Nearly every business is using social media to promote their offerings and connect with customers. Social media is an effective means of closely communicating with your followers in a less formal environment. But, we all know this. Social media isn’t a new concept, but for many training and event providers the practical outworking of social media marketing may in fact be a new thing. Where exactly do you start? What features are the best to use? This post endeavors to answer these questions and help you to use social media to promote your courses and events.
Video & Live Video
Video is increasingly capturing majority of the attention to be had on most social media platforms. Not only is video a more effective and attention grabbing form of media, but social media platforms like Facebook actually prefer the use of video. Facebook has spent a large amount investing into both it’s video and live video features. Mark Zuckerberg has said that he “wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video” (Popular Science). So how can you harness videos power?
Video your next event
Video your next event or course with the intention of using it to promote future events or courses. Take shots of the delivery, presentation, drinks and nibbles. Get anything on camera that sets your offering apart from the many other event or training providers. Most importantly, get some of your registrants behind the camera, and ask them about their experience. Put all this into one promotional video and there you go. You will be able to give all your prospects a glimpse of what they could experience by attending your course or event.
Live video is more important than you think
Consider using live video at your next event or course to connect with your audience. Live video enables businesses to engage directly with their followers. It creates discussions, causes close connection and is highly engaging when done well. “Real-time videos create a deeper connection between brands and users, which means you can directly address upcoming events more effectively.” (Sprout Social) Viewers comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular ones (Wired). This is because, it’s more fun, users can ask questions and get a response straight away. Live videos across any social media platform is an immediate conversation with your prospects. But remember, they want it to be a conversation, not a one way sales pitch. Make sure your content is interesting, and be open to answering the questions that come up. One of the best things about live video is that it’s cost effective, all you need is a smart phone and internet connection. So why not give it a go.
Promote your presenters
Don’t just settle for your presenters delivering your course or event. Use them to market your courses and events too. Marketing your presenters is especially effective when you have really knowledgeable, engaging and inspiring presenters. If you don’t have these, you most likely have bigger issues to worry about. The chances are that you do have some really good presenters, but you aren’t telling anyone about them. Take a look at how Marketo used Seth Godin, a best selling author and marketing expert to promote their Marketing Nation Roadshow.
Images of Seth Godin, a well recognized marketing expert, were used in promotional images. Marketo wrote about Godin on their blog. Then they got a short video of Godin sharing a bite sized piece around what he was going to present. Not too hard right?
Thought leadership and promotional content
Content marketing is gaining traction among businesses. Rather than promoting yourself and your offering, the focus has turned to providing people with helpful content, for free. Once you build trust, it is natural that they will enquire after your paid offering. Use this strategy to promote your events or courses. Use a gated piece of content on the same subject matter as your course or event to generate leads. Gated content is a helpful article, ebook, video, or other piece of information which your prospects would like to read, which can only be accessed on completion of short form. This is an effective way to generate leads for your courses or events.
Here’s an example, say you provide public drone training, you could write a basic guide to all the gear you need to start flying. This would be a great piece of content to generate leads for a beginners drone piloting course. You could do the same for your courses or events.
How often should I post on social media?
It’s hard to know how often to post on different social media platforms. Platforms like Twitter are more conducive to higher volume posting, whereas platforms like LinkedIn are on the lower side. Buffer Social suggests posting:
- Five or even up to twenty times a day on Twitter
- Ten times per week on Facebook
- Once every business day on LinkedIn
“Before you decide how often you are going to post, when is your audience going to be able to see it? Consistency is also key to any good social media campaign. So before you post, commit to posting regularly and consistently. Posting fewer times, but regularly is better than posting in high volumes but infrequently.” (Marketing To Serve)
Use relevant groups
There are a number of Facebook and LinkedIn groups you could use to engage with potential registrants. Groups are a great medium to connect directly with individuals interested in your industry. When you post on a group within Facebook or LinkedIn, your post remains within the group for any member to see. It is also displayed on users newsfeeds. It is important to remember that many of these groups will have rules of engagement to prevent people spamming members with offers. These groups try to promote meaningful discussion. If you’re able to engage in these discussions, the flow on effect will be more people interested in what you are offering.
These groups are relatively easy to find as well. You can find the groups you belong to in LinkedIn by selecting the ‘Work’ panel and then groups. To search for new groups, just search the keywords in the search bar and filter your search by ‘Groups’. The process for Facebook is almost identical. Many of the Arlo team are members of Training Managers Group and Event Planning & Event Management – the 1st Group for Event Professionals. Both these groups are large in members and comprise of the leaders in both training and event industries.
Facebook advertising provides users with a microscopic like targeting. Getting your courses or events in front of people is half the battle. The real value is getting your advertising in front of the right people. Facebook advertising lets you target people based off a number of different demographics and social actions. WordStream put together an infographic containing all Facebook’s targeting options, you can view it here. You could take that video of your presenter, or the testimonial from a previous registrant, or that solid thought leadership content, put it in a Facebook advertisement and reach exactly the right people.
Here’s an example of how Social Media Examiner use Facebook advertising to market their Social Media Marketing World Event. No doubt they would have used targeting options to make sure that people in marketing, business owners and consultants all saw the advertisement.
There are a number of other ways you can use social media to promote your courses or events. But these are some of the most relevant and useful, today. The initiatives mentioned are designed to help you closely engage a wider audience, with less effort and cost effectively.
If you need further assistance marketing your courses or events, check out Arlo’s Marketing Tools. Arlo is a cloud-based training and event management system for managing, marketing and delivering physical and online training and event services. Feel free to get in touch today for more information, or a free demonstration.