Social Media Marketing & Live EventsIf live events are not already part of your marketing strategy, perhaps they should be. Social media marketing and live events are actually perfectly paired to generate massive amounts of buzz, given they offer an immediate and high-impact method for reaching your target base. Even better, the combination of social media marketing and live events offer the potential for establishing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with consumers.

While social media marketing and live events may appear to be a marriage made in heaven, it is important to ensure that you conduct some pre-marital counseling ahead of time to ensure that you will be able to reap the results you want. It is not simply enough to throw social media into a live event at the last minute and hope it will work. The two should be integrated from the beginning to drive maximum results. Entrepreneur reports that experiential marketing is an effective method for generating brand recognition, with 84 percent of respondents surveyed reporting that they would bring friends and family to a live event marketing experience. Clearly, social media marketing and live events hold massive potential.

Live events marketing are effective because they establish an intimate, one-on-one connection between your product and customer. As the old cliché goes, “the proof is in the pudding.” With live event marketing, you are able to provide prospects with a chance to learn about your product on their own, and in a memorable way. Furthermore, you are able to take advantage of the opportunity to create an emotional tie while establishing the groundwork for customer loyalty.

While the benefits  of combining social media marketing and live events are numerous, the key is to ensure that you integrate the two seamlessly. The good news is that due to its very nature, social media can be easily integrated into marketing your event before, during, and after the event is concluded. This makes it possible to maximize the return on investment you receive from live  events marketing well beyond the conclusion.

Bear in mind that not all events are suitable for social media integration. Live events marketing only works successfully with social media if it is an event that your customer base actually wants to share with others. Therefore, your event needs to be unique, special, and exclusive. Not sure which types of events are most appealing to your customer base? Listen to what they have to say. With the variety of social listening tools available today, including Hootsuite and SocialMention, it is much easier to determine the preferences of your prospects so that you can create an experience that will truly resonate with your customer base.

It is also important to take advantage of word-of-mouth. Recently, there has been an increased focus on influencer marketing and the power it holds in today’s permission-based world of marketing.  With the days of 30-second advertising all but gone, consumers are increasingly willing to listen to people they know and trust. In integrating your social media marketing and live events campaigns, it is important to tap into the power that influencers offer to drive pre-event awareness. Never underestimate the impact that social media influencers can have in promoting an event experience. Use it to your advantage.

Also, recognize that sometimes it simply is not enough to hope that consumers will share your message. In some instances, you may need to get creative to encourage consumers to participate in your campaign during the event. It could be something as simple as asking participants to tweet a particular hashtag for a chance to win prizes. Call it incentivizing participation or even outright bribery, but such methods do work.

Keep in mind that even after your event has concluded, you still have work to do. In fact, you may find that your job becomes even more complicated after the event to ensure that you are able to keep your followers engaged. This might include offering regular discounts, running contests, or coming up with creative ways for your followers to provide feedback.

When handled correctly social media marketing and live events can present the potential to significantly expand your customer base.

Effectively incorporating social media into your event can transform a one-off experience into an ongoing engagement opportunity with unlimited potential.