Event Promotion - Social Media MISTAKE #4: Avoiding Paid Social Media Advertising

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Here’s the thing about social media: It is a double-edged sword.

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?

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Event Promotion - Social Media MISTAKE #3: Trying to Engage on Too Many Social Media Platforms

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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!

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Event Promotion - Social Media MISTAKE #2: Focusing Too Much on Likes & Followers

After reading the title, you are probably thinking to yourself, “how the heck is focusing on social media likes and followers a bad thing?”

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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:

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Event Promotion Social Media MISTAKE #1: Putting Your Social Media Mindset Ahead of Theirs

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!

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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.

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5 Costly Social Media Marketing Mistakes Every Event Organizer Must Avoid!

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.

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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.

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A Killer Social Media Promotion Strategy for Your Event

Events_promotion_social_media Two HUGE reasons why people don’t show up to your event are either because they’re not interested or they don’t know about your event. Hence, the problem could be either market research or event promotion. In my opinion, it’s far easier to “get away with” an event promotion problem. Here’s why . . . No event organizer has enough money to change people’s minds.

Let me give you an example that’s close to my heart. If someone doesn’t like the band Van Halen, I don’t have enough advertising budget to change people’s minds. The same applied to event organizers. That’s why knowing the wants, needs, and desire of your event attendees is crucially important. If you create an event that people REALLY want to attend, it becomes much easier to sell advance sale tickets and pack your event.

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Do You Make These Social Media Mistakes with Your Event?

Thank_You_Economy Yesterday, I made a brief stop at my local Barnes & Noble to check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, “The Thank You Economy.” Gary is one of my favorite social media experts. I give him a ton of credit because his wisdom comes from experience, NOT just book smarts.

These days the Internet is full of “marketing experts” and “Internet gurus” who are great at regurgitating info, but when it REALLY matters - can’t deliver results. I digress . . .

During a quick scan of the “The Thank You Economy,” there was a series of bullet points that jumped out at me. The bullet points addressed mistakes that companies make with their social media efforts.

Here are Gary Vaynerchuk’s - "Biggest Mistakes Companies Make with Social Media":

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The Downside of Promoting Your Event with Social Media

For all the things that can be done with social media, there is one significant downside . . . once you start you cannot stop. My intention here isn't to dissuade you, but make you aware of what's needed to promote your event with social media. In today's information hungry world you can't afford to stop producing high quality RELEVANT content. People expect information and your competition will pray upon any passivity.

Watch the video below. It expounds some very important points on social media marketing . . .

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Measuring Your Social Media Event Promotion Efforts

Social_media_event_promotion Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, "What exactly am I getting from my social media efforts?" As with any marketing endeavor, you should always measure for a specific result. You cannot afford to confuse activity with productivity.

Lots of Updates with Zero Results
Recently, the topic of social media effectiveness came up with a Canadian event organizer. The event committee is fortunate enough to have a volunteer to manage their social media promotion strategy. Their Twitter and Facebook accounts are currently being updated on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. For all the hard work being done, a look at Google Analytics for the last 30 days shows no referring traffic from Twitter or Facebook. Some people might argue that social media is all about goodwill and branding. Unfortunately it's difficult to directly tie branding and goodwill to something substantive.

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How to Leverage Facebook and Your Event Marketing

Event_Marketing_Facebook If you’re using Facebook to market your event there are a few important things to understand. First off - like any marketing or advertising medium, Facebook has both positives and negatives. Disclaimer: I’m NOT on the crazy train that thinks Facebook can instantly fix every event marketing challenge. But, I do firmly believe Facebook is here to stay. Thus, event organizers should understand how to use it to their advantage.

Facebook versus Google
These days there seems to be a ton of press attention on the Google versus Facebook War for World Internet Domination. What you need to understand is how the two services differ from one another . . .

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Beware of the "Social Media" Event SMACKDOWN!

Social_media_event_promotion_marketingSocial Media in Event Marketing is a double edged sword . . . It can be either a tremendous event promotion asset or a potential public relations disaster.

