Social selling is all the rage for sales and marketing execs alike. It’s no wonder since we’re all spending so much time consuming content on social media platforms — for many people (myself included) it’s become a principal source of news. While social selling is a great way to understand your buyer personas and engage with them where they are online, it is also a way to create a nurture engine of prospects that you regularly keep in contact with. Generating traffic to events is no easy feat, but with social selling, promoting your next event will be that much easier. Here’s how:
Create brand awareness before your event
It is very difficult to get net new prospects to attend an event, especially if it’s a physical one and not hosted online. It’s even harder if your target audience has never heard of you or your solution before. Creating brand awareness months prior to hosting an event is ideal because the more people know about you, the more likely they are to show an interest in what you are doing. By using your social selling profile to regularly post content, and by InMailing prospects specific information related to their line of business, you should naturally increase your registration rate when it comes time to generate traffic to your event. It’s important that your social selling outreach be focused on the “what’s in it for me” of your target audience rather than a generic value proposition or one-size-fits-all message.
Use your thread to publicize your event
Making sure that you promote your event on your social media thread, those of your colleagues and that of your business (page and group posts) will help increase exposure for it. Encourage your immediate entourage to like your posts so that the contacts of your contacts see that activity too. The more people that like and share your content, the more impact it will have. And if you are looking for a lot of attendees, this is a step that cannot be ignored.
Create content to support your event
Creating a teaser video is a great piece of content that can then be shared on your social media channels and social selling profiles as a way of creating buzz around your event. It’s important to highlight why people should attend, and what they’ll be missing if they don’t. This can be done very informally — no need to have something fancy or high budget in order to get your point across. Creating a nice invitation, and a series of reminder emails that can be sent out to your list of prospects on and offline is a must — these can also be shared individually with contacts for a personalized touch.
Sponsored content can help
Dedicating part of your budget to advertising through sponsored content can be a way to increase the visibility of your event to people outside of your immediate network. Make sure to select the target audience you want to go after — the more niche it is the better since that will help you hone in on the right people. Selecting target industries, company sizes and job titles will ensure that you are not wasting your advertising budget on people that aren’t likely to show interest in your offer. If on-demand content is available after your event, you can also use sponsored content to get the most bang for your buck and pick-up on leads that weren’t able to attend the day of.
Don’t forget to call
Spot-basis telemarketing to prospects that have not responded to InMail messages can be helpful to boost registrations. Make sure to leave messages on voicemail to encourage people to register if you don’t get them directly on the line.
Event follow-up is key
Since the purpose of hosting an event is often to get qualified business opportunities out of it, following up through social selling once the event is over is an important way to keep the discussion going. Be sure to thank the attendees for coming and offer a meeting to discuss next steps; and for those that didn’t attend, reach back out to find out why they couldn’t make it and offer an alternative date to schedule a call, grab a coffee, or go to their offices for a face-to-face discussion.
Using social selling as a channel to generate interest in your next event should help boost registrations, but it shouldn’t be used as a one-shot tactic. The real impact of any social selling strategy will happen if it’s an “always-on” part of a holistic marketing outreach program.