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Social media.

It allows you to reach a broad audience, and to showcase your cause and community involvement in a way that is memorable and engaging.

While planning your next non-profit event you’re probably asking yourself: is promoting this event on social media the right move?

Forbes lists several reasons as to why companies should utilize social media. These two are vital to keep in mind:

> Communication on social media is immediate

> Social media gives you the chance to offer a more personalized experience

Now that you’ve settled into the idea of using social media for your event, the next question you most likely have is: How do I do that?

We’re glad you asked!

1. Choose Your Social Platforms

Your website is your home base. A perfect way to begin promoting an upcoming event is to create blog posts leading up to the date, as well as creating blog posts about the success of the event, what occurred during the event and even by uploading photos.

Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram serve as your outposts that can drive traffic back to your main hub. On Facebook, you can create an “event” page that allows you to advertise the time, location and information people may need to know about your event.

On these platforms you can also post live updates, behind-the-scenes photos in anticipation of your event and keep people updated with what is happening at the event.

The possibilities about what you choose to promote, and how, are endless when you go digital.

 2. Network and Grow Your Audience

Social media is a place where you can create new relationships with other community leaders, non-profits, and sponsors. Make sure that you take the time to follow and engage with these important people on your platforms.

Retweeting and sharing other community events will encourage other non-profits to also retweet and share your own event when the time comes.

You want to make sure that you are reaching as many people as possible when you promote your event online. An easy way to do this is by tagging people involved with the event, as well as any sponsors or external companies who are also involved, in any post that you create.

A good tip is to also encourage internal staff members and others who are directly involved with the event to share your posts, or even create posts of their own that discuss the event.

3. Create Consistent Yet Specific Messaging

Promoting your event in a consistent way means that the messages you choose to put out on your various platforms should be uniform and reliable. Your brand voice is a persona you are attempting to portray, and it’s important to be aware of the type of voice you are using when sending out updates.

Imagine your brand voice as a real person. What do they sound like? Would they say this? What would they say instead?

To achieve a consistent brand voice, make sure that you are using the same hashtags, phrases, and slogans across all mediums while promoting your event. Pick key phrases and words and make sure that you stick to them on all social platforms.

However, just like you wouldn’t wear a sundress and flip-flops to the office, you wouldn’t make the same post on Facebook that you would on Twitter. Different platforms call for different messaging, so make sure you are conscious of that when publishing your event posts.

4. Create Shareable Content

People are bound to get excited about your event as they begin to see updates and learn about your cause. You want to make sure that the people you are reaching are able to share your event content on their own platforms.

A good tip for this step is to keep any graphics or updates simple and digestible. People love great photos, great quotes and content that they can easily relate to. Ask questions in your posts, give shout outs and encourage engagement constantly.

5. Use Strategic Organization

Planning and promoting an event is a strategic process that needs time and patience to achieve successfully. You are most likely going to talk about your event for weeks, or sometimes months, leading up to the actual day, and so having a social media schedule is vital to ensure you’re putting out the right messages at the right time.

A great way to do this is to get a calendar or online document where you can plan out which posts you want to post on which days, and on which platforms. This plan helps to further ensure consistency.

There are a multitude of different scheduling tools that make organizing and posting your content easy and fast. Buffer is one tool you can use to pre-load Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts tweets and even Instagram updates. It will even automatically post your updates for you, so you never have to worry about not having enough time to send out a social post.

Keep your audience engaged by mixing up the type of posts you choose and by focusing on interesting information and inspirational content that relates to your event.

6. Consider Social Advertising

If it is within your event budget, social advertising is an option you can consider when choosing to promote your event on social media. Social advertising allows you to connect with your audience on a broader scale, and it extends your reach beyond just organic views. Depending on your community, you may even want to consider reallocating that newspaper ad budget to social media, as with Facebook advertising, for example, you’ll be able to track the direct effectiveness of your advertising budget as opposed to hoping your message is read.

Another benefit of social advertising is audience targeting. To name a few options, you are able to target specific geographic locations, demographics and interests, to ensure your message is getting to the right people. Your great cause and great social content shouldn’t go unnoticed!

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