Kim Reynolds is a key part of the team behind the yearly Social Media Marketing World event hosted by Social Media Examiner – and she stopped by #Bufferchat to share some of her expertise in using social media to publicize an event or product release.

Check out a the full recap here!

What are the most important things to know when first promoting an event/launch?

kim reynolds quote

From Kim:

  • It’s super important to have a solid marketing plan in place. Know your audience and know what will motive them.
  • The value proposition is key. Make sure your audience knows WHY they should participate.

More great insights:

  • “Have confidence in your audience as well. Word of mouth is powerful!” @dswebsme
  • “Keep your audience involved in the process. Create an event or product they’ll love based on their feedback.” @ThinkSEM
  • “Before promoting an event, I ask myself the good ol’ 5 W’s. Specifically: WHO is my audience, WHY should they attend.” @ayylookitstoni

How do you determine when is best to start publicizing an event or product release?

From Kim:

  • For an event, timing depends on the size of the event. For #smmw15 we actively market starting about 6 months out
  • However, we start planning almost a year ahead of time. For smaller events, lead time is little more flexible.
  • The type of event/launch matters also. For a new movie (which is like an event/launch), start at least a year out.

More great insights:

  • “Challenge is surfacing above all of the noise. Announce asap, but look for current trends to help craft memorable promos.” @FelixSTL
  • “If the event includes corporate attendees, publicize well in advance to allow for budget and travel approvals!” @Jane_Hare
  • “Timing is key – too late and too early are both problematic! As always, listen to your audience.” @berlintern

What websites or tools are best for gathering information or RSVPs?

From Kim:

  • That absolutely depends on the type and scope of your event. Facebook Event pages are very handy for RSVPs
  • Google events and communities and LinkedIn groups for your event are all great ways to keep the excitement level up.

More great insights:

  • “For an event that one of the organizations I volunteer with is hosting, we’re using @tikly. So easy to use!” @danielleirogers
  • “The Chimera of MailChimp/Facebook Events/Eventbrite. It covers all the bases and integrates together” @johnsies
  • “Eventbrite works for smaller events – bigger events we have no control so it’s Ticketmaster or the like” @stratrev
  • “Choosing a tool also depends on related goals. Eventbrite and others are super handy, but don’t send traffic to your domain.” @SES_Elizabeth

What are some useful tools to help with social media promotion for an event?

From Kim

  • My favorite topic: Tools!!! I use different tools at different stages. @buffer (of course)! @canva to create graphics
  • I absolutely RELY on @socialbro for creating lists of attendees. @Camtasia for editing video.@themarkrapp app for social graphics
  • It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of email in promoting an event, so @aweber is an invaluable tool.
  • Consistent messaging, at times when you can reach ALL of your audience is so valuable, so @buffer is my daily go to.
  • Since I love video so much, another great little tool is from the makers of @WordSwagApp Super easy to use!

More great insights:

  • “Schedule w/ @Buffer. Make sweet graphics with @Canva or the new from Buffer. Review analytics – native or @SumAll.” @christinkardos
  • @buffer (obv) and @hootsuite for scheduling/monitoring convos. @Inboundorg for posting marketing-focused events. ^Hayley” @unbounce
  • “Not sure if Twitter cards functions as a ‘tool’ but they are perfect for promoting an event. One click to join the list!” @stacyannhayles
  • “If you’re looking for an event sponsor might be worth checking out @snapsponship” @BeckyLadleySQ

What are some best practices for the day of an event or launch?

From Kim:

  • Monitor your hashtag! Maybe even set up a special dedicated hashtag for people to use if they need support/help.
  • Make your audience feel involved and welcome. Walk up and thank them (if it is a non-virtual event)! Take pics & share them!
  • Have extra staff around to draw out attendees who are shy or feel lost. Put yourself in their shoes…be a friend.

More great insights:

  • “Ensure to record the event and share. Helps draw audience for next events and for those who miss, easy catchup!” @_peregrine_
  • “Continuously acknowledge and thank sponsors, presenters, volunteers, etc. Appreciation goes a long way!” @samdunsigner
  • “Have a back-up plan and don’t stress to much when things don’t go perfectly. And have lists lists lists! Oh and coffee.” @LauraA87

What sort of follow-up or analytics do you track that you might improve upon?

From Kim:

  • If it is a recurring event, how many people sign up right away for the next one, Twitter stats like @TweetBinder.
  • Post event survey, general feedback from attendees, presenters, sponsors.
  • The most important to me is human intel. Talk to attendees. Sit at the bar afterward and listen to what they have to say.

More great insights:

  • “I’d suggest tracking signups and analyzing tweet volume, text, and sentiment related to your event/product!” @JulHeimer
  • “Surveys paper ones and electronic ones (depending on event type). get staff/volunteer reactions too” @cathywebsavvyPR
  • “Use Google Alerts to keep track of press mentions post-event!” @jessherbs

Any final advice on promoting an event or product launch?

kim reynolds

From Kim:

  • Always remember to keep your attendees’ needs front and center. They pay your bills, make sure to give them what they need.
  • If it is a physical conference, consider having a virtual component so more of your community can participate.
  • If it is virtual, think of ways to facilitate mini-meetups IRL. Bring both groups together with one unified hashtag.

More great insights:

  • “Simple stuff. Smile. Have fun. People WANT what you’re offering… so enjoy it, don’t let stress bog you down” @dubblebee
  • “Surround yourself with good teammates and partners. Makes the job fun & easy plus increases your chances for success” @alliekosela
  • “If charging to attend the event, offer scholarships to people (seniors, students, financial hardship)” @artofpowr
  • “Kinks are inevitable, don’t kill yourself over them. Just learn from the experience and apply it to the future!” @brucerpdx

 

Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat!Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.

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    Great info. This is way more common today, even with big companies. I am actually using a site to boost traffic to my page, it works fairly well, I’m averaging about 80-100 new followers a day. Its pretty easy.http://socialboostyou.wix.com/socialboostyou

    • Hi Patrick! Thanks for the comment – and the great tip! 🙂

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  • I want to add a new fabulous way to promote your event / launch. The website is http://www.bookmyentry.com, they promote events for free, auto generate attendees badges, attendance and create communities.

  • Stella Nest

    Great articIe! I would like to propose this website: http://www.worldeventz.com
    There are a lot of events listed and you can also promote yours. Very helpful to get more attendees. You’ll like it!