In 2023, 93% of marketers say social media is critical for events, but less than half have an effective social media strategy.
Social media event marketing matters now more than ever but can be extremely challenging to master.
With countless platforms and strategies, most event marketers feel overwhelmed and need help knowing where to start.
For ultimate social media success, create carefully tailored content to reach your event goals.
Great content not only captures attention but also provides value and compels action.
Crafting targeted social posts, visuals, videos, and more generates buzz and drives event signups.
Follow these time-proven tips to create unforgettable social media content. Take your event marketing to the next level.
1. Know Where Your Audience Spends Time
What’s the first step?
Uncover the social hotspots where your audience hangs out online.
You can’t be everywhere.
Be effective instead.
Dissect your audience’s social media habits.
Research the 2-3 social networks where ideal attendees interact the most.
Dive deep into their top networks for better exposure.
You’ll gain better traction by having a strong presence on a few channels rather than spreading yourself too thin.
How do you pinpoint your audience’s favorite networks?
Here are some ways to find out:
- Ask in surveys or interviews. Directly polling your customers gives you insider info on where they hang out online.
- Check social media handles on website profiles. Most people include links to their social profiles on their website bio or in email signatures. Pay attention to which platforms pop up again and again for your audience.
- Use tools like Social Pilot or Sprout Social. These tools compile demographic data to show the most popular platforms for different groups. Look at breakdowns for your target customer age range, job titles, interests, etc.
- Browse hashtags and groups. Search social media for event marketing hashtags and industry-related groups your audience may join. Sort by popularity to see the most active communities.
- Look at competitors. See where influential brands in your space are engaging their followers. Chances are your audience is there, too.
Once you identify your audience’s 2-3 most loved networks, concentrate your efforts:
- Post more frequently. The majority of your content should live on your audience’s main platforms.
- Run ads on those sites. Paid social campaigns have a greater impact when seen by more of your target audience.
- Engage followers proactively. Focus community management and conversation on your audience’s preferred platforms.
- Cross-promote cautiously. Share your content across all your channels, but put extra focus on the key sites.
Get inside your audience’s media habits to connect with them where they already spend time.
This strategy guarantees your content gets in front of the right people.
2. Craft Engaging Content Across Multiple Formats
With your target social platforms identified, it’s time to create irresistible content.
An effective social media event marketing strategy uses diverse formats tailored to each network’s strength.
What are the top formats?
Videos stop scrolling in its tracks. They bring your event to life with contagious energy and enthusiasm.
- Speaker preview videos – Short interviews or teaser snippets to highlight presenters
- Event venue/experience videos – Show off event spaces and amenities
- Promo/hype videos – Quick high-energy videos to build excitement
- Live streams – Stream parts of your event or pre/post-shows
- Contest/giveaway videos – Videos with calls-to-action for contests
Visual content captures attention.
Images related to your event must be part of your mix.
- Speaker headshots – Photos of your presenters
- Event venue photos – Showcase rooms, decor, stage, signage, etc.
- Agenda slides – Convert sessions into eye-catching graphics
- Quotes /testimonials – Pair event-related quotes with compelling images
- Infographics – Design infographics with event stats and tips
Carousels and galleries share multiple unforgettable images in one post.
Use carousels for:
- Speaker lineups – Introduce all your presenters
- Agenda overview – Share your full agenda uninterrupted
- Event highlights – Recap parts of your event with a photo gallery
Inspiring Blog Content
Blog posts extend your content’s lifespan through SEO.
Write posts like:
- Speaker spotlights – Dedicate a full post to profiling each speaker
- Event tips lists – Ideas for getting the most out of the event
- Industry analysis – Connect your event to current trends/topics
Far-Reaching Social Media Graphics
Designing custom social media images makes a big visual impact.
Some creative ideas:
- Event countdowns – Share a “days until the event” count
- Inspirational quotes – Combine motivational quotes with event details
- Registration reminders – Notify followers signups are closing soon
Engage your audience throughout your event.
Post a diverse blend of multimedia content, focusing on eye-catching video and powerful images.
3. Search Intent Keywords Are Crucial for Connecting with Interested Audiences
Adding strategic keywords in your social media event marketing content will capture your target audience.
