Graduations, concerts, end-of-the year celebrations, oh my!
The end of the school year is fast approaching and most of us will be hosting events that we will want to promote on social media. Events can be a great way to promote your school, and perhaps gain new inquiries. Even if your event is small, promoting on social media can help you increase the attendance rate at your next event.
Here are my top tips for marketing your upcoming event on social media.
Choose an event hashtag
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised to learn how many marketing managers forget this step. Register your hashtag on Twubs so people can find your event on social media. Registering your hashtag also helps your SEO and protects your chosen hashtag from being used elsewhere. Not sure how to craft a hashtag? Create one that that’s short, memorable and hard to misspell. Try using Hashtagify.me or Tagboard for ideas.
Use your hashtag across all your social channels
Start using your hashtag well in advance of your event date and include it EVERYWHERE. Put it on all of your event marketing materials, use it when you set up your event in Facebook, and use it on your social graphics. We also suggest you add it to the Bio (About) section of your blog and each of your social accounts as well as your email signature. Hey – why not?
Ask your board members, families and supports to share about your event
Email your families, supporters and board members and provide them with social sharing graphics that they can post to their accounts. Be sure to let them know about your registered hashtag.
Plan your strategy on social networks
Consider the networks you are already active on and focus your efforts there. If you have been thinking about becoming active on a new platform, this might be a good time to launch your presence, depending on your time and ability to maintain the new account.
Create an event page, share event updates and engage followers. You can also target your messaging to specific audiences using Facebook advertising.
If you’re not already on Instagram, this might be a good time to take the plunge. Schools typically receive the most engagement on this image-based social platform. Consider adding Instagram to your Facebook ads.
LinkedIn is great for networking. You might be surprised at how much activity you will garner on LinkedIn. Some parents are quite active on this channel and might appreciate your marketing efforts here.
Use posts and an event hashtag to build excitement before and during your event.
Snapchat appeals to young audiences but quite a few parents are active here as well.
- YouTube and Vimeo
Create a highlight reel from prior events (if you have the footage.) And, don’t forget to upload footage of your event after it’s over.
Share pictures of speakers or performers
If you are featuring speakers or performers, create social graphics that include a headshot and compelling statement they have said. Be sure to include your hashtag. In addition to helping to promote your event, it gives your speakers/performers additional exposure (and something to share with their own audiences.)
Post about your event on your blog
You can write a blog post about each of your speakers/performers or do one “round-up” type of post that refers to them. Be sure to use your registered hashtag when you publish it. Consider re-posting in Medium and repurpose it as a LinkedIn article.
Share behind-the-scenes visual content
Parents love this kind of stuff! Give a glimpse of the exciting and sometimes chaotic experience of pulling everything together for your event by sharing pictures and short video clips on your social channels. This will also help generate buzz and anticipation of the event. It will also help build an emotional connection to the event, which will definitely increase engagement.
Consider creating an event giveaway or content
Giveaway and contests are a great way to motivate word-of-mouth sharing about your event without a huge investment. Contact local merchants for prize donations and be sure to recognize them in your promotions as well. Woobox, Tabsite, Rafflecopter, Pagemodo, Shortstack and Wishpond are all tools you can consider using to help you set up and manage your contest or giveaway.
Tell the media about your event
Most television websites have a community page where you can add your event. Many radio stations will run public service announcements (PSAs). Contact your media outlets to find out their process for submissions if it isn’t easily accessible on their website.
Stream live on social media
Video streams are a great way to get your audience excited for an event. Luckily, you can stream live using a camera, smartphone or tablet. Currently, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (Periscope) offer livestream services. Live streams are great ways to build hype around your event.
Now that you have an understanding of how to market your school’s event on social media, the next step is to get started. Start by checking out our CHECKLIST 25 Steps to Promote Your School’s Next Event Using Social Media. Then, try adding the items on the checklist to your To Do list / calendar or delegating to staff. You’ll be surprised at how much you will boost your reach and bring in more attendees to your event than you have in the past.
Have you used social media to promote a school event? Please tell me how it went and what strategy worked the best for you in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!