Over the past decade, the social media world has exploded. What began as a way for college students and teenagers to keep tabs on each other has become a booming global industry all of its own. Cutting-edge companies have seen this new frontier and taken advantage of new marketing and interaction opportunities with their consumers. Yet as social networking has spread to adults and families, businesses should also be mindful of its potential in a professional setting.
As has been the case since the beginning of organized business, social media in business is all about networking. To maximize its social media impact, a business must first have a wide array of contacts that are paying attention to it. Ideally, these contacts consist of both consumers and other businesses with whom the business interacts. The best social media marketing in the world will fail if no one is watching. This can start by encouraging your employees, customers, and business associates to “add” your business to their social network of choice, and can grow organically from that point.
As social media technology has become more widespread and accepted, even those segments of the population who are traditionally technology-averse have come to understand its value and use it quite frequently. Many professionals already have access to social media and use it to keep in contact with friends, family, and, most importantly, business contacts. A business that can master the use of social media can obtain a cheap or even free method to stay in better contact with its employees, customers, and associates.
The final step is to hire or create a social media contact. This can be a dedicated position or assigned to a knowledgeable marketing employee. This person’s role is to create and promote business events in an attractive, engaging manner across whatever social media platforms the business deems appropriate. The advantage is that many of these platforms are free or very cheap to use and have access to a wide array of users. These users expand the business’s network via their own sharing, thus increasing the business’s exposure in the social media world. This so-called “going viral” is the ultimate goal of social media event promotion. With an attractive product and coordinated marketing, the possibilities for business event promotion across social media are limitless.
How to Promote a Business Event on Twitter
While businesses of all sizes look for ways to leverage Twitter, Web-savvy event promoters are using this hot social networking tool to sell out their events. Here’s how:
1. Create a branded Twitter page for your event. Even if you already have a personal Twitter account, make up a new one for your event. Think of this page as the face of your event.
2. Follow unashamedly. When you follow someone, it sends a lovely “Here I am” message to their personal e-mail in-box. Following people is the equivalent of an invitation. Follow everyone whose attention matters to your event. Many will follow back!
3. Create a unique “hashtag.” A hashtag (#) unifies all event-related tweets into a cohesive conversation, both before and during your event. Come up with a hashtag for your event and make people use it. Lead by example.
4. Participate in relevant discussions. Use tools like Twitter Search and Tweetdeck to find people who are talking about subjects relevant to your event. When you insert yourself into these conversations, you’ll expose your event to those who are most likely to respond to it.
5. Foster virality. This simply means getting people to tweet whenever they register for your event, thus affording your event exponential exposure.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. Once you have some attention on your Twitter account, do occasionally post things like “Hey, please sign up here for the event. Tickets are going fast.” You should also ask people to “re-tweet” your entreats.Source: Business Week Jack Mardack Director of Marketing Eventbrite San Francisco