The best part about social media is that it is free. The worst part about social media is that it is free. You can post as much content as you want to your Facebook page at no charge. The challenge is that most people and businesses on Facebook are also posting free content. All this free content results in mountains of content for Facebook to distribute to users. So how does Facebook deal with all that content?
Here’s a very common question regarding promoting one’s event and social media … "Which social media platform should I focus on: Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter?" The previous question is made even more complicated by new platforms constantly launching. Allow me to make a strong and straightforward recommendation. Want to know what the single greatest social media platform is for your event? Facebook! Yes, even in spite of Facebook's recent criticism and issues regarding Cambridge Analytica. I'm a firm believer that user privacy is paramount!
After reading the title, you are probably thinking to yourself, “how the heck is focusing on social media likes and followers a bad thing?”
Two arbitrary scoring methods people love to brag about on social media are likes and followers. How often have you heard or thought to yourself: “Did you see how many likes that post received?” or “Wow, their Facebook page has an astronomical number of followers, I wish we had those numbers!” Far too many social media efforts focus on getting the maximum number of likes and followers. On the surface, this seems like the perfectly logical thing to do. However, here’s why it is a GIANT red-herring:
Please consider the following question: When you go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or your social media platform of choice do you do so with the idea that you are going to be productive? Most likely not!
People do not go on social media to think. They go on social media to be entertained and engaged. People want to see what their family and friends are doing, watch funny animal videos, or the latest rant of a friend who disagrees with their politics.
Social media is an escape hatch, so your efforts to market an event are competing with family, friends, and escapism. You need to cut through the noise.
Social media, regardless of whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, is not a marketing strategy. It’s a tool in your marketing toolbox. Furthermore, posting a bunch of content on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter won’t compel people to attend your event. Do these ideas sound radical? Even going against the grain? They are, and they do.
What Truly Matters to You and Your Event?
Please understand I am not against social media. However, it’s essential not to confuse posting social content with results that matter like ticket sales and attendance at your event. There are far too many people that work tirelessly to post great content on social media without getting the results they deserve.
Most Are Missing the Mark!
Bottom line? Almost everything you have been told about how to do “social media marketing” is wrong. It’s not your fault. The bad advice goes well beyond the event industry. It is everywhere — and here’s why.
Every aspect of your event promotion needs to start with a comprehensive understanding of your target market. Make sure you truly understand your customer or potential attendee before committing to any marketing or advertising campaign. In the case of events, your target market is represented by your ideal event attendee. I cannot stress this enough. Target market research that’s laser-focused is a big deal.
Focus on Their Interests First, or Else!
People won’t buy tickets for an event, or even attend a free event, that doesn’t hold their interest. Especially in today’s social media driven marketplaces. A lack of interest is one of the biggest reasons events fail.
If you want to pack your event, the best place to start is with a hungry market. Fortunately, niche events (ethnic festivals & beer festivals) have a small but very hungry (thirsty) market. You need to make sure you fully understand your target market before you begin.