We often get asked which tools we use to promote our events. Questions like "Do you use Facebook, linkedin, or Twitter?" or " Does social media really help drive registration?" or " What tool do you use for registration?" If you plan events, and maybe have had these questions also pass through your mind, this post may help. Keep in mind many of our events are designed for under 200 people and have a low ticket price to entry.
3 Key Steps to Promote Events with Social Methods for More Registrations and Success
As an example we will use PechaKucha Night Raleigh (PKN), an event Cynergie Studio hosts and sponsors 4 times per year. We do use Facebook and Twitter to promote events. When we started promoting back in 2009, we used Facebook, Linkedin, Community calendars, PR, Twitter and other sources. We tested via custom links which of the sources were driving registrations. When we noticed that Facebook was a clear and bold leader, we stopped spending time on all the other PR sources. Why? Well simply put, time. PechaKucha Night is requires lots of coordination and depends on volunteer support. We have to make the process as streamline as possible, and since we were getting the results we needed with Facebook, we didn't spend time working other PR sources.
Our last PKN event was held May 23 at Visual Art Exchange in Downtown Raleigh and below we are going to share some insights about what we do, how we do it, and see some numbers. Keep in mind a few things as we discuss the promotion of PechaKucha Night Raleigh. We created our Facebook page on December 1, 2009 and we have 312 likes. We created our Twitter account December 18th and have 790 followers and have posted over 1200 tweets.
Ok so, when we start to promote PechaKucha Night, the first thing we do is create an event on the PechaKucha Night Facebook page and then we make sure to do the following 3 things;
- Place the registration link on top of the post
- Add a nice graphic to the event
- Invite everyone
That's pretty much it. Then we monitor the event, respond to comments and update as new info arrives.
Back on the main PechaKucha Night page, we continue the dialogue leading up to the event with a series of posts (sometime we post date them to save time) updating information such as speakers, topics, reminders, etc to build excitement. We always try to post with an image as the views are often much larger ( some say it creates an increase of 120% views ) when an image accompanies the post. We rather like this number :) ...
And it went along with the image of the poster ( below).
The post was announcing the event poster design which included all the speakers and the event information and which we printed and brought to the venue.
When we posted, we made sure to tag the image with people associated to this event, such as venue, poster designer, speakers, and PechaKucha Night volunteers. This helps to notify the appropriate people, plus it is seen on their timelines, often to people who may not even know about the event. As a bonus, it is great to receive comments, and we always reply, again to keep the post active and engaging.
Other things to consider besides views, are the numbers about Engaged Users, Talking About This, and Virality. Below are a few posts with data showing. It would seem obvious that the post with the highest reach (546) also had a high number for engaged and talking about, but it wasn't high for virality. And the post that reached only 73 people had the highest virality, meaning more people created a story from this post. We are still learning, and the author of this post is most definitely not a data collection geek, but we suspect the virality is most likely due to the following things;
- The post was actionable.
- This was the event post and many people clicked the "join" button which often posts to their timeline.
- People clicked the registration link.
- Folks are interested.
We also use Twitter and of course our mailing list (thanks to Mailchimp!) Registrations come from these sources too, but not nearly at the same rate. You can see in the first column we had many click throughs ( 788 ) from Twitter, but the number of actual registrations was just 2. Compare that to Facebook with 52 click throughs and 15 registrations and Mailchimp of 76 click throughs and 65 registrations. Percentage wise Twitter delivered less than 1% conversion to registration versus Mailchimp's 85% conversion. And Facebook delivered a 28% conversion which is great. These numbers are calculated through our registration vehicle, Eventbrite, but we will talk more about the in's and out's of Eventbrite later.