encouraged to share your events with their ‘Friends.’ Each fan will have diverse connections, and each connection in turn, will have some more. Spreading viral messages will attract a lot of attention and help your event get more audiences. Buttons such as ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ have immense power to make your event truly successful, and requesting your fans to share the information with their connections will help your cause to a great extent. Your company’s employees must be requested to post notices regarding the event on their ‘Walls.’ You may also post your event on public forums within the site as a large number of people who follow similar events will be alerted about your event.

Twitter

Use your company’s email ID to create a Twitter account. Signing up is very easy, and once you establish a presence on the social network, the results can be truly rewarding. Scour through the site to check for those who have a good number of followers. Look for groups that promote events on Twitter, and join them. Those who already have a strong presence can help you get more followers, which in turn will attract more attention to your event. Tweet regularly and release important information that will interest potential attendees. Ask your helpers to ‘retweet’ your posts so that their followers can see them and be enlightened about your event.

The best way to reach out to a large number of people is through hash tags. A short and unique statement about your event must be created and inserted in each tweet you post. Everyone who shares your tweets, or tweets about your event will be connected through the hash tag. Since Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet, catchy phrases and details of influential attendees can help you attract more guests. You can also communicate with those who ‘Favorite’ your tweets or mention your event in their tweets.

Posting the same or similar tweets can bore and annoy your followers. Make sure that each tweet is unique and is sent at regular intervals. Tweets that mention the countdown to your event must be sent everyday along with some highlights of the event. Art, in the form of your company’s logo or event’s graphic will certainly catch the eye of users, and inserting them in your posts will help your event gain more exposure.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking site that is designed primarily for businesses and professionals. Signing up with the site is fairly simple. Once you have filled in your company’s details and created a page, you will have to establish connections. Invite your employees and associates to join the page, and interact with them on a regular basis. Inserting links that lead to your company’s page will allow your connections to get closer to you. Join groups so that your company gains publicity. Groups that are related to a particular niche will expose your company and event to a large number of people, thereby spreading the word and attracting interest.

Direct messages can be sent to people who are part of specific groups, and these messages must contain important information regarding your event. Content is crucial when promoting your event on LinkedIn, so gauge the right information and make your messages as interesting as possible. LinkedIn ads are great if you’re looking to reach out to a large consumer base. Although it costs a small amount of money, your business and events will gain publicity across the social network and not just with your business connections. This will help your event attract many more potential attendees.

The benefits

Social networks have the potential to make your business highly successful. Not only are they effective marketing tools, but the fact that you will have to incur barely any expenses makes it ideal for all kinds of businesses. Event promotion through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can attract more attendees than any other form of promotion, making it crucial for all businesses to establish a web presence. Time and effort are the main elements required to effectively utilize social media to your benefit. You can communicate with people from all kinds of backgrounds and inform them about your events or business. If used in the right manner, social networks have the ability to see your business grow from strength to strength in a relatively short period of time.

This post was contributed by Chris Thompson. Chris is an experienced hotel manager having worked around the world in many hotels. He also has experience in event planning and management. These days Chris enjoys sharing his wisdom through writing about his travels and tribulations.

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