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Five must-have social media marketing strategies for the busy event professional

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Best Practices, Marketing, Social Media

Social media marketing often takes a backseat for event businesses, understandably so. Between daily operations and delivering white-glove service to clients, you’re maxed out.

Especially if you work solo or have a small team, juggling daily tasks is stressful enough without the pressure of being a social media guru. 

But actually, you don’t need to be a guru. In fact, social media doesn’t have to be a timesuck at all.

Social media marketing can be — and from what we’ve seen, it probably will be — one of your most effective marketing tools for attracting clients, increasing brand awareness and tapping into new audiences.

I’ve compiled the 5 best social media marketing hacks to help you fast-track your event business’ social strategy without sinking hours into creating content. Let’s get started!

Planning Pod offers robust lead management tools to help you convert more social media leads and streamline your sales funnel. Want to learn more? Click here.

#1 Understand your audience

Before developing a strategy, you need to understand your target audience. 

Imagine your ideal client: Are they millennial partygoers looking for vibrant pop-ups? Or corporate giants looking for swanky conference spaces? In any case, each persona’s interests and hobbies (including their social media habits) may be very different.

Understanding your audience's habits

When evaluating your ideal customer persona, dig deeper than demographic metrics like age and location — think about their psychographics too (e.g., values, interests and personality traits): 

  • Are they introverts or extroverts?
  • What style of events or venues excites them? 
  • What’s their favorite food?
  • What does their typical day look like?

Detailed questions like this uncover the richest audience insights, so make sure to dig deep. For more examples, check out this in-depth list of buyer persona questions to consider from Amy Wright.

After you’ve defined your ideal customer, you can start the process of learning how to find them. To do this, you need to know:

  • Topics that spark their interest. 
  • Social media platforms they spend the most time on. (Instagram, Linkedin, Tiktok, etc.)
  • Influencers or hashtags they follow.
  • Type(s) of content formats they prefer. (e.g., short-form videos, articles, infographics, etc.)
  • Peak times they’re active on social media.

So how can you find this information? You can probably track down most of it on Google. But there are third-party social media tools available that can do the heavy lifting for you and save you time.

While free social media listening tools can be great to get you started, paid tools will come with more valuable features, so consider your budget and needs. (FYI — Sparktoro is my favorite free/paid audience research tool.) If you need in-depth analytics, a paid platform may be well worth the investment.

After you gain a comprehensive understanding of your audience, you have what you need to tailor your content strategy to resonate with their preferences. 

[Image 2]

The Clay Theatre's (event venue) Instagram post
Event Venue – The Clay Theatre @theclaytheatre

#2 Schedule your posts ahead of time

Streamline your workflow by scheduling your posts across multiple platforms ahead of time. You’ll save tons of time and energy by avoiding last-minute scrambles to create and post content. 

Scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer help you work smarter, not harder. Like social media listening tools, there are tons of free and paid options available, so make sure to explore their features to find one that best suits your needs and budget. 

AI and automated social media scheduling tools

The most important features to look for in your scheduling tool are: 

  • Multi-platform scheduling and management 
  • Content creation and planning
  • Team collaboration
  • Analytics and reporting

FYI — Forbes offers a comprehensive list of pros and cons between scheduling platforms, which you can check out here. 

Once you’ve picked the right scheduling tool, you can create a batch of content in one afternoon and schedule it for the month ahead. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create quality content in batches (with examples): 

Step 1: Define the goals you have for your content. 

Goals and content strategy examples

Step 2: Brainstorm general pillar topics you want to include in your content and ideas related to them.

Examples:

Pillar: Event technology 

Pillar: Destination events

Step 3: Break your pillars down into smaller, more specific subtopics.

Event technology vs Destination event topic distribution diagram

Step 4: Draft captivating titles and captions to pair with each piece.  

Example social media post and caption
  • Titles should include hooks that emotionally appeal to your audience. Get creative with storytelling, humor or relatability to create the most engaging titles! 
  • If you’re stuck, use AI to help you brainstorm. Here are 50 AI prompts to help you speed up your title-creation process.

Step 5: Use your social media analytics to determine your audience’s peak activity times and schedule your posts accordingly to maximize engagement. Social media management tools offer their own analytics that offer more insight than standard analytics can. For an in-depth comparison on the analytics and features on popular social media management platforms, click here

Quick note: Many scheduling platforms offer artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can create content for you. Just remember that AI can’t replicate the nuances of human connection. The best-performing content is written by humans and supported by digital touch

Pro tip: Take your content prep one step further by creating an editorial content calendar to plan your strategy, from topics to concepts and captions, in advance. 

Google Sheets works just fine for creating content calendars,  but social media tools like Later and project management tools like Trello offer helpful visual features. If you prefer to work off of a pre-made calendar template, Hubspot also offers a comprehensive editorial calendar template for free.

#3 Pick the content types that work best on your platform(s).

Different platforms cater to various formats. Understanding your audience’s preferences on each platform will help you tailor each message for maximum impact. Here’s a general breakdown of the most popular content across social platforms:

Facebook & Instagram

Screenshot of Planning Pod's facebook profile with a story attached

Youtube

  • Videos of any length
  • Livestreams

Justine Jordan Creative @justinejordancreative

TikTok

Pinterest

  • Images
  • Carousels (multi-image posts)

Pro tip: Most users use these platforms on mobile devices, so optimize your content for a vertical aspect ratio. Images have different recommendations depending on the platform, but the standard ratio for videos is 9:16

All of the platforms we mentioned above (except Pinterest) also offer stories, a feature that plays an essential role in audience engagement. 

