Promoting a Business or Professional Event? Don’t Forget LinkedIn
It’s 2017. The idea of using social media to promote your event is hardly revolutionary. Pretty much everyone knows by now that, if you want an audience, you have to have Facebook and Twitter at a minimum.
However, there’s one social media platform that many people seem to forget: LinkedIn.
If you somehow managed to miss it, LinkedIn is the world’s largest network of professionals. It may not have the reach of Facebook, but 450 million users (and counting) is nothing to sneeze at. If you’re planning a conference, trade show, or other professional event, you can’t ignore LinkedIn.
Go Where Your Audience Is
While you definitely shouldn’t ignore Facebook and Twitter for promoting your professional event, LinkedIn is a must-have to reach your target audience. The reason? LinkedIn users are your audience. These people use the site to network with colleagues and industry leaders, grow their personal brand, and build careers. They aren’t posting pictures of what they ate for breakfast or the latest meme, nor are they engaging in political flame wars.
Instead, LinkedIn members use the site to follow what’s happening in their industries. They join groups, read LinkedIn Pulse articles, and even post their own writing. This 100 percent focus on all things professional is why you want to use LinkedIn to market your business-themed events.
Promote Your Event While Growing Your Community
One of the reasons promoters like to use social media is that it allows them to connect and engage with their audience. The same holds true with LinkedIn. When you create a LinkedIn Group for your event, you’re directly connecting to people interested in not only your event, but in your niche and industry.
You can both join and create groups (and you should do both). People use them to find answers, connect with others, share content, make contacts, and much more. You can also involve more than prospective attendees in your group. Invite sponsors, vendors, speakers, and other event participants to connect with your group’s members, as well.
Highly Targeted Advertising
Advertising on LinkedIn allows you to really target your preferred audience. Or, keep it broad, the choice is yours. Options include by job title, industry, skills, and job function. Have a particular company in mind? Advertise only to people whose profile includes that company’s name. Look only at a particular area of the country. Want people fresh out of college, or who are closing in on retirement? Target your advertising by seniority. Seriously, there are so many options. You can even run multiple ads targeted toward different audiences.
You also get to start and stop advertising on your schedule, choose between clicks and impressions, and analyze conversion data to judge the effectiveness of your campaign.
Become an Industry Influencer
One of the greatest marketing coups is attracting influencers to your brand, those people whom your audience already likes and trusts. LinkedIn helps you get there with its long-form posts. You may even become an influencer yourself.
This publishing options lets you share your experience and knowledge and talk about your event, all while you build your credibility as an industry leader. You can also open it up to your event presenters, vendors, and sponsors. Having them post pieces on the event offers potential attendees a preview of what’s to come and really increases excitement and interest in your event.
Keep It Going
One of the great things about social media is the fact that it allows you to easily engage with your attendees all the time, not only when you have an event scheduled. People who have a relationship with your brand are more likely to keep coming back. The effort expended to land a new client is far greater than that needed to maintain and grow an existing client. The lesson? Do whatever you can to grow your loyal customer base. Share information about past events, such as videos, session recordings, and photos. Don’t use it just for marketing, though. Keep posting those long-form pieces, keep engaging with your groups, keep being an active presence on LinkedIn. It makes it so much easier when you begin planning your next event.