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Using social media to engage your audience before your event

Anastasia Masters

Using social media to market your event is a no-brainer. Social media marketing is in the tool-box of every modern marketer. However, when promoting your upcoming event on social, your goal should be more than just bringing awareness to your event. You need to be engaging your audience (and potential audience) with your profiles.

Making use of social to engage your attendees before your event

No matter how developed your social media profiles are, there is always room for improvement. By making an active effort to engage your following, you can encourage those on the edge to register for your event. You’ll also strengthen the relationship with those already signed up and help them have a better experience with your organization before they attend.

Before you get going

There are a few checkboxes to tick off before you dive right into trying to engage your audience. You’ll want to ensure that your social accounts, such as your Instagram, are set to business profiles. These profiles types will give you greater insight into the analytics to your account. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your profiles are built out. Make sure that your profile picture and bio fall in line with your company and event branding. Your audience should be able to come to your profile and find information on your event and have a link directing them back to your website to register.

people surrounding whiteboard in office meeting

4 tips for engaging your audience

Once you’ve established the basics, you’re ready to get going. Keep reading to find best practices for your social accounts in order to engage your audience before your event.

Create a content plan

In order to gain, maintain, and entertain your followers, you’ll need to publish content that they’ll enjoy seeing on their feeds- not just something they’ll scroll past quickly. The best way to ensure that you’re publishing a variety of content (but nothing too out there) is to create a content plan.

In your content plan, you should detail when you’ll be sharing posts and the types of posts that you’re sharing on social. Make sure to use different types of posts, such as pictures from previous events, quotes, information, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, use an animation tool to create GIFs or videos for your account. 

Use hashtags 

We’ve all used hashtags and we’ve all seen accounts that use way too many hashtags. A great way to encourage user-generated content and engagement with your brand is to create a hashtag related to the event. You’ll be able to compile all photos related to your event under the hashtag. Make sure it’s specific enough that it hasn’t been used by other users before. On the other hand, don’t make it so complicated that no one remembers it. Keep it short and memorable to encourage high usage rates.

You’ll want to make sure that your hashtag usage is tasteful and not tacky. Minimise your hashtag usage and keep it at a maximum of five on your posts. Anything over will seem as if you are just trying to hack the hashtag game. Use local hashtags and relevant ones to your industry in order to maximise the reach of your posts. Hashtags are great for reaching new followers and communities on Instagram where you may not have been present before.

phone with instagram login page

Run a contest

A great way to gain followers, increase the awareness of your event, and increase engagement with your posts is to run a contest. Consider offering a meet and greet, free merchandise, or even give away a free set of tickets to the event. Don’t go overboard with the prizes, you’ll want to ensure you’re making money off the whole thing.

On Instagram, have followers like a post and tag a friend to be entered to win a prize. This will increase the number of users viewing your account and can even lead to a wave of new followers. Additionally, you’ll engage those already attending your event and get them hyped for what’s to come.  Make sure that your account is gaining something in this exchange. You don’t want to give away something for free without getting anything in return (even if it’s as small as a comment).

Be exclusive

Although social media can be seen as a platform to make our society less exclusive, you can use your profiles as a way to release content exclusively. Encourage your attendees and audience to follow your social accounts for announcements there that can’t be found anywhere else and to turn on notifications so they don’t miss a post. Go behind-the-scenes on your Instagram stories or announce speakers. By releasing details on this account, you’ll grow your following and build anticipation behind the event. Post regularly about ticket deadlines and price 

Once you build anticipation and excitement, you’ll want to make sure that your viewers can easily convert into attendees. Make sure to have a link in your posts and in your profile’s bio directing your audience directly to the registration page. The process should be as simple as possible to minimise your drop off rate. 

person holding tablet with social media icons

Measure your performance and improve

It may seem obvious, but you’ll need to analyse how your posts are doing. If you’re posting a variety of things and nothing’s performing, then it’s time to sit down and change your approach. See what time you’re posting, change the captions, vary the image content, be creative! You always want to keep improving in order to grow your reach. 

Make your followers your audience 

Your followers on social are a great audience to engage and get hyped about your event. Ensure that your marketing communications about the event are all similar no matter what team they’re coming from- social, demand generation, e-mail, or more.  Consistency and relevant posts can help you engage your audience and get they excited and registered for your event.


Anastasia Masters is a Content Marketing Associate at G2.com. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in history. In her spare time, Anastasia enjoys eating her way through Chicago’s different neighborhoods, planning her next trip, and binging a new show on Netflix. You can follow her on Twitter at @anastasia_mm0.