Here's a tenet to follow when it comes to social media and your event marketing . . . Be very honest with the online information regarding you event! It doesn’t matter if the information is on your own event web site, Facebook, Twitter, or a newspaper interview. People are keeping an eye on you. Let me give you a specific example I found online a few month ago . . .  It revolves around a post-event article in a local newspaper.

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Social Media, Your Event Marketing, and "Insider Info" . . .

Social_media_event_marketingDuring a recent coaching call someone asked, "Can I use social media sites to broadcast Insider Information regarding my event?" The simple answer is, "Yeah, absolutely!" But, the more important question is, "Do you want to?" Consider the following . . .
 
Insider Info, Social Media, and Email Marketing
To me "Insider Information" is exactly as it reads "Insider" - hence it should be kept confidential.  Better yet, think of "Insider Info" as a secret. As you know, most people want to know a secret. You can use that "Wanna Know a Secret?" frame to your advantage . . . especially when it comes to list building.

If you were to broadcast "Insider Info" on your Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter accounts - is the info really privileged anymore?
Personally I don't think so. Because emails are a one-on-one communication form, things are inherently confidential.

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Using Twitter for Your Event Marketing . . .

Last month I attended the International Council of Air Show's annual convention in Las Vegas. The convention is the air show industry's annual get together to share ideas and plan for the upcoming air show season. During the convention's marketing seminars there was significant discussion regarding social media. Seminar participants and presenters were jumping up and down expounding the marketing virtues of using social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

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Here's my rub . . . when pressed, not one Twitter proponent in the could cite a bottom line result for all their efforts. Perhaps it's that I've been spending way too much time in the direct response world, or maybe I'm just getting jaded on all the social media hoopla . . .   But before you jump on the social media crazy train, take a moment to find out if social media is actually helping your event marketing efforts.

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How Long Before Social Media Gets Too Noisy?

Social_media_overload This was originally published in 2009, but the main question still persists ... "is social media getting too noisy?"

The other day I went to lunch with my good friend Todd.  After lunch (and the ensuing food coma), we stumbled back to Todd’s office for a few minutes.  While at Todd’s office, I had him log into Facebook account to show some interesting photos from the weekend. 

During our brief Facebook session the topic of “How many Facebook friends could one person possibly have?” was discussed.  I told Todd that I’ve seen some high Facebook friend numbers before - people with over a thousands friends. Yet Todd knows someone with the highest number of Facebook friends I’ve ever seen – 2,157 (note: April 2009)!

After leaving Todd’s office, I had to ask myself “How many friends are too many friends?” The more friends you have on Facebook the more requests, status updates, and messages you’ll get on your account.  Don't forget all paid advertising getting thrown into the mix.

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Social Media Comments and Your Event

Social_media_event_comments Social Media can be a virtue or a vice for event organizers.  On the positive front, event organizers can interact with their target market like never before.  You can use target market interaction and feedback to build a better event.  On the negative side, social media can be used to leave disparaging comments about your event.  In some cases the comments might not be true or misrepresent your event.  Even worse, negative comments about your event can show up on web sites that you have no editorial control over. If comments appear on a popular web site (a local news agency web site) they will probably get indexed into the search engines. Today people are apt to read something online and take it as fact without checking the facts.

Below you will find some suggestions on dealing with social media comments regarding your event.

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Event Marketing with Social Media and Email

For today I’m going to bring my friend Ben back into the spotlight.  If you haven’t already, please read over “A Great Email Marketing Example.” Ben runs a web site called Fright-Rags.com. He sells horror t-shirts on his web site. Along with his web site, he has a home grown email list of very passionate fans. In my last post, I featured one of Ben’s counter intuitive email marketing strategies. Ben’s online strategies go well beyond just email marketing.  He also engages his target market with social media. The process involves leveraging his email list in tandem with his blog.  Here is a quick example. If Ben has a question about a product or idea he’s working on he writes a related blog post. After the post is live, he emails a blog post link to all his email subscribers. Ben’s latest blog post received over 185 user responses in less than 48 hours.  By leveraging his email list and his blog in tandem he creates an interactive experience for his users.  As a result, Ben’s sales continue to grow. You can incorporate the same strategy Ben uses with blogging and email to ensure your event is even more successful.

