When it comes to event marketing, there is no doubt that social media is still a favorite. The hard costs associated with social media are by far cheaper than any other marketing, and it is one of the most effective ways to get in front of the audience you want. 

But there are a lot of soft costs associated with social media as well. The chief among them is of course your time, and when you’re in the midst of trying to get the most people to your event, this is a resource you don’t have much of. 

So how can you make sure that your social media marketing is going to be effective? The best idea is to start long before you need to market your meeting. And that work starts in one place:

Create a Goal

When you ask most businesses why they are on social media, they use a lot of buzz words. They want to increase reach, engage with their customers, etc. In the end, however, there is only one reason to be on social media: to bring more business in the door. If your event marketing is not doing that, it is not worth your time and effort. Social media should not be any different. 

So set your ultimate goal around real business objectives. Whether it’s selling more tickets, memberships or another product, make sure this goal is actually moving your business forward. Then continually refer back to this goal. If you are not selling more of your product, then elements of your event marketing needs to change. 

Set Your Audience

Once you have your goal, the next step is to be truly honest about who your audience is. If you say, “Everyone is my audience,” then you are going to waste a lot of time on people that will never buy into your event. 

Is your audience predominantly male or female? Do they have kids? What age range do they generally fall into? What are their interests? What motivates them? Understand your audience as much as possible and create a persona around them. And there is no reason to have just one. Your event may attract a few different audiences and you should create a persona for each one.  

Produce Content Around Your Goal & Audience

Now that you've created these personas, you need to to tailor your content for social media. 

First, you have to be sure that all calls-to-action go back to your first step: your goal. Make sure you are consistently trying to generate business with each piece of content. 

Next, look at the interests and motivations of your audience. How can you connect with these in a meaningful way? 

For example, let’s say you have you have selected the  Newport Aquarium  as your venue for your meeting. Your goal is to sell more tickets and demonstrate the value of your event. Your audience is mostly moms and you expect that they’ll be bringing their kids along for the conference. You have even arranged for a  Ride the Ducks Tour  of Cincinnati to really delight your attendees and their children.

So what content should you create? Center the message of your posts around what motivates your audience -- creating lasting memories with their children. Showcase the experiences that attendees and children could have during the event. Have attendees give a first-hand account of special moments from your previous events. Or, create a video of your staff crossing the Shark Bridge at the Aquarium. You could even share a picture that shows the pure delight that children experience when the Duck Tour vehicle dives into the Ohio River. Focus on creating content that will connect with your mom attendees and even motivate them to share your event with their friends and ultimately, having more register for your event. 

Once you have all of this content created and you are posting it, lean on your persona information again. You can use the personas to create ads, so even more of your potential attendees see it. 

As you post and advertise content, evaluate your efforts and consider each piece to be an experiment. If your content did well, plan on reusing it in some way and putting it out there again. If it didn’t generate a response, change your course. Slowly drill down to the most effective content for your audience and you will have a good base to draw from for your current event marketing as well as future campaigns.