Social Media for Events (Part 1)

by Alessandra Ceresa

I used to work for a non-profit bottled water company called Nika water. At the time, we were an incredibly small company, just trying to spread the word about our cause. We had just launched the product in the Ventura market, and had partnered with an art gallery that was donating 15% of profits from an art show to our company. We began planning the event, and it turned out to be awesome. We had a taco truck, beer and wine, music, and all sorts of goodies to purchase. At the time, I was not as familiar as I am now with the social networking world. Although a successful event, if I had made a more conscious effort to use social media to drive more people to the show, it could have been five to ten times better than awesome.

Planning a successful event can be really stressful, especially when it comes to getting people to attend. The space has to be secured first, then there is the music, entertainment, food, drinks, raffle items, party rentals, etc., but party/event planners can never be too sure of who will show up. Such is the case when planning an event for a younger company.

There is No Party Planning without Social Media!

A local company in San Diego, The Green Flash Surf Art Gallery, has some really great events, and has implemented a rather cool concept of mixing both yoga events with its art events. They cross-promote their events via both Facebook pages and always have a great turn out. Along with cross-promotion, they have successfully identified their audience, and reached out in a targeted way, securing an active invite list.

If you want to be social media savvy for your next event, follow these guidelines:

  • First, create an event page on Facebook. After this initial step has been taken, it is important to identify the audience you want to invite to your event.
  • Next, research Facebook pages and Twitter profiles to find people and communities perfect for the invite list.
  • Once you have identified people who you feel will be eager to be a part of your event, reach out and invite them.
  • Post on Facebook pages where your targeted audience frequents. This will get the word out to exactly the people you want to target.

For example, if it is a Children’s Surf Competition, you may want to try posting on local surf shops’ Facebook pages, or perhaps Surf Camps, schools, etc. This way you are reaching as many potential attendees as possible.

DON’T forget to invite all of your friends, and ask them to invite their friends. This is a great way to spread event details by word of mouth.  Don’t be afraid to spread the word within your networking groups including family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers and professional contacts.

When it comes to Twitter, the most effective way to spread the news about your event is to mention people in a tweet that might be interested in coming, or who have expressed interest in a similar event. If they are interested they will most likely respond or retweet to their followers, again, spreading the word and creating a domino effect of invites.

Social media has opened up endless possibilities for event planners. Planners can now post live pictures and updates to attract even more people to events, so get creative with it. The Internet is a virtual world where news travels fast, very fast, and can turn something small into a hugely successful production.

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