How to use social media to drive attendance to your event
How to Use Social Media to Drive
Attendance to Your Event and
Engage with Your Audience
About Marcel Media
Marcel Media is full service interactive marketing agency specializing in
Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
We partner with organizations to provide creative and customized
marketing solutions such as Social Media, Interactive Facebook
Applications, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion
Optimization, Website Development and Web Analytics.
About Kelly Cutler
Kelly Cutler is the CEO of Marcel Media, an
award-winning, interactive marketing firm
specializing in search engine and social
Beginning her career in 1997 with companies
including AOL and Classified Ventures, Kelly’s
achievements include serving as the first
woman president of the Chicago
and instructing at the University of Chicago
and DePaul University.
Connect with Kelly
She is a sought after subject matter expert,
speaking on industry topics such as search Linkedin.com/in/kellycutler
engine optimization, web analytics and or
social media marketing across the country. @kfcutler
Staggering Social Media Stats
By 2012 half of the world‟s Internet users, 1 billion people, will have a Facebook
account – TIME
78.6% of consumers have joined an organizations community to get more information
on the organization – Universal McCann
66% of company community members note that the community has made them more
loyal to a brand – Universal McCann
46% of Internet users worldwide interact with social media on a daily
Facebook accounts for 8.93% of all website visits in the
US. All of Google‟s properties including YouTube, Gmail,
Google accounts for 9.85% – Experian Hitwise
Social media accounts for ~ 25% of all time spent online
over 35 minutes per hour – Nielsen
Why Social Media Works
Social Media tools are built for engagement.
Build an online community around your event
Establish credibility in the industry
Attract attendees and speakers for the event
Help attendees connect with each other
Broadens Participation throughout the event
Encourages information sharing
Leverages the event for media cover on and offline
Supplement existing marketing efforts
Make Sure Your Brand is Visible
Set up a Blog - Post updates, have speakers & previous attendees submit guest posts.
Link all social media profiles to the blog & “share this” functionality into your blog so
people can easily post your content to their profile.
Location Based Marketing – Assign a check-in
location on Foursquare.
Twitter – Create a hashtag and tweet out updates
before, during & after event.
Facebook – Create an events page and Facebook
LinkedIn – Send out personalized invites and
create an event.
Optimize Your Event for Sharing
Create a catchy hashtag for the event.
Provide an incentive for attendees who share the event on their social networks.
Create a web page or virtual whiteboard where attendees can share their social
media contact information.
Consider setting up a live stream for those who cant travel to the event. You can
use Ustream, Justin.tv or Mogulus and stream portions of your event.
Monitor the conversation. Create a Social Mention email alert for your event.
Create a widget and post on the event site with a
countdown to the event (Think ball dropping on NYE)
Create a cool badge that other blogs can add to their
site with a link to the registration page.
Create a Facebook Page
Be sure to leave the privacy settings on default so all attendees and fans can post to the page
and see your updates.
Pages have an advantage over groups because your updates will appear in your fans news feeds.
Create a Facebook Event and provide incentives for guests and members who update their own status
with links to the event.
Include an Events Tab on Your Facebook Page that has a registration link.
Visit the profiles of those that attended the event and leave custom comments.
Include a “Like” button on your event‟s website. Facebook “Like” Button now has “Share” functionality –
when users click the Like or Recommend button on a third-party website or within a Facebook app, it now
publishes a full news feed story.
Facebook Places – Allows users to share where they are at, check into a location and then post that
check in to their newsfeed and wall so others can see where they are as well. Events can offer incentives
for checking in like free drink coupons and sweepstakes.
5 Great Applications for your Facebook Events Page
1. Welcome Tab- Welcome Tab adds customization to a page by creating a custom landing page
for your Facebook visitors.
2. EventBrite for Pages – Provides another platform for online registration
3. Plancast – Great research tool for people to discover events
4. Nutshell Email – Allows you to send an email to all your fans and followers on Facebook at
5. LiveStream – Allows you to stream your event on your Facebook page
Promote “following” the event‟s Twitter account for event updates.
Ask for people to share your event with the simple phrase, “Please RT!”
Give people an incentive to tweet out your hashtag; offer a free pass, door prize or other
Create separate Twitter lists of event speakers, sponsors, attendees and local restaurants
Have a designated “tweeter” at each session or event that tweets in real-time about the
Create a unique hashtag for the event.
If your event is large enough create a separate Twitter account for it. @blogworld is an
example of this.
Twtpoll – Allows you to create polls and surveys on Twitter (this is a great way to get feedback
during and after the event)
Tip Sheet: Twitter Hashtag Etiquette
An Example: #SXSW.
This is a large event with tons of attendees and speakers and it can be easy to overuse
hashtags and update your feed too frequently. Some refer to this as Twomiting or tweeting
every word panelists say.
Rules to Twitter Event Etiquette:
1. Live stream popular sessions so people who cant
attend can follow online
2. Provide frequent blogs with round ups of content from
3. Create an official Twitter account summarizing keypoints,
linking to presentations or handouts.
LinkedIn Events App – allows you to promote global events to TweetUps
Send an invitation to the people who would be interested in the event based on region or niche.