But stuffing in as many industry buzzwords as possible isn’t effective.
To attract genuinely interested prospects, use search intent keywords – the terms and phrases people use when searching for content like yours.
Search intent keywords map to the underlying intent behind web searches.
There are two levels of search intent vital for event marketing:
Informational Intent Keywords
These keywords indicate someone is researching or learning more about a topic.
For events, they show early interest and awareness:
- Event topic + industry terms
- Event speakers/presenters
- Location/venue details
- Event company/organizer
Commercial Intent Keywords
These keywords signal a user is comparing options or ready to purchase.
For events, they indicate higher intent to attend:
- Event registration
- Event tickets
- Event cost/price
- Event discounts/coupons
What’s the best way to add search intent keywords to your content?
Study keyword research tools. Software like SEMrush, Google Ads, and Soovle reveal popular search terms people currently use related to your event details. Look for informational and commercial intent keywords.
Leverage speaker names. Prominently feature your speakers’ names – these are hot informational keywords.
Highlight venue and location. Mention your event’s location and venue using words event-goers would search.
Include logistical details. Registration deadlines, event dates, start times, and ticket prices are important commercial keywords.
Go beyond your event name. Don’t just repeat your event name. Use other words your audience actually searches.
Get creative with questions. Turn keywords into compelling content by building FAQ list posts using the terms.
Pro tip: To determine if your content is optimized for the right keywords, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal prospect.
Search social media and Google for your event as if you were discovering it for the first time.
Does your content appear using the terms that you would use to search?
If it doesn’t, identify opportunities to better align with search behavior.
By infusing your social media event marketing content with strategic search intent keywords, you will meet your audience where they are already searching.
4. Offer a Hashtag Strategy to Unify Event Conversation
No marketing strategy is complete without a memorable branded hashtag.
Use them to aggregate event-related content into one stream.
Keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
How Do You Create a Branded Hashtag?
- Make it short and simple. 1-2 words or an acronym is best so it’s easy to remember and incorporate.
- Tie it to your brand or event name. Build off recognizable event details attendees already know.
- Test it thoroughly ahead of time. Search social media to make sure no other groups are using it.
- Encourage early adoption. Ask speakers and influencers to use the hashtag far before your event to gain momentum.
- Promote it everywhere. Include it on all your event materials, website, and social media posts.
- Make it visual. Design graphics and signage that integrate the hashtag.
- Monitor real-time. Follow the hashtag feed during your event to participate in the live conversation.
- Showcase it. After the event, share a recap “best of” roundup of top hashtag posts.
Want to know a quick way to curate content?
Prompt attendees to contribute posts using your event hashtag.
Platforms can automatically compile hashtagged posts from social media onto a main event page.
This user-generated content creates valuable buzz and FOMO.
With a strategy to promote your hashtag across social platforms, easily monitor, engage, and measure conversations in one stream.
5. Curate User-Generated Content from Attendees
Don’t limit yourself to your own content.
Encourage attendees to share their event-related content to showcase all the excitement on site.
Promote user-generated content and create opportunities for attendees to get involved in the conversation.
How to Get Others to Promote Your Event?
- Share prompts. Give suggested prompts aligned to your hashtag like “My favorite thing about [event] is…” or “Something new I learned at [event] is…”
- Run social contests. Incentivize shares by offering prizes for best event posts.
- Schedule takeovers. Allow select users or influencers to “takeover” your account during parts of the event.
- Offer visual props. Provide event-branded props and signs attendees can include in their photos.
- Scatter photo ops. Decorate spaces with engaging backdrops and installations.
- Share multimedia easily. Providing short video and image clips from your event makes it simple for users to grab and share content easily.
What is the Best Way to Get User-Generated Content?
- Monitor hashtags. Check your branded hashtag and relevant branded hashtags frequently for top posts to re-share.
- Use social listening. Set up alerts for your event name and details so you never miss viral hits.
- Look out for standout moments. Identify key sessions and activities where you expect lots of user shares and watch those closely.
- Involve speakers. Ask presenters to share their favorite attendee posts related to their talks.
- Showcase influencers. Keep an eye on top users with big followings and re-share their event posts.
