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5 Tips For Event Marketing Using Social Media #eventprofs #engage365 August 2, 2011

Filed under: Event and Meeting Tips — attract2engage @ 3:56 pm
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In my day to day tasks as an Association Manager, I wear many different hats. As we are all beginning to see, wearing your Social Media hat needs to be an every day thing. Some days I spend my time promoting upcoming events, some days I focus on organizing and keeping my Board of Directors focused and on the right track. Other days I spend time making sure my membership base is taken care of and all of their needs are met. However, every day I am integrating Social Media into all these things.

When it comes to managing events,  sometimes I have free reign over the decision making, and sometimes I need to report to a committee before taking a leap or making a minor decision. 

 By using these tips to keep you on track, or sharing them with your Board of Directors or Events Committee, you can help chart your progress and also be a few steps ahead when reporting your Social Media marketing plan!

1.Don’t forget about the 80/20 rule. 

This is a rule that I live by regarding social media marketing, whether it is when I’m marketing an event or not.  I find that the best ratio to keep people engaged but not tick them off is to have 80% engagement and 20% broadcasting.  Even when you have an event to market, talking 100% about that event is just going to turn people off and they aren’t going to listen to one word that you are saying.

2. Engage creatively.

 This one goes together with tip #1 about the 80/20 rule.   You may ask, why should I waste time tweeting or posting about stuff that has nothing to do with my event when I’m trying to sell tickets?  Well, that is pretty simple to answer.

If you are engaging with people, you will be top of mind so that when they do hear something about you or your event, they will remember the interaction and be much more likely to check it out.

A creative ways to sneak a bit of broadcasting into your engagement posts is to set up a search column in TweetDeck or HootSuite (or whatever program you are using to monitor your social media) with keywords related to your event.

For example, when Palm Beach Opera presents Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, I set up columns for not only the opera title, but also for related terms such as Puccini and Miss Saigon (which is based on the opera).  This way, I can converse with people who are talking about related things without directly “selling” my event to them.  This way, when you do send out those 20% of posts that are directly about the event, you have already engaged a potentially new group of people in addition to your existing fans.

3. Make sure your website is up to par. 

This may seem obvious but it is surprising how many times I see this not being done.  The best way to get the word out about your event is to have it prominently featured on the homepage of your website.  Also, the event should have its own dedicated page with a unique URL.  This URL is imperative to any promotion of the event online whether it is using social media or email.

When promoting an event using social media, add the URL to each broadcasting post.  Do you think the URL is too long?  Use a link shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl to make the link more manageable.  An added bonus to these shorteners is that you will be able to see how many people clicked on the link with their built in stats.

4. Make it easy to buy. 

A good user experience is very important in closing the deal with an attendee.

The buying process should be as simple as possible.  You should always allow tickets to be purchased for your event online.

If you don’t have your own ticketing system or if this is an occasional event, try an online service likeEventBrite.com or BrownPaperTickets.com that creates an easy environment for ticket buying.  The biggest no-no is to promote an event online and then have the only way to buy tickets be over the phone.  You want to make sure that it only takes a couple of clicks between your tweet and buying a ticket.

5. Follow up after the event. 

Don’t forget to follow up with your attendees after the event in a timely manner.  Encourage people to share their thoughts about the event on your profiles.  If you offered social media discount and you are able to track ticket buyers with a code of some sort, send an email or a direct tweet to them just after the event with an easy way for them to provide feedback.

If you didn’t use a code, it is still a good idea to make contact with your ticket buyers right after the event to thank them for coming and ask for feedback.  Also, don’t forget to keep a separate list of the email addresses of your ticket buyers.  This will come in handy when the next event comes as you know they will be a captive audience.

These tips were pulled from Kivi Leroux Miller’s

nonprofit communications blog.

Every day new apps, tools, and formulas are created for keeping organized and up to date in event planning. I find these 5 tips are the basic groundwork that you should always lay to ensure you are covering your bases. After that, you can leap into (and try to keep up with) the new (and really cool) tools for event planning and marketing. Thanks for reading!

Anna

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What to do when you have writer’s blog block #engage365 August 1, 2011

Filed under: The Personal Appeal — attract2engage @ 9:23 pm

Here are 90 things to jump start the creative juices and get you back to the keyboard, and if these don’t work there is always Angry Birds!

 

1. Write about industry News – whats happening this week, this month

2. Read and develop content on industry Trends – where is the industry going, what are the emerging hot segments

3. Find out about your customers Pain Points – Write posts that provide solutions for your customers problems

4. Write about customers successes – Write up a case study about a clients successful project, they will often let you publish their name

5. Publish content on what not to do! – highlighting where something hasn’t worked (the names shall remain anonymous of course)

6. Create a video blog post by interviewing a successful client – this can a powerful providing authentic evidence of authority and credibility for both you and the client

7. Write articles for the different types of customers that are relevant for each of  your vertical markets

8. Brainstorm blog post topics with colleagues and management and create a list for future reference and planning

9. Subscribe to the top industry blogs in your market, both company blogs and personal blogs for ideas

10. Look through your latest news releases for ideas

11. Sign up other staff to write on topics in your industry or market that they are passionate about

12. Develop a series of how to blog posts

13. Turn the “how to” blog posts into short videos

14. When you have a great idea, go straight to your “add new” button and write the headline and save it as a draft or write it down before you forget it.

