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Social Media for Event Venues: 8 Things to Do

By Caroline Cox | 5 min read

Social media connects people to one another like never before. And it can be used for way more than sharing puppy photos and tasty meals (although it’s great for that, too.) Businesses who use social media have the opportunity to get access to over 3 billion people across the globe who use social networks.

To find out about some of the most effective ways to leverage social media for event venues, we chatted with Max Doyle, founder of the social media agency Hello Social. Read on to find out how to use these platforms (mainly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) to reach more people and grow your business.

1. Get comfortable with self-promotion

Yes, social media is meant to be social. But it’s also one of the most effective (and affordable) marketing strategies. That means you’ve got to get comfortable with the humble-brags and start promoting your brand.

“Getting as many people as possible engaged in the platform is a great way to keep the hype up,” says Max. Don’t be shy about letting followers know about the newest happenings at your space, like a menu update, seasonal cocktail offering, or private dining program. If you don’t feel super comfortable, you can stick to an eye-catching photo with a short caption. Often, a well-lit photo of a new drink concoction with the caption “We’ve updated our beverage list for summer. Come see (and drink) it for yourself,” is all you need to drum up interest.

2. Leverage hashtags

“Creating a hashtag is a standard part of branding these days,” says Max. “It helps attendees to join in the fun and contribute content to your brand. This is called user-generated content and is a great way to get amazing photography, videos, and testimonials for your brand.” Smart brands, he adds, make user-generated content count for a sizeable chunk of their content these days, and hashtags are a great way to collect it.

It’s wise to have the hashtag include your branding or business name. Bartaco, for example, uses and promotes the hashtag #bartacolife. More than 10,000 Instagram posts alone include this specific tag, bringing them that much more buzz and organic social reach.

3. Consider going live

The concept of live streaming is defined as transmitting or receiving live video and audio coverage, usually of an event, over the Internet. While that may sound intimidating, it can actually do wonders when it comes to spreading the word about your space.

“[Instagram] Stories and live video were the big game changers of 2018, and that trend just seems to be intensifying,” says Max. “Events are prime live video content, and they can receive up to ten times the organic reach of regular posts.” Instagram Stories, if you’re unfamiliar, are temporary videos that live on your profile for 24 hours, unless you save them as a “Highlight,” which stays on your profile indefinitely.

“One of the great things about Stories content is that, because of its temporary nature, users expect a lower production value,” he adds. “This means that brands can create video content with nothing more than an iPhone, without coming off as cheap or unprofessional.” Consider a live walkthrough of your event space, or filming some footage of a lively event you’re hosting (with client permission, of course).

4. Avoid spreading yourself too thin

Once you get up and running with your venue’s social media profiles, it can be difficult to put parameters on how much you should be posting on a daily or weekly basis. “The one thing I would suggest to avoid is spreading your social presence too thinly,” Max advises.

According to CoSchedule research, the best times for B2C companies to post on social media are:

  • 9-10AM, 12-1PM, and 4-5PM for Facebook
  • 8AM, 1PM, and 9PM for Instagram
  • 8-10AM, 12PM, and 7-9PM for Twitter
  • 12PM for LinkedIn

For most venues, there’s no need to feel like you need to post on all of your profiles multiple times a day. For Instagram and Facebook, once every day or so will usually suffice. The same can be said for Twitter, though, if you want to post more than once a day, you’re likely to get more exposure. LinkedIn is arguably less “social” than other platforms, but feel free to post here a few times a week. No matter the platform, one good thing to keep in mind: posts with eye-catching imagery will almost always perform better than ones with just text.

Social Media for Event Venues: 8 Things to Do

5. Save time with scheduling tools

If the above sounds like a big undertaking, fear not! Social media scheduling tools can save you tons of time and streamline the process. Free tools can certainly get the job done, while paid ones usually offer more features like analytics and social listening.

Hootsuite, Buffer, Zoho Social, and Sprout Social are popular free platforms that allow you to schedule posts across multiple social profiles in minutes. Simply create an account, log into your pages via the tool, and get scheduling!

Much like scheduling tools that save you time on social media posting, Gather saves you serious time (and money) on managing events — learn more by scheduling a demo!

6. Be consistent

With all that goes into managing a venue and running an events program, it’s easy to have social media regularly fall to the bottom of your to-do list. But, by making time to keep your profiles updated, you could be reaching new potential prospects in a way no other free marketing tool can.

If you or a designated team member are having trouble finding the time, consider adding a weekly calendar reminder that blocks off just 30 minutes or so for post scheduling. It’s also a good idea to keep a roster of high-quality, well-lit photos (from past events or your team) on hand, so you don’t have to scramble each time you’re in need of a good image to include with the post.

7. Make it a two-way conversation

We’ve mentioned before how crucial it is to respond to people who interact with your brand on Twitter. But this can apply to all of your social media platforms. Responding to questions or comments humanizes your business, which often leads to greater trust and a better customer service experience.

Don’t overthink it, though — a simple “Thanks for the kind words!” or “Glad you enjoyed it!” will often suffice. If the comment is a negative one, ask for the person’s contact info (or respond with an email address or phone number) to take the conversation offline and address their issue as soon as possible.

8. Don’t take it too seriously

While all of these tips will help you create and build a strong social presence, it’s also worth mentioning that there is such a thing as investing too much time and attention into these platforms. If you find yourself or a team member falling behind on important tasks because of social media, it’s time to take a step back and reexamine your plan.

“The main purpose of any event is to bring people together and help them connect,” says Max. “Social media marketing works best when you amplify your brand on social, rather than create it there entirely.” Remember what’s at the core of your business: putting on memorable events paired with top-notch customer service.

Having your venue present on social media helps you connect with clients and prospects where they are in a way that’s impactful and affordable. Armed with these tips and reminders, it’s easy to create a lasting, beneficial online presence that will serve you well.

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Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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