The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Nonprofit Event Advertising: How Social Media Can Help

Nonprofit eventplanningtso

As a nonprofit organization, you know that fundraising events are a great way to increase support and attract new donors. You also know that events can be expensive, time consuming, and quite honestly…a wasted effort if they fail to attract a good crowd.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1,532,250 nonprofit organizations currently operating in the United States (see the data here). So how can your nonprofit stand out from the rest? The easy answer: social media marketing!

So the folks here at The Social Observer have developed a list of the 5 most effective ways to advertise your next nonprofit event and increase engagement, all while using social media marketing channels. And the best part? They’re technically free!

  1. Get your audience engaged.

I know we said the days of creating a Facebook event page and sharing it with your friends are over, but we kind of lied…those days aren’t totally over! You just can’t stop there. To get your current nonprofit audience engaged, you have to tell them about your event; the when, where, why, and who of it all. So make those Facebook event pages, post the event details to your website, and announce the event on Twitter and Google+. Make a 30-second video and post it on YouTube. Sharing these initial event details will help to engage your audience and motivate them to start spreading the word organically.

  1. Share the details…and a little extra.

To keep your audience on the edge of their office chairs, start posting photos, videos, and blog posts about the event planning process. For example: Tag your catering company on Twitter and talk about the delicious food that’s on the menu. Share photos on Facebook of volunteers working on goodie bags and mention donors who provided the free swag. These steps not only get people excited about your event, but they also engage a wider audience.

  1. Give them something to talk about.

Once you’ve got an engaged audience, it’s time to start sharing some of the upcoming event highlights. Maybe you’ve secured a great musical act, feature speaker, or celebrity guest. Start revealing those details with photos that are easy to share online.

  1. Start the party early.

One of the best ways to increase engagement is to get people involved in the event before they even show up. Start a contest on Twitter to win a seat at a VIP table or a fun prize. If you’re looking to increase your headcount, announce a flash registration sale on Facebook, and include a video about how awesome your event is going to be.

  1. Put #SMM on the guest list.

Social media marketing doesn’t have to stop once the event starts. Market a custom hashtag for attendees to use when posting photos of your event. You can offer door prizes to folks with the most likes on cause-related social media shares. Social media activities can be integrated into the evening’s events; all in the name of charity!

Social media marketing campaigns can be as engaging and entertaining as you wish; it’s all about maintaining a momentum and using multiple #SMM channels to reach your audience. By using #SMM to market your event from start to finish, you’re grabbing your event audience early, keeping them engaged, and motivating them to be an active participant in your event.

Have you used social media marketing to successfully market and event and increase event engagement? Tell us what worked for you in the comments!

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Category: Non Profit, ROI, Social Media Marketing 101, Social Media Marketing Integration

2 Responses

  1. Anthony.alarcon says:

    Great suggestions on engagement one of the hardest parts of the marketing equation

  2. daniel.mullen says:

    Kelsey-

    This was a great idea for a subject to tackle. Nonprofit event promotion is a challenge especially on a limited budget. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are ideal places to promote events and make the content visually appealing and easily shareable.

    How would you measure success in a social media campaign focused on event advertising? How do you convert sharers into attenders/donors?

    Thanks,
    Dan

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