Many social media sites will tell you how to sell your event or where best to share your messages. We’re going to take it a step further today and think outside the box. You know, the little calendar boxes with dates in them.
Your event probably has one specific date or a very short date range, like a week. And you’ve probably planned your social media strategy from your official “Save the Date” message to post-event Thank You message. Now, it’s time to plan the rest of the calendar – those 4 to 6 months between the Thank You and the next Save the Date. You might get downtime from planning the events, but you still need to keep your followers engaged and informed. These are just some ideas to get you started:
Use of Funds
One thing your attendees will want to know is how their money is being used. Did it purchase new coats for kids in need? Did it help save animals that have been neglected or abused? You can create a video showing how the funds were put to use. Post updates on social media about usage as well. If you have a blog, include posts on there.
Ways to Help
More than likely, those who attended your event did so because they in some way support the cause. (Either that or you really throw a great party…) Focus on those attendees by telling them other ways they can help…and not just by giving more money. Ask for clothing donations, volunteer hours, status lending on your updates, and attending other events that benefit your organization. Letting them know there’s other ways to support you and your cause, let them know the organization is about more than the event.
It’s never too early to start sponsor requests. It doesn’t have to be direct asks however. Simple shout-outs to last year’s big spenders with messages like “Thanks again to [company] for sponsoring last year! Want to join them in 2012? Contact us for Sponsorship Opportunities” can help drive some new sponsors your way. The same goes for auction donors, in-kind providers and even volunteers. Just avoid sounding too needy or being too pushy or repetitive – you’d don’t want to turn them off!
Pictures, pictures, pictures! Your event creates so many visual opportunities! Repost/reshare some of the most memorable items. Ask your attendees to share their photos by tagging the event. A video of the event will be even more influential. Keeping your event in front of their eyes will help them remember you throughout the year.
Hold a Contest
Consider holding a contest for tickets to next year’s event. Provide entries in a myriad of ways, including tweets, Facebook shares, mentions in blogs or websites, etc. One website that can help you setup a contest is RaffleCopter.com. They help you create entry options and then provide a form for you to put on your website or blog. Be aware of Facebook contest guidelines before you start any social media content however.
Ask your attendees to share. Whether it be their favorite event memory, tips on what to wear or not wear, what entertainment they’d like to see, what venue might be better, or how you can improve the event, just get them talking. Regular weekly, bi-weekly or monthly requests for their input will get them to share.
It’s easy to forget or neglect your email campaigns during this down time. However, some of your followers only look at your emails so you don’t want to drop-off completely with them just to start-up again 4 months later. The drop-off/restart cycle will cause a higher unsubscribe rate than if you keep those same people interested year-round. You don’t have to send long emails, just updates at the same rate you were sending during the event timeline with some of the same messages and topics you’ve been posting to Facebook and Twitter.