Local Power: How Facebook and Twitter can Help Attract Local Customers to Your Business Event

You’ve now probably amassed sufficient ideas and information about how to identify and talk to your audience and if you read last week’s post then you are also familiar with how to set up your first Social Media Plan. It’s therefore time to discover how to feel their pulse and respond accordingly. Geography can and will be necessary to take into consideration at one point in time or another. This is especially true when promoting events. Let’s imagine for a moment that your PR agency needs to promote an event via social media. How do you go about it? What are the most effective tactics? What should you avoid?

Facebook is a great place to promote events. You can create a special landing page where all of the information relative to the event lives and point people to it. There are, however, some drawbacks to Facebook events.

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Most People Do No Read Invites

Take a look at your own stack of Facebook event invites. Many people are sitting on a pile of Facebook events, sometimes because they are moved constantly (Facebook seems to like rearranging everything about once a week) or there are so many of them that are not geographically tailored. Also, there are many tools, scripts and add-on that can help in filtering out/hiding such content.

This is one thing that is absolutely essential to avoid whilst sending out invitations. Resist the urge to push the “all” button to broadcast a wide net to all of your followers. After about three times, that game changing, totally plugged-in fan of yours is going to quit listening to you, particularly if you send her invites to events in London when she lives in Puerto Rico.

It is easy to create geographically arranged groups within your fan page. Use it. Don’t spam people with invites.

Exclusivity

Wasn’t that the reason for Facebook in the first place? We all like to feel VIP. Create an interesting flyer for your Facebook event, upload it and tag a few people in it. Ask them to tag a few people in it as well. Be sure to include relevant info about the event on the flyer and a link to the actual event page. If they are tagged in a photo that’s a flyer pointing to a specificevent, that will show up in the feed of their friends too. Also, try using Facebook apps that engage people to want to get involved.

This is a much more effective way to encourage people to an events page.

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Have a Running Conversation

The events page should include some sort of running conversation about the upcoming event. This might include speculation about which horse will win, who’s going with who or which film should win an Oscar. Include a way for those attending to put in their two cents.

If Facebook is a great way to get a good headcount, Twitter is a great way to broadcast beyond your like/fan base. Twitter should only be employed if you are okay with a lot of people knowing about your event. Twitter should not be employed for a party where there is a maximum capacity, where a venue that is very small or a closed event…

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Use Twitter to Point to Your Facebook Events Page

A shortened URL  (link http://bit.ly/) paired with a snappy line about your event can do the trick.

Take it to the Next Level with Geographical Twitter Hashtags

#Norwich or #Hastings will narrow it down quite a bit. You can also throw in something specific about your forthcoming event like #horseracing or #tracks, to narrow it further.

Approach People Locally

No, not the creepy way… try searching Twitter by location to find people near the event you are currently promoting. Tweet them and try to connect.

These are just a few tactics that can be employed to promote a geographically centered service or event. As with everything in marketing (and especially online) it is always important to think outside of the box. Fortunately, while promoting events, you have an instant physical metric to measure the success of your SMM endeavors. Simply ask the people that walk through the door how they found out about the event.

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