Is social media marketing a good fit for my type of meeting/event?
Maybe, maybe not. Many marketers and event professionals will tell you, “You have to be on social media!”. But before you jump into social media marketing, it’s important to understand first whether your target audience is even using social media. And if they are, how are they using it? You don’t want to go fishing in the desert, and you certainly don’t want to market to an audience where they can’t be found!
While professionals in many fields (such as technology/telecommunications, advertising, and HR) use social media regularly, many others (such as libraries, actuaries, and the auto industry) do not. And while certain industries are reputed to be “less social media literate,” you’ll find stand-out exceptions in every field. So the answer to whether or not social media marketing is a good fit for your event comes with shades of grey.
Strategy is Key
If you do choose to go ahead with social media makreting, you’ll need to develop a social media strategy. This may involve social media marketing across many networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn), or only one very targeted channel (for example, LinkedIn, which orients exclusively toward professionals).
Finding Your Audience
To figure out which sites you should use and how, audience mapping will allow you to determine your best course of action. It’ll also help you decide whether social media marketing is really worth the considerable investment of time and resources.
Some methods to map your audience on social media include:
Use LinkedIn search and filters to find professionals in your industry by country, company, job function and other relevant criteria.
Search Twitter hashtags (either directly on the site, or using search.twitter.com) relevant to your industry to see how much they’re being used and who’s using them.
Search important industry keywords in Facebook’s search bar to see how many pages and groups relate to your demographic, and get a sense of how many people are active and engaged with them.
Have a Facebook company page for your organization? You can try out the Facebook Ads function, which walks you through setting up an advertisement best suited to your objectives (website clicks, post engagement, etc.). Or you can try the Boost Post option under a post, which allows you to pinpoint by interest, location, industry, etc and gives you a sense of the presence of your demographic on the site.
The Social Media Marketing Plunge
If done strategically, and assuming your audience can be found there, social media marketing can be an instrumental part of your event’s promotional campaign.
Ask the questions, do your research, and if you do decide to take the social media marketing plunge, make sure you’re using the right networks wisely.
We turn the question to you now, have you used social media marketing for your event? How successful was it?
Article by Rachel Stephan
Rachel Stephan is the owner of sensov/ event marketing. She has over 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and creative direction in the event space. Rachel is PCMA Canada East Communications Director.
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