Published on July 26, 2022
Finding creative ways to promote an event is easier than it seems. It just takes a little umph.
When is the last time you received a paper invitation to an event? For most of us, it’s probably been a while. They do still get sent out, but they’re becoming more rare with each day. It’s much more likely to find an event announcement on social media sites or through email.
But before you toss out the envelopes and throw a picture onto Instagram, remember that yours is not the only event your followers will see. Unless you have a strategy and some creative ways to promote an event, you’re just another pretty picture on a crowded website. Don’t worry, though. There’s more than one way to get noticed.
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7 of the most effective and creative ways to promote an event with social media hashtags
This isn’t the only order in which you can work, and some of these items will take place concurrently, but each one is important.
1. Start with a strategy
Your strategy for promoting your event starts with planning out your timeline, ticket links, what hashtags you want to use, how and where you’ll promote it, and graphic design at a minimum. There’s a lot here, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Keeping things as simple as possible is always preferable.
2. Create your hashtag
No pressure, but your hashtag could make or break your event. Okay, not really, but a generic hashtag won’t do anything for you. For instance, #partytime on Twitter will get you anything from kids’ birthday parties, to pool parties, to fast food advertisements. On the other hand, a hashtag that’s too specific (without a plan behind it) won’t get used. #nonprofitparty gets used about twice each year, and that’s in a good year.
If you really want to WOW your audience, you can embed Everwall on your website for a live feed of every Tweet that uses your hashtag.
3. Create your hashtag (part 2)
About that specificity, if your organization already has a popular hashtag, you might be able to use it for your event, too. At the very least, you can use that hashtag in conjunction with your event hashtag. Otherwise, go for something specific enough to attract attention, but evergreen enough that you can build on it and use it for future events. Make it short and memorable. Oh, and make sure it doesn’t mean something you aren’t intending. Have a few people take a look and make sure it’s not in use already in a way that would compromise your event.
4. Promote your hashtag
Arguably even more important than which hashtag you use is how you promote your hashtag. Feature it on your social media profile, use it in any post related to your event, make it prominent on your event website, include it on event tickets, and use it as an email signature.
5. Encourage your followers to use your hashtag
People love to see pictures, and videos from events, and the more followers use your hashtag, the easier it is for everyone to see all those fresh pictures. You can even start before your event. Hosting a costume event? Encourage attendees to share a sneak peek of their outfit and use your hashtag.
6. Go back in time
One of the most creative ways to promote an event is to go into your archives. Post pictures and stories from past events, giving social proof that people have fun and your event is one your audience doesn’t want to miss. A look at the world of classic rock is a perfect example. Many of the big rock bands of yesteryear post any number of old images when they’re promoting a new album or tour. Newspaper clippings, lost video footage, concert reviews, and personal pictures from early tours and recording studios are all material to pull from. While you may not be a rock god or goddess, you may have photographs and promo material from past events. Find the best, funniest, or most unusual and share it.
7. Go live
Don’t be afraid to go live, either. Before your event, share behind-the-scenes videos. Go live during the event to share keynote speaker addresses or competitions or a few tunes from the band. The point is to use these creative ways to promote an event not just for now, but for the future, too.
None of this will work if you aren’t active on your social media pages. You can’t just pop in when you’re trying to promote something and expect that people will respond. You need to build relationships online just like you do offline.
So get active on social, make friends, and get your hashtag game going. Once you start moving, you’ll find it’s easier than you think.
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