- they were limiting exposure until certain groups had a chance to purchase their tickets
- they were close to selling out and didn’t want to get people’s hopes up about being able to attend
- they wanted to sell more sponsorships first
- they had a very limited number of tickets to sell
To all these comments I could only give a dumbfounded “HUH?”
Using social media for your event is about more than selling tickets! Or, at least, it should be.
6 More Reasons to Use Social Media
Yes, first and foremost, you can definitely increase your ticket sales through social media. But since the percentage of non-attendees is very much greater than attendees (unless you’re having a several billion person event), consider these opportunities as well:
- Raise awareness: Personally, I’ve met many people who know about the events I’ve worked with; they know them to be awesome parties, lots of fun, good food, great entertainment, and simply a wonderful time. But, ask many of those same people what those events benefit and there’s a hesitation. Many attendees of these events (and possibly YOUR event) simply don’t know that they benefit a cancer center, the local zoo, leukemia research, children’s causes, breast cancer survivorship, other amazing non-profits. Some may not even realize it IS a benefit event! Social media around the event can bring additional awareness to the organization(s) benefitting from the event and that’s a positive outcome!
- Procure donations: There is always a chance that those impressed with your event will want to donate to the cause, even if they can’t attend. If they’ve attended in the past but can’t this year due to scheduling conflicts, they will be more likely to donate. Use social media to remind them of the event and provide several calls-to-action to donate if they can’t attend (or even if they can!).
- Alter demographics: Think you shouldn’t Tweet or post to Facebook because it’s just not what your attendees are into? Statistics set the average Twitter user age at 39.1 years and typically female. the average Facebook user is 38.4, female, and has 262 friends. So, unless you’re holding events strictly for those under 18 or over 65, your attendees are most definitely “into social media”! And even if your current demographic doesn’t embrace social, that doesn’t mean that talking about your event wouldn’t catch some “younger” eyes for future events AND provide you with a stream to reference for future ads, bulletins, flyers, a look into attendees’ minds and ways to improve in the future.
- Update attendees: Changes in weather, parking, entertainment, and other event amenities and attributes can be pushed using social media and will help reach more of your attendees than just updating your website or sending an email. Attendees may not ever return to your website after they purchase their tickets and may skip emails that only seem to be call to actions for ticket sales. But, if you send out the change message multiple times via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others, they’re more likely to see it at some point…and appreciate your diligence in getting out the information.
- Spark conversations: Simple posts like “What are you wearing this year?”, “What’s your running/training plan?” or “Are you excited to see [our entertainer/speaker] this year?” will get attendees talking to you and each other. Again, this will help you see into their minds and possibly adjust the event or their expectations in the process. Talking to your followers between events will also keep them interested AND help you improve the event based on their informal input. People are more likely to answer a single question such as “who would you like to see as this year’s keynote” or “what’s your favorite local restaurant?” via Facebook or Twitter than to answer a full 10 (or more!) question survey so don’t forget to be social even after the event!
- Document the event: With the introduction of Viddy (an in-depth look into this new video site coming soon…), you can provide quick 15-second glimpses into your event (and, so can attendees). Tweeting during the event can let attendees know when new activities are occurring (coffee bar is open, entertainer is going on, awards are being handing out), as well get attendees engaged in sharing their views as they happen. Photos can be instantly shared via Instagram, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Encourage attendees to use the same hashtag/reference across media sites and across the event and you’ll be able to quickly gather these valuable assets for future reference and use.
All in all, social media is an asset not just for ticket sales – think outside the box and you can truly engage your followers in your event and your cause.