15. Include a great iconic image at the start of the blog that catches the eye

16. Case Studies are always popular to write about and not just your own

17. Place Powerpoint presentations on your blog by posting  and then embedding links from Slideshare

18.  Run polls and surveys on your blog

19. Create great headlines that catch people attention and makes them want to read the rest of the article

20. Add credbility banners such as how many subscribers, number of hits, blog grade and any awards

21. Provide “share this” buttons to Facebook and Twitter as a minimum

22. Implement “subscribe” buttons via RSS and Email

23. Write in bite size chunks and use bullet points so readers can quickly and easy consumption

24. Break up large blocks of text with iconic and interesting images

25. Take screen shots to place in your post using Software like Snagit to highlight points .. a picture is worth a 1000 words

26. Be yourself even if it is a company blog.. be authentic.

27. Optimize your blog for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

28. Promote and distribute your posts on to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

29. Make the blog easy to find on your company’s web page with a large bannner or button

30. Have fun, mix up the types of posts and add some humour occasionally.

(Gini Dietrich from Spinsucks.com contributed to the list with the following eleven additional tips)

31. Ask your readers what they want you to write about

32. Let your readers pimp their own blogs in your comments section (we’re going to do this on Thursday of this week)

33. Ask questions

34. Create contests (which goes along with your poll/survey idea)

35. Install the SEO All In One pack on your WordPress blog

36. Use StumbleUpon to increase your readership

37. Create content for “Associated Content” by republishing your blog posts there (it helps with readership and news outlets will republish your content on their sites)

38.Comment on other blogs and news articles to show your thinking/expertise, but also link people back to your blog

39. Make sure, when you use Twitter to promote your blog post, that you’re tweeting about it more than once a day

40. Subscribe to SmartBrief newsletters, RSS feeds, and Google alerts in order to find ideas for new content (that’s how I found this blog!)

41. Post and link your content on the Delicious social bookmarking site. (This will again help spread your content by placing it on a highly trafficked site)

42. Try your hat at a guest blogger or two, this could add credibility to your site , especially if the person is influential in his or her space. Courtney Wiley of  iNgage Networks also made this suggestion

43.In the meta tags for your photos, make sure the labels/words are what you want them to be – search engines can’t “read” photos, only the labels/meta tags. Dave Heinrich from WebTechUniverse.com also contributed with this tip which is vital and I do this with every image in my posts

44. When people write a comment actually take the time to email them directly and thank them for the comment and if they ask a question, then answer it. You will find that this will create a WOW factor and spread the word about the blog. If you took 10-15 minutes a day to respond to 5 comments via email you would make great impact on over 1,500 people during a year who would each spread the word to potentially 1000′s more. This could be the making of a tribe!

45. Comment appropriately on the top blogs ranked by Google on the major key word or phrase you are trying to optimize for SEO. This will create a a link back to your site and linking is key to increasing your own rankings with search engines

46. Write a blog post listing some important bloggers in your industry (such as the top 5) and point out how they make their blogs successful and you might find they return the love!

47 Interlink to other posts in your blog when writing a post especially those that are relevant and have been successful (this again is great for SEO)

48. Outsource content development for sections of your blog that are appropriate such as ‘resource’ sections.

49. Update an original post that provides more value to your readers (this post is an example)

50. Take readers comments and include and promote them in your blog  (like we have just done)

51. Take a selection of your best blog posts and make an ebook out of it. Then distribute the ebook on the Amazon Kindle Store and Apple iBookStore. This will find you new readers for your blog. And you can monetize it in a whole new way by charging a dollar or two for your ebook. (Thanks to Vikram Narayam )

52. Collaborate with other Twitter users within your niche to promote each others content

53. Make sure that everyone within your company has their own Twitter account and promotes the blog and company social media accounts on that account

54. When speaking or presenting, record it on video and upload it to company YouTube channel. It will be a constant resource for clients as well as adding to your websites SEO.

55.  Make excerpts of  key points on the video and turn them into short blog posts.

56. On your YouTube channel make sure you have optimized the video for search engines through tags, key phrase in the description as well as the link to your blog in the  description section.

57. The SlideShare account where you have uploaded your PowerPoint presentation should also be optimized for search with your blog or website URL in your public profile

58. The Slideshare account should also have your top keywords and phrases in the  ”Public Profile” about section so that search is optimized.

59. Keep most blogs short with no more than 400-500 words as most people don’t have much time and will be only spending a minute or two on your blog (average time on this site according to Google Analytics is 1 minute and 39 seconds)

60. If embedding a video in the post again brevity rules with the rule of thumb now at a 1-2 minute video

61.  Take each post and post it on the New Digg (20 million visitors a month), it is quick and easy to do and will take you only a minute or two (it involves copying the URL and pasting it to Digg, add the headline and choose the section then hit

62. Take the results of your polls or survey and turn them into a blog post. A lot of people want know the results as over time the blog post is buried in the archives

63. Use a twitter app such as SocialOomph.com (Professional edition) to schedule tweets your posts on a regular basis. Another software application you can use is MarketMesuite.com which allows you to personally brand your scheduled tweets.

