7 Pro Tips to Draw a Crowd Via Paid Social

Throwing a restaurant opening? Promoting a concert? Hosting a sporting event?

Paid social is the most effective way to target the right audience for an event, no matter what it is. Location-based targeting on platforms like Facebook, as well as other tools that allow audiences in specific areas,  see messages tailored especially for them, should be essential components of any social media strategy.

Paid social media posts also ensure that ads and content are reaching the right audiences at the right time — Hopefully earliest before tickets go on sale.

To make paid social marketing work for your event requires understanding how to craft the messages, when to run them, as well as some other key elements of a good marketing strategy.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Pick a Platform

Determine which social media network works for your strategy. For Facebook and Instagram, you’ll need to create a business profile that will give you access to analytics, a tool that allows you to develop insights to your audience such as buyer behavior and demographics and you can leverage those insights to optimize your content so the right content is seen by the right audience at the right time.

Determine which social media network works for your strategy. For Facebook and Instagram, you’ll need to create a business profile that will give you access to analytics, a tool that allows you to develop insights to your audience such as buyer behavior and demographics and you can leverage those insights to optimize your content so the right content is seen by the right audience at the right time.

Launch Paid Social Ads

Once you have the right platform, use paid social ads to get content in front of the right people. This means supplementing organic posts with paid social ads that will ensure that you’ll get the widest, and most targeted, exposure. 

What you’ll need is a dynamic image or video, a description that will motivate ticket buyers, all the information a potential ticket buyer needs (when, where, what, etc.), a succinct but eye-catching headline, and a direct call to action.

Choose An Event Hashtag

Having a branded hashtag associated with your event is important because not only will it send your event viral as more people share news of the event, but it can also be used no matter what platform you use. Make it short, unique, and easy to understand. Once you create it, don’t change it! Consistency is key. Include the hashtag on all social media posts, emails, posters, whatever you’re using to promote the event.

The more the hashtag travels online, the greater the familiarity it will build among potential ticket buyers, and the more excitement it will build. A great hashtag can also become an engagement metric you can track. Plus, you can include other hashtags in your posts to generate greater visibility of your event.

Start Early

Don’t wait until a week before tickets go on sale. Tease out the event via paid social to build hype. Start a journey for your audience. Sprinkle in additional details with each post to peak interest, and feel free to use different ways to spark excitement, such as videos or contests. You also want to ensure a sellout, so start the journey as early as possible. The longer your information is out there, the sooner people can make plans to attend.

Post Often, But Add Value

Obviously you feel the need to post as much as you can to get the word out, but when it comes to marketing events, you want to strike a balance between promotion and giving value to your audience. Every post needs to say something unique about the event.

If your event is the opening of a new French restaurant, a post might be an article about how French wine is good for your health. Make sure your content is engaging your audience, not boring them. They don’t want to be hit over the head with the same details. 

Give them something to savor so they’ll grow convinced that they need to be first in line.

Run a Social Media Contest

This is a great way to attract new followers and increase engagement with your event. Offer a giveaway like free tickets, meals or backstage passes — Anything related to the day of the event. Establish rules that the freebies will go to the followers who share the paid social post the most by a certain date. This way you’ll create transparency but will motivate followers to generate word-of-mouth hype.

Work With Influencers

Who in your community or would be associated with an event like your own would be good to work with in spreading the word? Building relationships with influencers is helpful in creating credibility for your event, but also establishing trust with your audience. For example, that French restaurant opening would get more eyeballs if you hired your city’s most popular food blogger to share your paid social post. The more your post can go viral, the better.

About The Author

Chris Madden is the co-founder of Matchnode, a Chicago-based Digital Marketing Agency focused on Paid Social (primarily Facebook and Instagram ads).