This Expert Tip Will Change How You Promote Events

Access to Experts | YNPN So. NV

When social media is a major part of your job, you live for a pro-tip. At least I do. Especially as a freelancer juggling multiple clients, I am all about having a system or formula or hack, anything that streamlines the process so I can use my brainpower making good content instead of fussing over logistics and schedules. Which is why it was such a pleasure to attend the Access to Experts Panel on August 22nd to hear from other creative professionals. Bertha Gutierrez of Get Outdoors Nevada, Shahab Zargari from UNLV College of Fine Arts, and Amanda Riley of The Neon Museum each gave us some great insight that night.

Access to Experts | YNPN So. NV
Left to Right: Bertha Gutierrez, Shahab Zargari, Amanda Riley, and YNPN Co-Chair Steven Alfonso

Since a lot of what they shared was familiar to me, I want to highlight my favorite tip from the panel. Something new to me; a truly advanced tip. 

As I mentioned before, I love having a formula when planning content for one of my clients. Shahab gave us just such a tool for event promotion. At UNLV College of Fine Arts, their strategy is to give every event 15 posts. They start promoting on social media about 5 weeks out, beginning with just one post a week. Each week, the number of posts increases, building momentum the closer they get to the event.

Now, this is a fabulous scheduling trick that takes the guesswork out of promoting your event on social media. There's a rhythm and logic to it. But the schedule itself isn't the best part. In those early posts, they don't lead with "buy your tickets now". In fact, Shahab says they won't even mention the event right away. Instead, they start by building excitement about the content of the event itself.

In the case of an upcoming concert, they'll start by sharing videos of the performer, without even mentioning the concert. They take the time to get their audience invested in the artist, and excited about their work. Then they start hyping the actual event.

Access to Experts | YNPN So. NV

Think about what makes you want to show up for an event. If you're just a casual follower of UNLV College of Fine Arts on Facebook, and they post an event that says "so-and-so in concert, get your tickets", and you don't know that performer, are you going to jump at the chance to see them? Not super likely. But if you see a bunch of videos of this impressive musician over a week or two, you really enjoy them, and then you find out they're having a concert at the end of the month? You've had a chance to get to know the artist, and your enthusiasm is fresh.

That's advanced strategy right there.

Now, for a non-profit that isn't arts-centric, it might be a little bit harder to tease an event with the same subtly. If you're plugging your annual gala dinner, for example, it can be hard maintain the same level of mystery in your promotional posts. But that's okay. It's not about being mysterious, it's about highlighting what makes your event a good experience. Even in the case of a fundraiser, where the primary motivator for attendance is to support the mission, you can still start off your promotions by reminding people that it's going to be a good experience in and of itself.

Some angles you could try:

  • Remind everyone how amazing the food was last year, and tease this year's menu.
  • Start bragging about your event MC, honorees, or other special guests.
  • Tease the entertainment portion of the event.
  • Focus on the sense of community, and remind people how good it feels to get together with like-minded folks and celebrate a cause you have in common.

If you're still not sure how this method could work for your organization, try bringing it up at the next staff meeting. Take 5 minutes to brainstorm together, or reach out to a long-time supporter or volunteer who has attended your events in the past and ask them about the experience. You might be surprised at how well this could work for your next event.

 

The above article was written by guest blogger and YNPN Southern Nevada member Gabrielle Amato-Bailey. Any views expressed are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of YNPN Southern Nevada or its volunteer board. YNPN is excited to support members who wish to engage with our platform to share content, creative endeavors, and more. If you are a current YNPN So.NV member and would like to contribute to this blog or in other ways, please contact info@ynpnsouthernnevada.org or via our Exclusive Member Slack Workspace.


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