64. Collaborate and communicate with other successful bloggers in your niche especially those that enhance and add to your skill set (they will encourage and support you)

65. Implement an email acquisition strategy that includes a pop over form that hovers over the screen for first time visitors (offer free eBook or video tutorial as an incentive and a gift for people giving you their name and email address) . One platform that provides this is Aweber.

66. Another email subscriber tactic includes a suggestion to refer a friend to join the email list

67. Place a video on your Facebook fan page inviting visitors to subscribe.

68. Link to your blog on your Facebook fan page

69. On your email subscriber form don’t ask people for their life history keep it short and only ask for name and email address

70. On LinkedIn  Make sure your Profile is public with Your Blog, Website and Facebook pages entered in your Settings (Profile Section) where you are allowed 3 website URLs

71. On LinkedIn make sure you have blog widget loaded (this is at the bottom of your LinkedIn Home page by clicking on the +Add an Application Button) this will then display your blog and the 3 latest posts in a window on your home page for all visitors to your profile

72. Add the Twitter feeds application using the Tweets add on in the same section this will promote your blog posts when you tweet them

73. Promote your Slideshare presentations on LinkedIn using the Slideshare Presentations again in the +Add an Application button (remember your optimized Slideshare account will have your blog URL which will drivetraffic to your blog)

74. Get the latest information and ideas by creating alerts using Google Alerts on your favourite topics. For me that might be something like “Social Media Case Studies” so that any new content on the Web that fits that phrase will be fed to you by Google, either as it happens or daily. (Suggestion maybe create a separate dedicated email account eg alert@jeffbullas.com so that it doesn’t overwhelm your personal or business account

75. Hire a copy writer to hone your content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your key words and phrases that are important when potential readers and clients go looking online find “you” and not your competitor on Google’s search engine results page

76. Video interview successful people in your industry and then make it easy for them to share the interview with their network (this will surprise you as to how powerful this is in leveraging and spreading your content)

77. Run Ads in the sidebar such as  Deck ads.  ( you can make a few thousand a month off  ”The Deck” ads.if the traffic volumes are significant)

78. Bundle up the best blog posts about about your niche and turn it into a PDF book. You could sell the PDF for lets say $19. (37signals who took its own experiences as a web startup and published them on their corporate blog and monetized that over 2 years into a $750,000  revenue stream by publishing and then repackaging it)

79. Take the PDF and turn it into a paperback at a print on demand publisher Lulu.com. You can sell the paperback for $25 and they make a few more thousand a month on royalties. (37 signals book “Getting Real” was published from the PDF source material  and the paperback is currently ranked the 2nd best seller on Lulu)

80.Take the content from the book and produce a conference series. You could hold a few conferences a year and make about $50,000 per conference. (37signals has produced about 5 of these conferences) So if you add this all up:

  • $100,000 on The Deck ads
  • $350,000 on the “Getting Real” PDF
  • $65,000 on the “Getting Real” paperback
  • $250,000 on the “Getting Real” conferences (before that they were called Building of Basecamp).

Total $765,000 over a few years off the same content repackaged in a variety of ways.

This content was simply about insight and ideas about how they run their business.

So there it is, over $750,000 from Blog entries, PDF, paperback, and conferences.

How could you adapt this model to your industry?

81. Take the content, expertise and network contacts that you have developed from your blog and produce a Webinar. Social Media Examiner have done this successfully twice and  have registered up to 2,000 people online and made over $900,000

82. Mount a video camera in your car if you are in an industry that involves getting out and about such as real estate and make a video blog while you are “on the job” (but not driving of course). Ian Watt from Vancouver does this and creates short video blog posts talking about the industry he is obviously passionate about.

83. Turn your blog content into an online course and publish it and sell it using applications such as wiziq.comodijoo.comlitmos.com

84. Offer a premium paid newsletter for a low cost of $1.99. An example here is that a restaurant could offer a monthly newsletter with recipes for seasonal foods or a Gym could offer a weekly newsletter with keeping fit and staying healthy.

85. Use Alltop to promote your content.

86. Put a big button on your blog that invites and makes it easier for people to do “business” with you such as investing in your blog or collaborating in joint ventures..

87. Join as many Facebook active Facebook fan pages or groups relating to your blog topic as possible

88. Monitor your brand with Google Alerts or Tweetdeck so that you can thank people that publish your content and protect your brand from misconceptions.

89. Offer consulting services in your area of expertise that are highlighted and prominent on your blog.

90. Finally don’t give up “Persist” and your blogging journey may surprise you!

Written by Jeff Bullas from jeffbullas.com

I love that there are 90 points here. It does not leave me with much to add, but I am happy to share them via Jeff!

Anna