On LinkedIn, once someone RSVPs to your event, it shows up on the home profile of everyone
that person is connected to, spreading the message for you.
Create a LinkedIn poll after the event to gather feedback quickly and distribute throughout all
Wordpress App- allows you to integrate your blog with your LinkedIn profile
The Slideshare.net app - allows you to showcase presentations yand add a video that autoplays
when people land on your profile.
LinkedIn Events App – allows you to promote global events to TweetUps
Choose one preferred site for photo‟s and video & create an channel for your
Post photos & video to Facebook Page & tag the people featured so the post
appears on their Facebook wall as well.
Encourage interaction by inviting participants to upload their own photos from the
event into your Flickr stream, on the event Facebook wall or with Twit Pics.
Online Video Platforms: YouTube, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe, Tubemogul
Embed videos and speaking sessions on blog.
Interview keynote speakers and attendees and send out through the blog and
How to Create a Viral Video
Update Channel Regularly- Delivering useful information through video is more
interactive and increases user engagement.
Syndicate your videos on social media and social bookmarking sites
Tag Your Videos-YouTube allows for segmentation of
content to categorize and target a specific market
Keep your videos, short, simple (under 5 minutes)
Brand your content and videos (name, logo, URL)
Use annotations in your video
Create a playlist; playlists are fantastic ways to guide
your new viewers through your content the way you prefer them to experience it.
Where Video’s Go Viral
Facebook Dominates: With more than 500 million people on the
Social network, Facebook dominates the sharing of social video.
People share videos on Facebook 218 percent more than through
Twitter and e-mail combined.
Blog before, after and during your event.
Live blogging during your event can create buzz and excitement for those who were
unable to attend and provide them a snippet of what they missed, which will encourage
them to look for your next event.
Keep Live Blogs short, with all the highlights, quick intro and bullet points.
Blogging Best Practices
Copy editing (Yahoo! Style Guide)
Incorporate data and infographs
Create a catchy headline
Keep entries consistent; we recommend once a week
Optimization; keywords, link building, mobile friendly
Syndication Through Social Bookmarking
In Order of Authority:
Incorporate Foursquare and Encourage Audience Participation
Set up an account that reflects the brand name and details of your event.
Set up a venue (this will be included in event details) Include address, contact
information and links to other social media profiles.
Assign the event a category
Create a landing page weeks in advance of your
event and offer a tease towards some of the tips
and incentives for their participation.
Offer early incentives for „friending‟ the event
profile and develop a community ahead of time
to ensure participation during the event.
Add a Tip – Tips should be valuable to people and align with your brand (e.g. local bar or
restaurant that is having a happy hour special)
Offer incentives for checking into the event. All check-ins receive automatic entry into a
sweepstakes (check-in and win an iPad)
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Google Alerts(free): You can use Google Alerts as a buzz monitoring tool.
Social Mention (free): Allows you to set up email alerts and real time mentions of
your brand on social media
Trackur (free – nominal fees): Trackur is a buzz monitoring tool that is ideal for
small businesses and bloggers who are on a limited budget.
Radian 6 (enterprise level fees):This tool provides in-depth insight into real-time
conversation around your brand. It also includes sentiment analysis and allows
workflow assignments to attend to conversations you find relevant to your strategy.
Klout (free): Determines the level of influence your brand has in the social media
Advanced Promotional Tools
Some organizers create their own social networks to build up hype and to keep
connections even after the event has occurred by using Ning.
Add yourself to major event websites like EventBrite, Zvents, Plancast and
Upcoming by Yahoo.
If your event is social media-related,
don‟t forget Mashable‟s Social Media Events
Guide as well.
Twitter applications that promote networking:
TweetChat, Tweetvite, and TweetMyEvents.
Put together a slide presentation of your
conference benefits, topics or speakers and
posting it to Slideshare. Leverage it on other
social media sites and the event blog.
Cont...Advanced Promotional Tools
Cinches: Simple to use and can record audio, either via the web or phone
(there are apps for iPhone and Android), so you can share audio messages with your
DailyBooth: Fast-growing social networking site that allows you to easily
upload and share pictures in seconds.
TwentyFeet.com: Social analytics tool that aggregate all your stats in one
Postling: Tool that brings together multiple social media channels into one
Sorify: Tool that aggregates and curates content from around the web. Great
tool for events, product launches, etc.
A Case Study: Is Facebook Worth More to Event
Marketers then Twitter?
A study performed by EventBrite, which used in-house social analytics
tools to track online ticket sales showed that an average tweet about an
event drove $.80 in ticket sales. An average Facebook “like” drove $1.34
in online sales.
The study also revealed cumulative activity on Facebook was greater than
activity on Twitter for Eventbrite. People shared Eventbrite events on
Facebook almost four times as often as they did on Twitter.
People are more likely to share events if they are attending. Their
friends, according to Eventbrite‟s data, are also more likely to buy tickets
to an event shared on Facebook by a ticket holder than one shared by an
Social Media has revolutionized events and you have a lot of resources at your
disposal. Remember, quality beats out quantity. Start out on a few of the main
social networks, determine where your target audience is most active, and use
what works for you!