You’ve got an event to promote and you don’t have much of a budget – but that’s not too much of a problem these days with so many on line and social media options.
Following on from my earlier Blog on getting everything in place to promote your event, here’s a few tips of where to promote your event and some posting etiquette. Most of the examples are links.
Event Listing Websites
Every town, city or county has a number of sites official tourism/visit sites (run by the local council or the Destination Marketing Organisation). Google ‘official tourism site for…’ Examples:
- Shropshire Events Guide
- Shropshire Tourism.co.uk/whats-on/add-an-event
- Shropshire Live
Many of these sites allow you to ‘Add an Event’. You may find this under the Event Calendar or there may be a button you can click to take you to the event listing form. Some may charge non-members, others are free. Each site is different, some will let you add links, images, contact details, categories and tags, whilst others are more limited. If there are no on line forms then you can always try and email the organiser.
Local What’s On Sites/Print
Again every area will have non-official ‘What’s on’ sites, some of these are run through local media groups which will also have a printed newspapers or magazines. The lead times on monthly/ quarterly print versions can often be 8 – 12 weeks in advance so you need to plan ahead. On line/Facebook versions are more responsive. Micro local magazines in a small town or area of a city are often a low cost option for print advertising, particularly if you take a longer term package.
There are also more commercial sites such as ‘Best of Telford’ (and many other areas) which promote local events as part of a wider offer. Some platforms will limit events to ‘entertainment’ as opposed to charity, well-being or business events. You’ll need to check each site for the ‘rules’. Examples:
- Whats on Live
- The Best of.co.uk/local/telford-and-wrekin
- Nativemonster.com (Shropshire Star Entertainment)
- In and Around Magazine (targeted area magazine)
The biggest and best event platform which is easy to use and attracts no fees if your event is free. There are costs if there are event charges, but all the payment and receipts, reminder emails etc. are taken care of by EventBrite as well as marketing to viewers who are browsing events in the area. It’s a great tool if you have regular events and very professional. See: www.eventbrite.co.uk/fees/
This does depend on your connections but it is generally considered to be a business and professional network. If the event is relevant to your connections then it is definitely not one to miss. You should publish this as an Update and link it to your website or EventBrite listing.
There seems to be a wealth of websites and Facebook sites which concentrate on events suitable for children. Google ‘Kids Activities’ in your area and see what pops up. There will be local Facebook groups, usually that you have to join. Most will allow you to post freely, sometimes posts have to be approved and all will be moderated so be sensible, don’t post too frequently or use the site inappropriately otherwise you will get blocked. A local example: The Family Grapevine
There are also national sites you’ll need to register but listing is free for ‘standard’ events. These are national sites so your event can get lost but it’s worth a go to see if they work for you. See: www.wherecanwego.com or www.list.co.uk/events
As well as posting on your own site, creating an event and sharing your posts on other sites do check our local community sites and business networking sites. You don’t always need to be a member, but some are closed groups you will have to join and some will only allow charity or community events to be posted.
Some of them will allow you to post direct to the page, some will need to approve posts, some will let you post but it will appear tucked away as a visitor post and will only be seen on the page feed if the host organisation shares the posts.
- Shropshire BizMums– 80 groups – Google Facebook to find your local branch
- Telford Business Chamber
- Priorslee Community Facebook Group
- Shifnal Everyday Chatter
- Castlefields Community Facebook Group
You can always boost your event or pay for advertising on your own Facebook site or group if you have a budget, but remember that you may not get the reach you are promised.
You can of course promote your event through your own Twitter network, but you can also mention other Twitter users in the hope that these people will retweet or like your tweet thus spreading the word. So you could target your event at a local area, or a local networking group (probably better received if you are a regular attendee), the venue you are using and the people who are attending/sponsoring/supporting your event. Depending on their following you can massively increase the reach of your tweet.
I always mention the charity (e.g. @DiabetesUK) I am supporting when fundraising and usually get retweets and likes each time I tweet. There are also TweetUp groups in many areas, where business and community champions help promote those that use the # or @username and even organise physical meetings where people go to network. Examples: @wireuk (Women in Rural Enterprise) @discovertelford (tourism and visit site for the area) and @tweetupshrews / #TUS.
Don’t forget Twitter Hours, these can be great fun! These are usually a monitored account that shares and retweets posts during a specific hour, either once a week or every business day. Remember to engage, share, comment and make your content appropriate for the area/subject – don’t bombard the site with 5 posts of the same thing in one hour. I try to vary what I post each week but I will post the same content and amend it for different #hours in the same week.
You have to use the #hour in the relevant time slot to get a retweet. You can search on Twitter for appropriate hours but do check if the account is still being used, when was the last tweet? Examples:
- #WireHour – For members of Women in Rural Enterprise – Tuesday 7 – 8pm
- #TelfordHour – Tuesday 8 – 9pm
- #MNCHour – MumPrenuers Networking Club – Wednesday 8 – 9pm
- #ShrewsburyHour – Thursday 8 – 9pm
Hopefully both of these blogs have given you some tips for getting your message out there for relatively little cost although it can take up quite a lot of time, so see what works for you.
If you have any comments please share them. If you need help with social media content, planning or management please do get in touch. Thank you.