Increase event success with an online marketing plan
Dave Valentine, National Sales Manager - PowerSports Network
January 17, 2012
Filed under Service Providers
Events are an important part of your dealership’s marketing plan. Similar to the engagement that takes place via social media channels, your events provide you with another opportunity to create lasting relationships with your customers. You can exponentially increase the reach of your message by marketing your event online.
Here are a few easy to execute tips to incorporate online marketing into your pre-, during and post-event plans:
To maximize the reach of your event promotion, identify all online opportunities available to your dealership. These opportunities can include:
Your Website: Add each event to your dealership’s website event calendar. Promote the most current event on the home page with an eye-catching graphic. If you have a Facebook event created, encourage your website visitors to RSVP to the event by adding a link to your Facebook event from your website calendar.
Social Media: Promote your events using Facebook’s Event App.
- Begin by creating your Facebook event. During this process you will have the opportunity to send an invite to all of your current Facebook fans.
- Increase the reach of your invitation by encouraging fans to pass the word on by posting a comment that will appear on their news feed. You can accomplish this by adding a comment to your event, which starts the conversation stream. Fans can spread your event even further by clicking on the Invite Friends button to invite their friends to the event.
- Create a schedule of promotional Facebook posts and Twitter tweets that you can send leading up to the event. Each post should be different so as to encourage comments on your wall and retweets on Twitter, increasing the viral spread of your message. Add a link in these posts and tweets to your Facebook event page making it easy for fans to RSVP and invite their friends.
- Consider using Foursquare to set up a check-in incentive for the day of your event. Incentives can include a Foursquare badge, a free item, or discount. Foursquare provides businesses with various options for rewarding check-ins. This fun reward system is a great way to encourage even more people to attend your event.
Newsletter: Create an e-newsletter to announce your event and invite all of your other important customers who may not use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. In the newsletter, provide links to the event details on your website.
People are always looking online for things to do at the last minute, so it’s important to continue promotion on event day. Entice fans to join you by capturing fun images of the event in-process and posting them to Facebook and Twitter.
During your event encourage attendees to “like” your dealership’s Facebook page and follow you on Twitter from their phones. Use signage to remind attendees to check-in on Foursquare to receive the incentives you are offering.
Video is also a great asset to capture the fun and happenings at your event. If someone has great things to say about your dealership, don’t be afraid to ask them for a testimonial that can easily be recorded using your smart phone or camera.
Post Event Follow-up
Event promotion doesn’t end with the event. Post additional photos to your dealership’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account. More often than not, attendees will comment on your photos, which can boost future event attendance. On Facebook, tag everybody you recognize in your photos and encourage your fans to add tags as well. These photos will leap beyond the photo album of your Facebook page to the news feeds of the individuals tagged. In addition to posting the photos taken by your dealership, invite attendees to post photos they may have taken to further illustrate the good times experienced by everyone at your event, again increasing dialog on your Facebook page, which ultimately spreads the message to the news feeds of your fans.
Finally, consider creating a poll on your Facebook page asking fans what they’d like to see offered at upcoming events or request suggestions for improvement to increase engagement and to keep the conversation going.
A successful event plan includes a powerful, yet simple to implement online marketing strategy for maximizing your attendance opportunities.