2020 – so far, it’s been a year of business woes for event suppliers across the UK. So what can you do to set yourself up for a stronger 2021 and beyond? The answer lies in these free social media tips.
Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 has been a total flop for event suppliers across the UK. Due to lockdowns and social distancing regulations, even small-scale events nigh on impossible. In these circumstances, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and want to lock yourself in your storage unit, surrounded by faux flowers, candelabras and stacks of neatly-folded chair covers.
One thing you’ve got in your favour is that social media usage is on the rise because people are spending more time at home. Social media offers businesses an affordable, accessible marketing channel. Luckily for you, we’ve got 8 free social media tips to help you get off to a flying start. If you learn the basics of best practise, these can be really effective. Maximising your social media activity can help establish you as a leader in the events supplier industry, keep your clients happy and reassured because you’re providing frequent public updates, and – the best bit – lead to more bookings!
“The temptation is to curl up, hibernate and wait for it to be over but that’s the worst possible response. All things must pass and the events industry will be back. To avoid getting left behind, you need to make a plan and then implement it.”
– Del Cotton, CEO and Founder of Eventace
So without further ado, here are our top 8 free social media tips for event suppliers:
1 Stay active
Of all our social media tips, this is probably the most important. This is because if a potential customer checks out your Facebook page and notices you haven’t posted since February, that’s not a good look. Regular posting is useful because it demonstrates your commitment to your business and customers. Aim to create a post at least once a week, so that your audience knows you’re still around and ready when they need you.
2 Create fresh content
In the absence of events, you might need to find new ways to show your audience what you offer. Can you do a video tour of your premises? An introduction to your staff members? A run-through of all your products and services? Even a glance into your home life can make you seem more relatable to your audience. Social media is a long-haul game, so you should think about how you can break content ideas up to make them last longer. For example, instead of one video where you introduce all your staff, break it down into one piece per staff member.
3 Leverage past content
It can be hard to create lots of new content when the work has dried up. However, there’s nothing wrong with sharing content you’ve used before. Take a look through your social media stats and share your best performing content again.
You might also have a content-goldmine of pieces that you grabbed at events and forgot about. Have a deep-dive through your phone and see what photos and videos you can dig up from past events. Put up a post inviting previous clients to share images and videos from the events you worked on with them. Take it one step further by putting out this request in an email. People understand what a tough year it’s been – and this is an easy, free way to help event suppliers.
4 Tap into trends
Now and then there are viral trends that flood social media feeds around the world, such as the Dolly Parton challenge, the 10-year challenge, the FaceApp age filter. It’s a good idea to hop on these band wagons because, chances are, your audience are engaging with this trend. By using the relevant trending hashtag, you’ll extend your reach out beyond your core audience. Recently the 2020 Jan-Sept meme has been doing the rounds, so why don’t you try creating one that’s relevant to your business and show your sense of humour?
When there is an announcement in the news that is relevant to your business, share it and talk about it (but try not to be too negative!). Again, if it’s trending with a hashtag, even better.
5 Use third-party pieces
Your audience is interested in what you do, so have a think about what other kind of stuff they might like. To get you started, here are some suggestions:
- Industry peers: If you find yourself regularly working events with other particular suppliers, share their content to extend their reach. This might seem counter-intuitive because you’re sharing content from other suppliers, but it will show that you are an active and positive part of the community. They might do the same for you.
- Client news: Share the big news moments of some of your clients (such as charities and organisations) to show your support. This means you might be the first supplier they think of when they start planning events again.
- Aspirational event moments: Share content that you think will serve as inspiration for your clients. Even if it’s something completely ridiculous, like this video of a bride being lifted into the air by helium balloons. This content can help your engagement rate because it serves as a big talking point.
6 Plan and schedule
Finding time to post content regularly can be challenging when you’re running a business. Luckily, Facebook has a scheduling tool* that allows you to create your posts months in advance. Once a month, spend an afternoon planning, creating and scheduling content. It’ll be a big to-do ticked off the list – but don’t forget to post reactive, trend-based content on an ad-hoc basis too (see tip 4).
7 Community management and outreach
It can be tempting to just schedule your content for the month and move on. However, it’s important to regularly check in on how your audience is engaging with what you’ve posted. If someone has taken the time to leave a comment on your post, try to respond to them on the same day. Make sure your notifications are turned on so you can respond to comments and messages quickly. Effective community management will boost the relationship you have with your audience and make them more likely to continue engaging with you. This can lead to recommendations and referrals from your top engagers.
Community outreach – where you engage with a community outside of your own channels – is another effective strategy when done well. Join Facebook groups that your audience will be in, and offer your expertise when relevant questions are asked. Don’t share your page and website without being asked to – it looks like you’ve just got an agenda to sell, and potential clients will see through it. Instead, engage in conversations and provide valuable input where possible.
8 Use insights to optimise content
The Insights feature of your channels allow you to see your best and worst performing content. You should use this information to tweak and optimise your future social media activity because it’s important to scrutinise what we’re doing so that we can make improvements. For example, if your afternoon posts aren’t getting many results, switch to evening to see if there’s an uplift. If there’s still no uplift, maybe it’s the type of content that’s the problem. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your social media.
So, event suppliers – come out from your storage units! There’s still work to be done. Taking advantage of these social media tips means that you’ll eventually have a great set of channels at your fingertips. 2020 has been a year of stress and upheaval for everyone – but the future is just around the corner, and these tips will help you to stand out from the crowd online.