The hard part is over: You’ve created an event venue! Now, it’s time to promote. Social media is a great tool for growing your customer base, increasing engagement with your business, and gaining exposure in a way that’s cost-effective. But when you’re first starting out with your events program, trying to also manage multiple social media accounts can be daunting. Luckily, we’ve got some handy resources, tips and tools that’ll make your online presence authentic, consistent and the best it can be, without taking up too much of your time.
Have a strategy plan in place
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Well, that holds true when it comes to your venue’s social strategy. Luckily, there is a wealth of helpful resources online to ensure you start off on the right foot. Many marketing tools, like Hubspot and Coschedule, offer a slew of helpful tips, as well as free templates that’ll make deciding what to post — and when to post it — much easier. You can whip up an easy doc or spreadsheet that lists the social media platforms you’re on, when you make a post, and what that post consists of. Taking advantage of scheduling options that avenues like Facebook and Twitter offer will also help save you time.
Post with consistency
It will take some time to find out how much time can be allotted to scheduling your venue’s social media, but in general, posting a few times a week on each platform, if possible, will show followers your online presence is consistent and up to date. It’s also wise to mix up the timing of posts — i.e. not just doing one Instagram post every day at 5:30 p.m. Changing up the times allows you to better analyze which posts are getting more traffic or engagement, so you can try to figure out what’s working and what’s not. This also increases your chances of your content being seen by others, including those who may have a different work schedule or live in different time zones.
Keep handle names consistent (when possible)
Especially if your name isn’t a super unique one (like “The Beachside Grill” vs. “The Tybee Island Social Club”), keeping your social media handles the same, or as similar as possible, will make organically searching for your business on various platforms much easier. For example: With a company like Gather, it’s probably not surprising that the handle “Gather” was already taken by the time the company launched a few years back. Thus, we had to get creative — in the end, we chose to be “GatherTech” across social media, so that we stood out with a more unique name (that still accurately represented us), without there being confusion or an endless list of generic search results.
Don’t just stick to text in posts
It’s no secret that, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, the posts that get the most engagement are usually ones that feature some element of multimedia, whether it be an image, a video, or even a GIF. That’s because these types of posts are more eye-catching and dynamic than ones that only have text, or text with a URL. If you don’t have photos or videos on hand, sites like Unsplash offer hi-resolution photos for free that you can search through with terms like “coffee” or “bistro” to find an image that will coincide well with the content you’re posting. However, it’s always ideal for the imagery used to be high-quality and reflective of your actual event space — whether or not you’ve got the budget for a professional photographer.
No matter how prepared and dedicated you are to your venue’s social media presence, you won’t get the traction you could be getting without making sure you’re posting with authenticity. That means that you shouldn’t use these platforms purely for self-promotion of your business — you should also be interacting, engaging and conversing with your fans, followers, and others in your field and industry. Moreover, your content should be consistent with your brand’s aesthetics and message — if you’re all about sustainable ingredients or your boasts a colorful interior featuring a mural from a local artist, those are things worth touting. The more people feel like they’re seeing content from a human being and not just a brand, the more they’ll be likely to stick with you.