Social media marketing is more than just a passing fad. Over the years, it has evolved into an essential tool for modern businesses to connect with customers and gain critical insights into their market. 81% of small and medium-sized companies are using social media. If you don't have a solid social media presence for your business, you run the risk of alienating clientele and handing over potential customers to your competitors. You also lose out on valuable insight into what's happening within your market and what your customers want.
Getting your event business started on social media is not only essential; it is also simple. You first want to identify your target market and where you can best reach them. Focus your efforts on the top four platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Next, you want to curate your social media presence to attract your audience and share your story.
In this article, I will teach you how to set your business up for success on social media. First, let's talk about why having a social media presence is so important and how your event business can benefit.
Why Social Media is Great for Event Businesses
Whether you run a catering, event, or wedding business, having a strong social media presence can do wonders for your business growth. I've provided 5 of the top reasons to integrate social media into your marketing strategy.
It's cost-effective. Unlike most traditional marketing methods, social media has a low barrier of entry. Creating a business profile is fast, free, and easy for all of the platforms discussed in this article. If you want to take advantage of the tools available on these platforms for targeted advertising or enhanced data tracking, most of them are available at a reasonable cost.
Your customers and competitors are already there. A report from Hootsuite and We Are Social released in 2018 revealed that 42 percent of the world's population, 3.196 billion people, are active social media users. Social media provides you the platform to access such a large number of people. It also allows you to curate your content to attract the highest number of people who fit in your particular target market.
It increases your brand authority. In today's technological world, your customers are expecting your business to have an online social presence. By creating an engaging profile and opening the door for customers to communicate with your business, you have taken vital first steps in increasing your brand authority. Staying consistent with your posting, providing quality content, and engaging with your customers will help your brand continue to build trust with your customers.
It allows for easy communication with your customers. Customers are not only expecting to see your business on social media, but they are also expecting regular interaction. Although this does require some time and attention to maintain consistency, it allows companies the unique opportunity to have direct communication with their target market. This open line of communication can prove to be especially beneficial to businesses in the event world that may not even have a brick and mortar shop to direct customers. If you run your business from a home office or coworking space, social media provides a space to showcase your market knowledge and portfolio.
It allows you to track the success of your marketing campaign. Another benefit of using social media for your marketing needs is the ability to track your success. Whether you want to measure post engagement or website conversion, there are countless tools to help you understand how effective your campaign is at any given time. Some of the tools are built directly into the platform. For example, Facebook offers an ads manager tool to help you gain better insight into your ad campaigns.
Go Where Your Ideal Customer Hangs Out
One of the most important first steps when beginning any marketing campaign is to identify your ideal customer and where to find them. It may seem daunting to distinguish and find your ideal customer among the billions of social media users worldwide.
Building an Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA) is key to helping you pinpoint whom you want to curate your marketing efforts towards. An Ideal Customer Avatar is a character that represents your ideal customer. Answering specific questions about your avatar will help you better understand your ideal customer. You will gain more insight into what they want, how they live, and why they make the choices they do. It will also help identify where your ideal customer hangs out on social media.
Facebook is an essential platform for your business. It's one of the first social media platforms and is still going strong today with well over 2.3 billion active monthly users. It is a robust platform that allows text-based posts, photos, videos, and ads. This variety allows for more engagement opportunities and avenues to reach your ideal customer.
Getting your business presence started on Facebook the right way requires some thought about your business goals and ideals. When you create your business profile, include links to your website, basic information about your business, and a brief story about your business to inform and entice clientele.
A successful Facebook marketing campaign includes daily posting, so when you get started on this platform, it's a good idea to plan out your posts in advance. Variety is the spice of life and Facebook. Stagger your posts to include a variety of photos, videos, and written content. Be selective in the hashtags you use so that you attract your ideal customer without cluttering the post or distracting from the content.
Instagram is a fantastic platform for event-based businesses because it focuses primarily on photos and videos. This focus provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase your design inspiration and work portfolio and allows you to connect with customers who engage with your posts.
Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, and your ideal customer is almost certainly among them. Curate your content with your ideal customer in mind. Using appropriate hashtags for your content will also help you reach your ideal customer. Choose hashtags that correlate specifically to each image or video you choose. Choose a variety of hashtags that reach a wide audience as well as a targeted audience.
Remember, the key to a successful social media marketing campaign is engagement. Using the appropriate hashtags with your content, posting frequently, and engaging with your customers is the key to building a solid foundation with Instagram.
YouTube is a social media platform that focuses on video content and allows people to engage with content through subscribes, likes, or comments. It also functions as a search engine like Google or Safari. YouTube has over 1 billion registered subscribers, so there’s a good chance your ideal customer is already there.
Getting your business started on YouTube requires more effort than the other platforms, but also provides you content that can be shared across multiple platforms. Post new content frequently to keep your subscribers engaged, draw in new subs, and connect with your ideal customer.
When you start building out your YouTube content, strive for material that provides benefit to your subscribers. The content does not have to be extensive, but it should be regular. Consider doing short tutorials, demonstrations, or a video collection of customer testimonials to help build your brand authority and credibility. You can even go live on YouTube to showcase your event.
Pinterest is a social media platform that prides itself on providing inspiration for its users. It is unique in that it allows people to "pin" ideas to virtual bulletin boards, essentially saving them for repeated viewing. The organizational aspect of Pinterest means you can create boards centered around a particular purpose or theme and can use original content or links to other sites. This use of boards makes Pinterest such an excellent platform for your event-based business because it allows you to identify and connect with your ideal customer.
When you start your business on Pinterest, utilize the boards to showcase the various aspects of what your business has to offer. For example, if your business is event planning, use a different board for each type of event. If you specialize in weddings, you can use various boards to showcase food options, venues, or color schemes.
As a business, it's crucial that what you post on social media points back to you. On Pinterest, use material from your website or blog posts to drive traffic back to your business. You don't just want to inspire people; you want to convert them into customers.
When building out your profile for each of the social media platforms we discussed, make sure that you maintain consistency. Ideally, your customers will not just find you on one platform; they will find you on all of them. Make sure your banners and profile photos reflect your company logo or image that consistently represents your brand. Wherever possible, include your business website and links to your other social media accounts along with a call to action for people to visit, follow, like, or subscribe.
I hope that this article helped you understand more completely the benefits social media can provide your business and the process for getting started. I appreciate how much work goes into creating and growing your own business and would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to help you along your journey. Please enjoy this free sneak peek into the additional support The Social Media Pantry has to offer.