Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites, aiming to attract attention and encourage readers to share it with their social networks.
Social Media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access and is a relatively inexpensive way to implement your marketing campaign and reach a wider audience. This form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth.
The key tools for Social Media marketing are outlined below.
Emails are a cheap and fast way of communicating with your market. Collect email contacts at every available opportunity and see if your sponsors, partners and relevant community groups are willing to share their contact lists with you. You should always include an option within any email correspondence for the receiver to opt out or unsubscribe from future communications.
If you have the facility to start your own event website these can prove very useful. Flyers and posters that contain only the bare essential information can direct people to the site where more detailed information can be given. Consider including a forum page. Include links to your sponsors, partners and affiliates websites and ask them to do the same for you. Keep the information on the site up to date and monitor the contributions that others make.
If the idea of a full blown website is a little overwhelming or just not needed, consider starting a blog instead. These allow you to make up to the minute news and information available to people but require significantly less maintenance. There is much advice surrounding blogging available on the internet with sites such as WordPress and Blogger being good places to start.
Many council, community and charity run websites will have a forum page where users can voice opinions and ask questions. These are useful places to start the ball rolling with regard to an online presence. Be aware that some sites may be apposed to people or organisations promoting commercial events through their site so tread carefully and contact them first if in any doubt.
Many council operated websites will have a “What’s on?” section where local events can be publicised. Enquire early about what the criteria is for being listed and have all the event details to hand and finalized.
Social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook have become hugely powerful promotional tools and in many cases are key elements of an events marketing mix. There are however a number of factors that you should consider; many groups and events on Facebook are ‘public’ and as such anyone has the ability to find out about them and often comment on them. Be sure to monitor all posts to a group or event page in case of unsuitable/offensive language or views. Also bare in mind that your event may have a limit to the number of guests that can attend. It can be very difficult to keep track of how many people intend to attend your event through Facebook, particularly if it isn’t a ticketed event.