Making the Most of Event Promotion: Social Media Council Meeting, Part II

Choosing how and when to market your event can be a bit complicated depending on how much advance notice you have and the scale of the event itself.  No matter the size, every event should have a corresponding communication plan.  These plans don’t have to be formal, but is a best practice to start thinking about how you plan to tell the public about your event from the onset of the planning process, after all, you want your event to be a success!

Make a Plan and Follow Through

Once you have started planning your event, decide what your promotion strategy will be based on:

  • When will your event take place?
  • Who would you like to come to your event?
  • Do you have a budget for marketing?
  • How much time do you have to devote to getting the word out?

There are many variables that accompany event promotion, here we touch on a few that might help you start thinking about your upcoming events in a new way.

Planning a Timeline

We recommend that you plan your events a whole semester out, culminating with commencement of any given semester.  If you have an event date in mind, move backwards through your timeline from completion to inception so that you allow enough time for proper promotion and graphic design.

It is a best practice (especially for larger events) to include a visual representation of your event along with any social posts you put out there.  Fun fact: Visual social posts are 400% more likely to receive clicks than posts with straight text.

If you don’t already have graphics, you may order them (at least a month) in advance of your event from WKU Publications using the online Publication Request Form.  (We do not charge for design services!) We recommend one month so that Publications has time to design your graphic and proof it out to you for any changes you might have.  Then, you will need time to actually promote your event.  How much time depends on the event and the size of the crowd you are hoping to attract.  If you are promoting a large, community-wide event, start 6-weeks to a month out, increasing post frequency as the event date draws near.  Smaller events could be promoted 1-2 weeks out, or even less, depending on the event.

How We Can Help Promote Your Event

WKU Creative Web Services, Marketing and Communications, WKU Publications, WKU News, and WKU Photography are all parts of the Division of Public Affairs.  Collectively, we can help you market your event on the WKU.edu website, the campus calendar, WKU News, campus digital signage, social media, and we also can facilitate media partnerships with local television, radio, cinema, outdoor advertising, and traditional print media. We frequently assist in planning custom marketing outreach plans for departments across campus.  If you are interested in a private consultation, email webservices@wku.edu and we can point you in the right direction based on your specific needs.

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Visit our website to learn more about how to place your event on the WKU campus events calendar or to advertise your event on WKU.edu.

Scheduling Posts in Advance

A good way to save yourself some time on event promotion via social media is to preschedule posts about your event.  Using tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Sprout Social or the Facebook Pages App, you can set event information to post during specific dates or times, freeing up some time for you to focus on other things.  If you use Facebook Sponsored Posts, you can even pay a small fee to sponsor your event to a specific audience.

 

With proper advance planning and a strategic focus, event promotion can be a simple process, especially if you take advantage of WKU Public Affairs staff to help you get the word out!  Reach out if we can be of service!

Next post: Twitter 101: Five quick tips to boost engagement and market your department on Twitter.

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