Creating meaningful content for social media is a demanding task and, in many cases, the immediate payoff can seem paltry and not worth one’s time. With the average lifespan of an organic social media post being a few hours at best, it can feel as though you are putting in a lot of effort for very little return.
However, it’s important to recognize that consistent and compelling social media posting can have powerful cumulative effects over time. Content that fetches an unimpressive dozen likes today can attract hundreds of engagements over a year of consistent posting. What does this mean in the long run? It means the marketing efforts to attract next year’s new crop of clients can offer impressive returns.
Yet, few event professionals have the time or resources to turn social media content production into a full-time job. Client work is the first priority, and even the best intentions for social media marketing can land on the back burner. Even businesses with dedicated marketing departments need to be careful in considering how their marketing team spends its time and resources.
Believe it or not, building a powerful yet sustainable social media strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Focusing on easy-to-create content and repurposing more labor-intensive content will have you working smarter, not harder, in no time.
Here are five types of social media content that will help you use social media to attract the right clients without losing your mind!
- Behind-the-scenes content: Behind-the-scenes images and videos are a terrific way to communicate what it’s like to work with you and your team. You can highlight how much you care for your clients, your corporate culture, and personalities of staff members, share how you expertly troubleshoot problems and challenges, and give a look at your ideal clients. Behind-the-scenes content is simple, especially considering there are often low audience expectations for production value. A quick Instagram story, Facebook post or live video in the moment goes far in building rapport with your audience and can be done in a few minutes on the fly.
Pro tip: Create a short shot list of potential behind-the-scenes opportunities to look for at every event to make sure you don’t forget. Don’t worry about getting through the whole list, just focus on three to five moments to capture and share each time.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Tapping into user-generated content allows you to use content that others create for your own feed. Repurposing staff and client content is an easy and straightforward way to start, but also be on the lookout for additional user-generated content from micro-influencers, tourists and the like. The easiest way to monitor and capture UGC is to develop your own special hashtags for submissions and for accepting terms of reuse. Something like #YOUBRANDshare and #yesYOURBRAND are simple, which makes them memorable. You can also monitor location tags for content. Make sure you ask for permission to use someone’s content in the comments, and take a screenshot.
Pro tip: Make sure you have a UGC policy in place, as well as a page or section on your website with UGC terms. Have a lawyer review it to ensure you’ve protected yourself from copyright infringement. LaCroix sparkling water has a great UGC program, so check out their social media for ideas and an example of how they cover themselves legally.
- Reimagine real events: Here’s an unfortunate and seldom-discussed reality in the event world: Many of our events look the same. They look similar to our competitors’ events, and even our own events can look repetitive, especially if you have a rental program. So, how do you create real event social media posts that earn engagement (and clicks back to your website)? Simple--with a modified version of a case study on your blog or website. Start with an introductory paragraph that outlines what the clients wanted when they came to you. Then, talk about the challenges to achieving the goal and how you met those challenges or solved any problems that came up. Finally, showcase the beautiful end result and happy clients. This is also a great way to include testimonials in an authentic way. Once your blog post is written, you can create anywhere from a few to a dozen (or more) social media posts from that single piece of content.
Pro tip: Make sure you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website so you can then re-target people who have visited your blog with “down funnel” ads. A web developer can do this quickly, but there are also plenty of YouTube videos for the DIY-ers out there.
With a little planning and advanced thinking about social media, you can streamline social media content creation, make it meaningful to your ideal clients and have plenty of time and energy to focus on other things that are more enjoyable in your business.
Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. She is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA and the ABC Conference.