Welcome to 2015. Yes, it’s time for marketing planning and deciding what trade shows you’ll attend and conferences you’ll hold. Some of the most useful information (and gossip) I gather comes prior to my actual attendance at an event. Well thought out, interactive social media campaigns extend the life and excitement around an event.
Think about the last time you signed up for an in-person or online conference; I bet there were social media tie-ins that were engaging, informative, fun, and worthwhile!
As busy financial advisors, you may not have the time or resources for a full-out social media campaign, but your events should have a clear marketing strategy with a social media component. Don’t panic; it’s easier than you think. Consider starting with these first few basics and then add as many extras as you can to obtain maximum event participation.
- Create an event landing page (probably on your website) that includes all the pertinent information including: Reasons to attend, dates and times, location (if an in-person event), agendas, presenters, testimonials from past participants, pricing, and how to register. Consider apps like Eventbrite to help setup and manage your events (it can also accept payments for ticket sales), and then include this link on your webpage and social media platforms.
- Make your target audience, and what they will achieve by attending your event, the focus for your social media postings.
- Promote the event and provide links to the landing page via social media. For instance, your blogs, posts and tweets can offer teasers or summaries on the points you will cover. Post a question: “Wonder how to juggle your financial planning goals in today’s hectic environment? If so, attend our event . . . “ (and let them know there’ll be more information to come at the event).
- Create an event specific Twitter hashtag. Get people talking about the event and sharing ideas (remember, this helps people learn and make great contacts).
- Include photos or infographics with your social media posts. Use your special event’s graphics, but also consider free images to bolster visual interest (Buffer has a great list of resources). Is your event in Florida in the middle of winter? Then be sure to post a sunny shot of Miami.
- Post a video! Even a short 30-second video is effective if it helps tell prospects why they should attend your event.
- Ask colleagues and your professional organizations/associations to share the event link on their social media pages.
- Information is everything. Include bios and links to your event presenters in your posts (they will probably share your event link with their network).
- People want to know their ideas are important, so don’t be afraid to use social media sites to solicit feedback on agenda items. Let attendees set a portion of the agenda – you’ll be amazed at the participation it generate.
- Consider holding a contest prior to the event on one of your social media platforms – start the excitement going now.