I am up to my neck with this irrational light off business. How is it possible that for 3 nights in a row my neighbourhood hasn’t had lights? Someone’s gross incompetence is really costing many Ghanaians bad business, food spoilage and leading to an increase in the country’s population (guess what people will be doing without electricity.)
So the other day (not sure of which day exactly) a thought crossed my mind but this was one I was going to let slip by me easily. There are many people going into event planning in one way or the other. Some specialise in corporate events, others wedding planning whilst some combine both social and corporate events. But you don’t have to be an event planner to plan your own event. Maybe you are a motherhood accessories retailer; a pastry baker; bead-making, African fashion accessory crafter; a milliner; t-shirt designer; real-estate salesperson, high-street fashion retailer, an author, etc and you realise its about time to organise a sales fair to clear old stock or launch a new product to the Ghanaian market or you want to create a networking opportunity for your existing and new customers. Whichever reasons you may have, you definitely want this event to be successful. How are you going to get people to attend your event? Can you imagine planning this event from ground level only to have about 20% turnout? Which means low sales, next to nothing networking and one boring event! But I placed an ad in Daily Graphic! Even JoyFm run a radio ad for about a week, yet turnout was poor! That would be your tirade.
My question to you is, ‘ Yeah, but how did you use social media to promote the event? Which social media tools did you employ to increase the buzz around your event?’ You give me a blank stare. ‘But it was on Facebook!’ Well updating your status on Facebook about your event is not enough. So you have done all you have to do and now wondering how to get crowds trooping to your event using social media. Follow these very cool and oh so simple ways to promote an event which will have you smiling for months to come.
How many times did I write that? Don’t just plan last minute either, plan early! You know that in 4 months time, there is a plan to hold a fair so why don’t you include which social media tools you will be incorporating during the event. Don’t wait last minute trying to figure out whether to use Facebook or Twitter, trust me it wont go well with you on that. Creating an event calendar on Facebook is a start but don’t just end at sending out invitations. Create content within the calendar by adding videos of past events held, photos and infographics as most people are more likely to comment, Like and Share them. Think of the potential target reach of this. Create events using tools like Facebook Events or Google+ Events.
2. Create a #hashtag
If you are an avid Tweep on Twitter then you know the power of the #hashtag. Creating a hashtag for your event enables your followers and potential followers to keep up with all the happenings of your event. Make it unique too. I like the hashtag created by FashionistaGh for their annual shopping festival FashionistaGh Shopping Festival #fghshop. Its simple and catchy. Hashtagging your event not only to create a gigantic buzz about your event but also enables you to track negative feedback so you do better next time. Here is a tutorial on how to create hashtags for your event.
3. You Cant Do it On Your Own
Take it from me, you will not get the time to update all your social media networks and talk to clients at the same time. So delegate or find a freelance social media person who is very savvy at tweeting, updating Facebook with interesting statuses, instagramming or blogging. Depending also on the size of your event, you can create a social media digital support centre where a group of people would own and create content for you in SM space. This person or persons would ensure that the necessary promotion is done before, during and after the event. In order not to create conflicting tweets and updates one person can own text content whilst another is left in charge of photography. Btw…the photography must be top-notch! You know I can’t stress on that enough. Good quality photos only to be uploaded to your Facebook page and blog site. Provide them with the necessary information they may need so that the wrong information doesn’t get sent out. Questions from your followers on Twitter may ask you questions from the hashtag, if they aren’t sure they should ask you. Prep them. Don’t also forget to provide your digital support with any resources they may need such as wireless accounts, name-tags and mostly importantly Item 13 (food & drink) J. As to whether that person will charge you….its between the two of you *winks*
4. Don’t be stale
Ensure that whoever you have hired to control your content is always updating content with any relevant changes that may occur during the planning stages. Did you get new products? Did a new member join the team? Share this news.
5.So is that it?
No. Even after the event, this is now the time to follow up with potential clients you met on what they thought of your event. Yes you have to tweet that as well. This will attract more people to you because nothing is more powerful than word of mouth recommendations. Share customers experience on the various platforms you will be using, not just the good but also the bad. Engage with them constantly so they never forget your brand/product.
There are so many ways to tap into #socialmedia as a promotional tool for your event. These are the key ones you should have know 'by heart' so start working on them if you have something planned coming up soon. Share your thoughts or ideas if you have any on this, i will be happy to hear from you!