A quick note about stories

Stories are semi-recent additions to most social platforms, but they’ve been around for a while. Snapchat originally launched the concept of stories in 2013. It was such a hit that over time, other social media networks released their own versions of stories too.

Stories on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Tiktok are similar to posts, except they get pinned to the top of users’ news feeds and vanish after 24 hours. They come equipped with unique features (e.g., filters, countdown timers, and “add your twist to this trend”-style prompts) that aren’t available for regular posts.

So what makes stories so powerful? You can strategically use their time-sensitive nature to create senses of urgency and intrigue around new promotions and offerings. 

Content ideas to engage your audience through stories: 

  • Behind-the-scenes clips
  • Discounts/flash sales
  • Testimonials
  • Polls and surveys

Plus, you can curate collections of stories to further showcase your brand personality and engage with your audience.

Maximizing the impact of your stories with highlights

Highlights are albums of stories that stay on your profile permanently. Most platforms allow you to personalize them down to the album name and cover image, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

You can use highlights strategically to pack more value into your social media. Since you can add as many slides to highlights as you want, they’re the ideal spot to cover a lot of information. 

Consider splitting your highlights into different topics or content pillars and posting related stories that direct your audience to that highlight on a regular basis. You can continue to add relevant stories to your highlight collections later, adding even more value. 

Quick note: Use similar themes and styles across your Highlights to keep your profile polished and professional.

#4 Repurpose and squeeze more juice from your content

Do you have ideas scribbled onto sticky notes that cover your desk? Maybe a value-packed blog post you’re especially proud of? Or a work-related journal entry you poured your heart into? Existing content like this makes for valuable bite-sized social posts.

Repurposing your content is a time-saver that pays off quickly. Plus, you spare your brain unnecessary burnout from nonstop content creation. It’s a win-win!

Some formats you can consider for repurposing existing content: 

  • Infographics — Convert pages of complex information into visually appealing yet valuable summaries.
  • “Behind-the-scenes” snippets — Offer sneak peeks into your event process to showcase your services and personality.
  • Outtake compilations — Share lighthearted bloopers that resonate with your audience on a personal level.
Maximizing social media growth

#5 Build community in 10 minutes a day

Spend 5 minutes scrolling through popular industry hashtags each day. If you aren’t sure how to find the right hashtags, here are some tips:

  • Search relevant keywords in the search bar of your desired social media platforms (e.g., “nonprofits”, “concerts”, “venues”) and scroll until you find something relevant to your niche. 
  • Use your personal algorithm to your advantage by researching on your personal social media accounts. Since you’re in the event industry, the trends and hashtags you’re looking for probably already exist on your accounts’ Explore pages.
  • Look at the content of your competitors and the topics or hashtags they focus on. 
  • Use a hashtag research tool, whether it’s free or paid. SproutSocial offers detailed insights on popular hashtags used by your existing followers and target customer base.

Once you find a relevant topic or hashtag, comment on 2-3 posts you find interesting with that tag each day. Make your comments stand out by offering unique insights and asking questions to engage in the conversation.

Commenting is like networking, in that you should seek to give, not to get. Ask people what they need and what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you. The latter should happen after you’ve already established a relationship.

Important note: Don’t advertise your services in comments underneath other creators’ content, unless the post specifically asks for it. This may result in your comments being hidden, deleted, or reported to the platform, which limits your reach long-term.

Every day, follow 1-2 new, relevant event professionals (influencers or otherwise). This gives you access to a wider network and fresh ideas for content on the reg.

And make sure to send one personalized direct message per day to a social account in your industry that you haven’t connected with before. Sending a generic message template may be tempting to save time, but mass-messaging can damage your reputation with the platform and restrict the reach of your content. 

Instead, we recommend using a general template and tailoring it to each recipient. This saves you time without costing you potential relationships or profile engagement. 

Here are a few ideas to help tailor your introduction messages and make genuine connections: 

  • Introduce yourself and explain what you do, but keep it short — you want to avoid  coming off as sales-y.
  • Mention one of their recent posts you enjoyed and offer a genuine compliment. This shows that you took time to explore their profile and aren’t spamming multiple accounts hoping for a response. 
  • Ask questions about their niche that may highlight your expertise. 

Always proofread your message for typos before sending. It makes you look polished and will set your message apart from the others in their inbox.

Social media doesn’t need to be an added stressor for your event business. With these  tools in your belt, watch your social media presence begin to:

  • Spare you the cost of valuable time and resources so you can focus on delivering magical events.
  • Reach a wider audience to attract ideal clients for your business and increase brand awareness.
  • Build a thriving community that fuels engagement and fosters positive relationships with future clients. 

It’s time for you to unleash the power of consistency and brand authenticity in social media marketing. Put these strategies into practice today and start transforming your social media presence into a valuable asset for your event business!

Interested in learning more about event business marketing? View our webinar on marketing strategies for event businesses.

Planning Pod is an event management solution for professionals, from new event planners to multi-location venues looking to take their events to the next-level. Ready to start streamlining your event process? Learn more here.