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Start with An Email List and Blog
I’m working from the assumption that you already have an email list and a blog.  If you need email list management software, I recommend AWeber or 1Shoppingcart.com. On the blog side of the spectrum you can start with services like Typepad (Paid), Blogger (Free), or Wordpress (Free). I use Typepad for this blog. Some people might be a little tech-shy, but I assure you . . . If you can use Microsoft Word, you can easily manage a blog. Both Typepad and Wordpress have a big following and excellent online support.

The Blog Post Email Marketing Strategy
Start by posting something that would be perceived as intriguing to your target market. The post should include a call to action for the reader. Are there any aspects of your event that can benefit from target market input? Maybe you’re trying to choose between two artist to perform at your event.  You can also create surveys and features on a number of different things that apply to your event. Your goal should be to prompt user feedback. By interacting with your target market you’re also building interest and trust about your event without spending money on traditional advertising.

Email Your List
After your blog post is up, send your email subscribers the link.  As part of your email, include a call to action. Ask your subscribers to read your blog post and encourage them to leave a comment. It isn’t enough to just post a blog entry and expect people to take action. Each step in this process needs to include a call to action. People need to be carefully led through a process and you’re the leader.

Their Opinion
I guarantee that when you ask your target market for input you’ll discover something to benefit your event. Always keep the emphasis on the target market’s wants and desires. By doing so, you'll have a very successful event.

Collect Target Market Feedback
The last step is to collect user feedback and incorporate it into your event. By virtue of asking your target market’s opinion you’ll gain trust and credibility. People love giving their opinions. When you create an interactive buying experience for your target market they’re more likely to buy from you.

I’ll end where I started.  Check out the Fright-Rags web site and blog. I've included the links below. Even though your target market might not be horror fans, there are more than a few ideas you can collect from Ben’s web sites. Just remember, ideas are no good unless you put them into action.

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Social Media, Social Networking, and Event Promotion

Some Practical Social Media Advice
While digging around the Net, I found an interesting post on social media and event promotion. The article comes from Switzerland's Stephanie Booth. In "5 Lessons in Promoting Events Using Social Media," Stephanie writes about the trails and tribulations she experienced in promoting an event with social media. Her post is well worth the read. It will give you interesting insight and ideas for promoting your upcoming event with social media.

Strike a Balance
It's hard to miss the buzz about social media and event promotion. In "Web 2.0, Social Media, and Event Promotion" I advocate striking a balance between social media and the web centric style. I really think the core of any advertising and promotion boils down to making a meaningful connection with your prospect.  It doesn't matter if you use video, blogs, or the latest technology. If you can't send out a message that quickly connects with the individual reader, you’re up the creek.

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Web 2.0, Social Media, and Event Promotion

Recently, I received a comment on Web 2.0 technologies as they pertain to event promotion. The comment questioned the need for a traditional web site in the Web 2.0 world.  It’s a pretty important question savvy event organizers need to examine. The first place to start is with a definition of Web 2.0.

What is Web 2.0?
The definition of web 2.0 is fairly enigmatic. If you ask a dozen different IT people for their definition, you’re probably going to get a dozen different answers. I like Tim O’Reilly’s simplified definition of Web 2.0:

Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the Internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform.

I think Web 2.0 technology offers a better way to deliver information to your target market. This includes technology like RSS feeds, blogs, and socialized media, just to name a few.
Both Yahoo and Google are leveraging various Web 2.0 and social media technologies. Yet, they don’t seem too quick to abandon their top tier web sites. They’re leveraging their market share with new technology.

Socialized Media
Socialized media includes technology and services like Blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Most people would classify social media as Web 2.0 technology. I believe social media is great and it has its’ purpose. But I don’t think social media can replace the benefit of having you own web site. Your own web site gives you a certain level of credibility and authority online.  It’s the one stop shop for people trying to find out more information about your event.

Find Your Balance
I advocate being balanced in approaching your marketing with technology. Web 2.0 technologies are beneficial to promoting and marketing one’s event. I think it’s fair more beneficial to leverage your traditional web site with web 2.0 technologies. You want to make your information easily available to those who are most interested, your target market. Different events will have different target markets.
Too many people focus on the bells and whistles of technology.  Focus on what’s useful to your target market, not what’s cool.

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