- Consider rights requests. If re-sharing widely, consider asking permission and giving photo credit.
- Give back. Interact with and follow standout users who create top event content.
The more event-related UGC you can re-share, the more FOMO you create for potential attendees.
And it provides real social proof that exciting things are happening at your event.
Leverage Your Speakers as Powerful Influencers
Have you ever thought about how your speakers are your biggest event promoters?
They have a loyal following who values their work and trust their opinions.
So, why not take advantage of this by asking your speakers to share event promos and invites with their audience?
To make it easy for them, provide a media toolkit with suggested posts, hashtags, images, and videos.
Incentives like prizes to boost their own posts. And for an extra personal touch, ask your speakers to record a quick video invite for their talk.
But that’s not all! Expand your reach even further by having your speakers create their own Facebook event pages and make them co-hosts on the main event page so it reaches their existing followers.
Get ready for a big turnout!
6. Include Calls to Action to Drive Specific Results
Your social media event marketing content should motivate followers to act.
Sharing the next steps converts your audience into attendees.
What are the Best Practices for CTA Placement?
- Highlight clickable links. Hyperlink your CTAs to make it ultra-easy for users to convert.
- Soft sell early. Take a soft sell approach at first, just asking people to “learn more.”
- Get specific closer to the event. Be more direct with explicit registration and ticket links as it gets closer.
- Show scarcity. Remind followers of limited space and approaching deadlines to create urgency.
- Make it visual. Post images and videos of people actively registering or attending.
- Target different segments. Have CTAs tailored to interests – speakers, networking, agenda, perks, etc.
- Leverage FOMO. Hype unforgettable experiences people will only experience if they register.
- Retarget after event. Post CTAs for recap videos, exclusive content, next year’s event, etc.
- Watch the results. Track clicks and conversions from each network and content format to double down on what works.
How Do You Track Success of an Event?
With strategic calls-to-action, your content goes beyond awareness and drives the outcomes you want.
Some key performance indicators to track:
- Website traffic from social posts
- Content engagement rate
- Link clicks
- Registration/ticket sales influenced by promos
Testing different CTAs will reveal what motivates your audience.
With that insight, keep refining your posts to turn interest into registrations.
7. Collaborate with Influencers for Expanded Reach
Influencer marketing is hot – and a hugely valuable tactic for social media event promotion.
What is the Best Way to Recruit Influencers?
Influencers amplify your message to fresh new audiences.
Prospects who still need to follow you will discover and sign up for your event through an influencer they know and trust.
Identify Relevant Influencers
Search social media for influencers who produce content related to your event topic or who work in your target industries.
Prioritize individuals with engaged followings in your target demographics.
Beyond social stats, also vet influencers for content quality and authenticity.
Look for influencers who create content that aligns with your brand ethos.
Craft a Compelling Pitch
Avoid mass spamming influencers with cut-and-paste pitches.
Instead, personalize outreach, explaining why you’d value their partnership.
Provide specific event details that would appeal to them and their audience.
Highlight unique angles like speaking opportunities, VIP access, or chances to connect with your event attendees.
Make It Worth Their While
Understand that quality influencers receive many partnership requests.
You need to make it enticing for them to choose your event.
Offer significant incentives like comp passes, paid travel, access to exclusive content, or promotion of their work/products to your audience.
Appeal to their goals by showing how they can build their personal brand through the partnership.
Provide Shareable Assets
Don’t expect influencers to create their own promotional content.
Make it easy by providing all the branded materials they’ll need.
Give them pre-written captions, event logos and images, promotional videos, and more.
The simpler you make it, the more likely they are to participate.
Track and Attribute
Use UTM codes or unique promo links to attribute event signups and sales to each influencer partnership.
The codes and links let you calculate true ROI and determine your top-performing influencer collaborations to invest in again.
Always Say Thanks
Show appreciation by highlighting influencer partners on your channels during and after your event.
Send personalized thank-you notes acknowledging their impact and interest in future collaborations.
By strategically cultivating relationships with influencers aligned with your target audience, your event will expand its social reach worldwide.
