Social media has become one of the primary ways that people connect with each other. In order to have a successful event marketing campaign, you have to embrace social media and strategically implement it to attract ticket sales and host a great event.
So if you want to make the most of the opportunity, there are a few steps you should consider taking when promoting your event on social media.
Facebook is your best social media friend for promoting events. But Facebook has dramatically reduced the organic reach of Page posts deemed to have “promotional content.” For example, if you have a call to action relating to purchase intent in your post (e.g., “get tickets”), it will be flagged as promotional and Facebook’s algorithms will reduce its reach.
Venue and promoter Pages no longer get a free ride on the News Feed, so how can you make the platform work for you?
The first option is to promote your event without being overly or overtly promotional to get people talking. Comments and shares are more valuable than likes: When fans engage in conversations with you, a notification appears in their friends’ News Feeds, which can lead to a social snowball effect. So ask questions, or have your fans “fill in the blank,” and post videos and pictures (fans love images and videos of their favourite artists).
The second option is to support your organic social activity with paid advertising—now almost essential to gain visibility in News Feed. However, if you do decided to spend, then spend wisely:
- First, find the right audience. Custom audienceshelp you reach fans you already know, and lookalike audiences help connect you to new fans with profiles similar to those of your best customers.
- Second, measure your success via conversion tracking. Decide ahead of time what matters most: reaching new audiences (impressions), engagement (clicks), or purchases (conversions). Set a performance goal for the measure that matters most to you, hold yourself accountable, and try something new if you’re not getting results.
In a world of last-click attribution models, sometimes ads influence purchase behaviour without getting credit. Make sure you’re not missing out on the true value of an ad by installing Facebook’s conversion pixel and setting your attribution window (the number of days following a user’s click on your ad you would still consider a purchase as one that was influenced by that ad).
- How can I grab attention, attract more visitors and sell more tickets?
- Create a marketing plan. If you have 100k mailing lists and your click-rate is normally about 4%, then it’s likely that you won’t sell 20k tickets. If you have 1000 UV per day with mostly recurring visitors, you probably won’t sell 10k tickets. Stay realistic about your goals and resources. For example: if you have 1000 fans on Facebook, you can expect only a few people (+/- 100) will buy tickets to your event. Be sure to spread the message evenly, across all your social media channels.
- Do you communicate early and loud enough about pre-sales of the event? The absolute minimum is one week ahead. Remember that you need to give your busy fans time to plan ahead. You cannot start promoting one day before the actual event. Maximise the pre- booking phase.
- Online Ticketing
In my opinion, online ticketing is the most important aspect to promoting any music show because it allows you to collect payment in advance of any event. You can measure your Facebook RSVPs, people who have personally committed to showing up, or any other metric like this. The bottom line is that even if a personal friend tells you they’re coming that isn’t a complete commitment. If they pay you, however, you know two things. First, they still might not show up but at least you’re getting paid. Second, they have committed the one resource they spend most of their day searching for. Having a free event? No problem! Allow people to RSVP for free but pay a door charge without RSVP. This provides a sense of exclusivity, a great boost in real commitment, and allows you to collect email addresses to communicate with people who have already shown they care about your shows.
- Run a Contest to Drum Up Buzz
Encourage potential attendees to share a picture or comment on a status for a chance to win a prize. For example, you could encourage people to share on Instagram a photo of their best “I’m Going to your event” face with your event hash tag to showcase your location. Of course, you’d award the photo with the most likes a prize to encourage sharing. Or invite attendees to vote on a small event detail such as which artist should be the opening or closing act by commenting on a status and offer one random respondent a prize. You can offer free tickets, VIP experiences, or anything else you imagine; just remember that the better the prize, the more willing people will be to share your event. You can run a contest on one or multiple social networks or do it directly on your site.