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Social media is everywhere, and nearly everyone uses it. Moms surf parrot videos on Facebook while bored hipsters spend hours at the coffee shop constructing the perfect portrait of snark in 140 characters or less. It is more likely than not that your ideal audience utilizes social media and, as such, it is a fantastic way to promote your upcoming event.

Here are some tips to help you get started…

1. Create a Unique Hashtag

Creating a special hashtag for your event will help to boost engagement, increase social buzz, and could even boost attendance. Your hashtag should be short, sweet, and unique. Once you have it, use it everywhere you can—in tweets, your event’s website, your email signatures—just promote and promote it. Make sure to use the same hashtag across all social channels to build brand awareness. You’ll be able to watch what is trending around your event in real time and get relevant feedback in the process.

2. Use Photos of Past Attendees in Your Social Updates

If yours is a repeat event, you can leverage all the great photos you took at previous events. Audiences tend respond best to social posts containing images and what better way to show them what a good time they’d have at your event than showing what a good time people have already had there?

If you can, tag the past attendees in the pictures. This will encourage them to engage with the community and give them an opportunity to comment and talk about how much they learned or what a blast they had and how much they’re looking forward to attending again.

3. Share Behind-the-Scenes Visual Content

A great deal of work goes into planning and pulling off a top-notch event. Give a glimpse into this exciting and sometimes chaotic experience by sharing images and videos of the preparations going on.

Share stories of how you’re pulling everything together and don’t forget, mistakes and challenges happen. Be authentic and share the challenges you face and what steps you took to resolve them. It humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable.

4. Create a Facebook Event Page

Most people log into Facebook at least once a day. Make it easy for them to keep up with event news by creating an event page listing. Your event page is also a great place to encourage networking before the event. The convenience of an event page encourages sharing by attendees as well.

To help make your event a success, Facebook has added new tools such as targeted news feed ads and event insights to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. As the day of your event approaches, don’t forget to send out reminders to encourage people to RSVP on your event page.

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Event promotion is a complicated beast with a lot of moving parts, but the cornerstone of it all is your event page or website. It’s where all the traffic for your event will be directed toward and is the point at which people have to decide whether or not they’re going to attend your event. If you don’t already have a site dedicated to your event, it’s very simple to set one up at EventBrite.com.

Even once you have your event website set up, you may find that it isn’t converting at the rate you’d like. Here are some tips to help you maximize your event’s website.

1. Target the Right Keywords

It’s important to describe your event in the terms that people are already searching for. You may be describing your event as being in the “self-help” niche, when it turns out your audience is more likely to search for “personal improvement”. Spend some time researching the keywords that relate to your event and utilize them in your copy.

2. Utilize Social Proof

If you have any standout quotes, reviews, or testimonials to share about your event, make sure they appear on your page or website. This could be as simple as adding some positive feedback you received at last year’s event, or publishing the current number of registrations. Either form of proof will make others more likely to sign up.

3. Reach Out to Relevant Websites for Links

If you know of any relevant websites in your niche, send them an email and ask if they’d be willing to cover you. You might be surprised by how many of them are willing to do a write-up of your event! Acquiring links to your event site from others can boost your authority and make you more likely to rank well in searches for the keywords you’re targeting.

4. Write a Compelling Description

Clearly indicate the topic of the event, time, place and who should attend. The description should include specific benefits for each type of attendee. Make it brief and scan-able. Use third-party endorsements when possible, such as a quote from a previous event.

5. Include Speakers’ Photos and Bios

Nothing draws a crowd like a great speaker. Images of people help to remind your prospect that your event is not just an event being hosted by a business, but an event being hosted by human beings just like them. Be sure to include photos of your speakers as well as their credentials on your event page.

6. Have a Prominent “Register Now” Button

Your “register now” button needs to be prominent and clearly visible. Without that and a call to action, you may not be able to get the conversions you want.