8. Paid Ads Offer Another Route to Reach New Audiences
Do you ever feel like your social media content is getting lost in the noise? Even with great content and influencer shoutouts, it can be tough to stand out. That’s where paid social ads can be a game-changer.
With targeted campaigns, you can reach a whole new audience of potential attendees who might not have discovered your event otherwise.
So why not give it a shot and see how it can help boost your brand?
What are the Best Practices for Social Media Advertising?
Paid Search/PPC Ads
Bid on keywords people search when looking for events like yours.
Display ads alongside relevant search results.
Social Media Ads
Create dedicated ads promoting your event on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Target by interests like industry, job title, or competitor pages.
Remarket to users who have visited your site or interacted with content leading up to the event.
Remind them to register with messaging tailored to where they were previously.
Pay to promote your event videos or sponsor other content relevant to your audience.
Great for awareness.
Advertise during livestreams and podcasts aligned to your industry.
Appealing for tech-forward audiences.
Whatever paid social approach you take, the key is precision targeting.
Analyze your audience, create specific personas, and choose targeting criteria deliberately to reach people likely to attend.
Track Conversions and Adapt
Track conversions to see which tactics perform best.
Shift the budget to the campaigns, networks, and audiences driving the most registrations.
Paid ads allow you to drill down to the exact people open to your event and proactively put it on their radar. The investment pays dividends in new signups.
9. Schedule Social Content Across the Full Event Lifecycle
Don’t make the mistake of promoting your event on social media only right before launch.
Generate early buzz with pre-event hype livestreams months in advance on multiple platforms.
Engage power users in the livestream chats to drive excitement.
As the event nears, build consistent visibility across the entire event lifecycle.
Think through the full journey, from early announcement through post-event follow-up, and create a comprehensive content calendar that maps out social promotion at each stage.
Here’s an overview of how content should evolve across the event timeline:
Get your initial event announcement out there ASAP, ideally 4-6 months pre-event.
Give high-level details like date, location, and topics covered.
Build anticipation by teasing speaker reveals leading up to sharing your full lineup 2-3 months out.
Spotlight speakers and their sessions.
1-2 months out, share preview snippets of presentations/performances attendees will experience.
1 month out, make a visual push with venue photos, seat maps, agenda graphics, and video walkthroughs.
2 weeks prior, share deadlines for registration, ticket sales, hotel bookings, and full event details.
Give a hard sell on registrations in the 1-2 weeks pre-event. Share testimonials and FOMO-inducing reminders.
Post real-time updates and user photos/videos.
Ask for audience shares with your hashtag.
Immediately after, share highlights, testimonials, and more.
Promote exclusive post-event content like videos for those who attended.
Next Year’s Event
Start building anticipation as soon as details are finalized for your next event.
Offer discounts for early ticket buyers.
This full calendar ensures social content flows consistently across the entire customer journey. Ramp up the frequency and calls to action as the event nears.
After the event wraps, keep social momentum by recapping standout moments and looking ahead to the next edition. Your event should have year-round visibility across social platforms.
11 Key Takeaways
For successful social media event marketing, plan and prepare thoughtfully. Create engaging content, graphics, and interact with your audience. Expand your event’s reach, visibility, and drive more registrations.
Let's recap 11 key takeaways:
- Identify the 2-3 core social platforms where your audience is most active so you can concentrate efforts accordingly.
- Craft compelling social content across multiple formats like video, images, live broadcasts, and blog posts.
- Incorporate strategic search intent keywords into your messaging to attract interested prospects.
- Create a branded event hashtag and encourage its consistent use to unify conversations.
- Curate and re-share user-generated event content from attendees.
- Include clear calls-to-action in all posts to drive specific outcomes.
- Partner with relevant influencers to expand your social media reach.
- Run paid social campaigns to get your event in front of new targeted audiences.
- Plot out social promotion across the full event lifecycle for continuous visibility.
- Monitor performance data to determine what content and strategies are excelling.
- Go beyond promotion alone to foster genuine community connections.
These time-proven content creation tips give you a winning blueprint for supercharging your social media event marketing.
Strategic, creative content distributed consistently across the right channels boosts major awareness and registrations.
Remember – well-planned content and smart social media distribution guarantee event marketing success!
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