In 2018, 77% of Americans had a social media profile, down a bit from 2017’s 80% figure. Given that statistic, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that today’s consumers expect business across all industries to be active on one social media platform or another. If you’ve been putting off creating social profiles for your event planning business or, possibly worse, created profiles and let them sit there, now is the time to come up with a social media strategy to move your brand into the 21st Century.
Don’t think you have to be everywhere all of the time. You will get the most out of your social media efforts when you take into account where your target audience spends its time and what type of content performs best on each social media platform. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
First and foremost, think of social media channels as a source of brand awareness and recognition. Your posts should display the best of your best and provide a combination of information, education, and entertainment. A comprehensive social media marketing strategy will help you grow your client base and keep your event planning business thriving.
Fortunately, your current clients can and will help you in those efforts. As they share pictures of their events, they are sharing your brand. But since you can’t rely on the posts of clients alone, let’s get into what you can do to establish and maintain a strong, social media presence and execute a strategic marketing plan for those platforms.
The promotion of your business should be the secondary focus of your social media efforts. Your primary focus should be engagement. Social media strategies that encourage engagement require time and dedication. Done well, these strategies can increase brand recognition and awareness, and boost your conversion rate. The following are some tips for increasing engagement levels on your social accounts:
Be…social! Take part in forums and conversations that provide the opportunity to share your expertise in a helpful manner and showcase your brand in a positive way.
Alternate between text, images, videos, emoticons, etc. Change things up to tempt those scrollers to stop and take a look at your posts.
Share content from your followers and engage with their posts by making comments and “liking” posts.
Ask questions – ask former clients to share their best experience with your event planning business or their favorite moment from an event.
Host giveaways and contests – who doesn’t love free stuff or discounts?
Post regularly and frequently to your accounts to maintain an active presence.
Establish a couple of brand hashtags and then encourage your followers to post pictures of their events with those tags included.
The content of your social media posts should be visually engaging, showcase your very best events, and highlight your specialties. Use high-quality images of past events to share your talents as an event planner. Show an event from planning to execution stages to provide a behind the scenes peek of what people can expect should they hire your services. Be sure to include a call to action or link to your website along the rest of your content so viewers of your post are encouraged to make contact.
You can post helpful hints, like “Top 3 things to consider when planning an event” or “Avoid this mistake at your wedding.” You can also use content to help you build business for particular types of events if you are hoping to funnel clients into something specific. If you hope to book more wedding business, feature the work you’ve done on previous weddings and tailor your “tips” posts to focus on wedding centered topics.
Your social media content can show the lighter side of your business, some of the personality of your brand, but should maintain a high level of professionalism. Be sure to establish a policy regarding the use of images and videos from the events you plan. It is better to have that conversation, up front, with potential clients than to have things get messy on the other end of the event.
As we mentioned in the engagement section of this article, your social media content doesn’t always have to be of your own creation. You can share posts from former clients that show your event planning talents in a positive light. You can share information or posts from other professionals in the event business, especially if you have used or want to use them as vendors. You can also share posts from any venues you regularly do business with to show potential clients that you have a strong network at their disposal should they choose to engage your services.
Social media marketing is an effective tool for event planners. Instagram, Facebook, and other social networks offer targeted and affordable means of reaching clients. Each social media network has a different purpose and attracts a different sort of audience. Differentiate your content to take that into account.
All of your social media messaging should be consistent with your brand identity but should vary based on the vibe of the platform. You can tailor your messages to specific audiences based on a variety of demographics. A combination of paid and unpaid advertising works well and you can use social analytics to get real-time results about how many people within your target audience your messaging reaches.
Analytics tools can help you monitor the engagement levels on your social media accounts. Different tools offer different types of insight so it is best to research multiple options to understand which will give you the best data for your business. Google Analytics and Hootsuite are two popular resources but platforms like Facebook and Twitter also provide in-depth analyses of your social media activity.
Most analytics tools are customizable so you’ll be able to tweak things and make sure you are getting the information you need to best inform your social media efforts. Use the data provided to inform how you should adjust your posts and marketing campaigns for better engagement and conversion rates. Identify the content that performs best and what are the ideal times to post.
Your social media efforts will best serve you if they are used to expose potential customers to your brand, remind former clients of what a fabulous event you hosted for them, and to position yourself as a resourceful and creative event planner. Understand what sort of content gets the best engagement and which channels are best for sharing your professional insight and expertise.
And remember that social media networks are not just for current and potential clients. You can and should use them to connect with other professionals in the event industry. Venue managers, florists, stylists, hair and makeup experts, and so on can be a valuable part of your social media network.
Whether you are new to the social media scene or have some experience with social platforms, the experts at Strategy Driven Marketing can help you take your social media presence to the next level. We have extensive experience, across industries, with strategies covering social media content, marketing, and more. We’d love to partner with your brand and make the most of your social efforts. Contact us today!