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If you have a list, email marketing may be your best channel for promoting your event. After all, these are people who have signed up to your list and are therefore predisposed to be interested in what you have to offer. If you don’t have a list, you may ask partners, speakers, or friends to mention the event in their emails.

Whether you already have a list of not, here are a few guidelines that will help you to get the most out of your email marketing.

1. Craft Killer Subjects

The subject is your headline when it comes to email, and as such it should get people’s attention. Subject lines that inspire awe, anger, or anxiety lead to higher open rates. Subject lines with lukewarm emotional content, conversely, are less likely to be opened. Try a subject line such as “10 things you’ll miss if you aren’t at this event”.

2. Send During the Weekend

You may want to consider sending an email on the weekend. Since few companies do it, open and clickthrough rates may be higher. And when possible attendees see it on a weekend, they may feel less stressed for time and more willing to commit a few hours to your event. They may be in a social mood and even invite a friend.

3. Utilize Video

Video thumbnails in emails can improve clickthrough rates, so it’s definitely a strategy worth trying. You could include an interview with a speaker from your event, or perhaps a testimonial from a past attendee.

4. Don’t Send Just One Email

You aren’t the only one who is busy and it’s possible that they may have missed your first email so don’t be afraid to send out reminders and follow-ups! Using subjects with wording like “Last chance…” can help your open rates by creating curiosity.

5. Create an Editorial Calendar

This will help to ensure that you don’t let too much time go by between emails, or send too frequently. As you get closer to your event, your emails should include new speaker announcements, invitations to pre-event activities, links to new blog posts, and other general updates.

6. Send and Send Again

Plan to send an event marketing email several times. For large events, email once months in advance to announce the speaker lineup and to announce early-bird registration discounts. Email just before this discount ends, and again as the event approaches. Finally, send an email a few days before with reminders of time, place for registrants and a final pitch for new registration.

In sales, a “hook” is something catchy or enticing that attracts attention and, hopefully, leads to a mutually beneficial business transaction. However, the term also has an older and far less positive connotation.

During the vaudeville shows of years past, acts that didn’t immediately capture the audience’s favor were pulled off the stage with a long-handled hook. No second chance to show their stuff. Exit stage left.

So how do you make sure your “hook” is good enough to keep you from being “hooked” like those performers of the past? Let’s say you have crafted the perfect subject line for your email. Is that enough to keep you center stage so you can seal the deal?

Absolutely not. Every word, every phrase, in the content of your email has to be carefully chosen.

Spam filters are becoming smarter and more efficient. They have to. According to a report on NBC Nightly News, the number of spam emails in 2015 doubled, soaring from 30 billion to 60 billion. The use of Artificial Intelligence in monitoring emails has created filters that have the ability to adapt to any attempts to deceive the system.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get your message delivered and not dumped:

  1. Don’t show it; say it. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a single image in the body of your email will almost surely send you directly to the junk folder.
  2. Don’t repeat yourself. If you use the same wording in your content that you used in your subject line, your message will most likely be flagged as spam.
  3. Don’t be long-winded. Keep your content concise and clear. More than 750 words of content will target you as spam that must be sent to the internet landfill.
  4. Don’t use “do not pass go” words. These are the words you have been warned against using in your subject lines. “Free,” “Guaranteed,” “Winner” and the like will be picked up by spam filters and your message will be trashed.

  5. Do look into some of the programs and websites that offer the opportunity (some without charge) for you to discover possible problems before you send your emails. Here are some that might work:
    • http://mxtoolbox.com/deliverability – This tool enables you to send your email to ping@tools.mxtoolbox.com, and then click “View Report” to receive your full analysis of their SPF records, their headers, and the reputation of your outbound IP.
    • https://www.sendforensics.com/email-deliverability-test/ – This tool enables you to run a free report that monitors delivery performance that includes deliverability scoring, layout, link quality and vocabulary analysis, and more. You can also purchase additional features for a paid plan.
    • https://www.emailonacid.com/ – This simple email testing tool tests your email on 47 different email clients and mobile devices, including Mail Chimp, Marketo, Vertical Response, and more.