Guide to Social Media Marketing for Event Venues & Promoters

As a venue or promoter, getting noticed online is key to raising your profile and making your events sell well. Social media is a free way to reach millions of people and raise awareness of your business and any upcoming events you have planned. But how to make the most of your time and utilise the many platforms that are available?  This guide will provide a good outline and tips on how to maximise exposure and increase footfall and sales to your ticketed events.

#1 Choose which platform(s)

There are 3.8 billion active social media users globally (as at January 2020), with approximately 45 million social media users in the UK (or 66% of the total population). The top social media platforms that can be utilised by event venues and promoters are:

  • Facebook: Hands down the largest social media site in the world with nearly 2.5 billion monthly users. Facebook events are the perfect way to get users’ attention and create engagement around your upcoming events.
  • Instagram: The home of influencers, brands, bloggers, small business owners, friends and everyone in between, Instagram has topped well over 1 billion monthly users and is best for targeting under 40’s.
  • Twitter: A ‘microblogging’ system that allows you to send and receive short posts called tweets that is popular with celebrities.  Millions of users turn to Twitter every day for live updates about trending topics and news.
  • TikTok: Known for popular trends or challenges that go viral. If the challenge is relevant to your event e.g. the song used in the challenge is related to the event you are promoting, you could participate in it and seize some viral attention.
  • YouTube: The second most popular search engine in the world today, right behind its parent company, Google. If you are able to create a steady stream of interesting video content, such as recordings of live events you have run at your venue, then a YouTube channel could be another option to promote your business.
  • LinkedIn: The social media network for professionals. There are over 500 million registered
    users worldwide with 21 million in the UK. Ideal for networking with other venue owners, promoters and suppliers rather than targeting customers.

It’s important to understand the interests of your target audience and which platforms they are most likely to use. Most venues and promoters can benefit from using more than one platform, depending on the type of content they are able to generate, but focus on the ones that are most appropriate for your target audience and what you are trying to achieve.

#2 Develop a strategy

Once you have chosen the platforms that are most appropriate for your target customers, you must consider what goals you are trying to achieve through your online marketing. Your main goal may be to sell more tickets to your events but are you looking to raise awareness of your business, drive traffic to your website, create a loyal following?  This will then allow you to come up with a strategy of what kind of content you are going to post to your chosen platform(s) and just as importantly, when you are going to post it.

It’s important to understand who your target audience is, what their interests are, and what content they are most likely to engage with. If you are only ever posting links to buy tickets to your events, you may create an air of desperation and your followers may become disinterested. It is therefore usually a good idea to create a blend of original material, shared content and event promotion, to encourage engagement with your followers.

Here is a great YouTube video discussing in detail how to develop a strategy to make your social media campaigns a success

#3 Listen

One aspect of social media that is often overlooked by small venues and promoters is the ability to listen to what is being said. Tap into conversations around the event industry, what your customers are talking about, what is being said about you and other venues. It’s also a good idea to follow your competitors and see what kind of content they are posting, how often, what posts they are sharing from other people, and so on. Look at how many interactions each of their posts receive and this will give you a good idea of what will work for you and what is going to be less successful.

#4 Create great visuals

A picture speaks a thousand words. Having an eye catching image is a sure fire way to ensure your post/story/tweet grabs attention and encourages engagement and sharing. Original content is always best so take that photo or make that video at your venue whenever possible, even if you’re not taking them specifically for use in a post at that time, having a range of media available to choose from at a later date always comes in handy. If you don’t have anything suitable when creating your post then you can always make use of free image sources like unsplash or pexels, where you will find a wide variety high quality photos and videos on a range of subject matter.

Another great free resource to try out is Canva – a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content.  You can use Canva in the browser or on your mobile with their app. Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics. Overlay text onto your own photographs and images or make use of their many social media templates, then upload directly to all your chosen platforms with one click! The free version is feature rich and comes with a plethora of templates to choose from, but you may choose to subscribe to their pro version which offers even more.

#5 Tag tag tag!

Social media is all about being social! Your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will all get more visibility if you tag the subject matter of your posts e.g. people, bands, other venues. By tagging those people, your post will be seen by their friends/followers and by tagging other businesses you help raise their profile as well as your own. Once you get into the habit of tagging, other people will see that you are being social and be more likely to tag you in return – the platform display algorithms will detect this and show any future posts to more and more people.

Make sure you make use of hashtags – posting about a particular event? Generate a buzz long before the event start date and come up with a short, sharp, easy to remember hashtag to build a following and improve your chances of being a trending topic on the day of your event and encourage some last minute ticket sales!

Have any tips and suggestions of your own? Please leave a comment below…

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