You are holding a special event. Regardless if it is a once in a decade or annually, and you want to get the word out. How you wonder? These four steps will help you promote an event online.
Start with appealing to curiosity.
Everybody has a curiosity factor about them. What about you? Don’t you get curious when those email subject headlines come through? Are you not the least bit curious of what is going on? Why were you sent this information? Who is in charge of it all? What is it? A good example might be to take a picture of the meeting while everyone is brainstorming. Then post, “What are we up to? Take a guess!”
As you get more and more organized with your event, start to post tidbits here and there about it. “Today, we discussed corporate sponsors and how to secure them, any thoughts?” Or, “the next meeting is going to be on volunteers; are you interested in helping?” These are things that will get people interested.
Then, hold a contest so you can announce the event. For example, for a fundraising gala coming up in November, you might post, “The first person to guess what we are planning for the first weekend in November will win two free tickets valued at $100. Committee members please don’t disclose any information; let our peeps guess.” If your audience doesn’t guess immediately, and hopefully they won’t, get people asking questions and talking about it. Then, if you must, offer hints. Start this one week prior to the official announcement.
The Event and Save the Date Announcement
This is crucial. Once the event has been guessed and announced, post the winners online. Here is when you will ramp up exposure. An example would be, “[Organization Name] is having a gala on [Date].” Share the event logo, the cause, the goal, and a link for how they can sign up. Get the information out so people can get on board, and ask people to talk about it online. Here is also where you will announce it; you tag your posts with hashtags (something like #[EventName14]).
Here is where you can also share about specific volunteer opportunities.
Now that the event has been announced, you are free to ramp up the promotions. Use every social outlet available to you, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Again, make sure the event has a picture and a designated hashtag. Add success stories to your website, and post the link to these as well. Make sure people know how to find the link to the event. Tell all your friends, family, associates, and whomever you know! You can journal the event as you prepare it. You can add committee pictures, meeting highlights, and list milestones along the way.
Posting before the event is obvious, but posting during and after the event is not. People tend to quit posting once the event takes place. You want people to follow along with the whole experience. Help your followers know what they missed so they will not make that same mistake next time. Use pictures and video to give your followers a little taste of the experience online. Post things like award acceptance videos, pictures of funny but non-embarrassing situations, and comments in a graphic.
Don’t forget to post after the event is over for about two weeks, and then once a month for about five months. Show quantifiable results such as how much money was raised, how many volunteers were part of the event, and comments and responses to the event. Again, encourage people to share and comment as well. When posting, make sure you post in the form of questions. Offer shout-outs of thanks to everyone involved.
I would love to hear about an event you have promoted.