Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing, and social media has opened the floodgates. So let’s take a look at how to spread the word about an event with a few actionable tips.
In this guide, we’ll cover the biological and psychological reasons people share content on social media. We’ll also give you pointers to help you make your event shareable.
Let’s make it go viral!
Why people share events on social media
Before we get into encouraging people to share your event, let’s look at the deeper reasons why people share anything in the first place.
1. Brain chemicals
We feel a sensation of pleasure when dopamine is released, and it also makes us crave more. As it turns out, hanging out on social media is more addictive than both booze and cigarettes.
Similarly, oxytocin is often associated with physical intimacy but can spike during social media activity. In fact, some people get as ecstatic about Facebook as they do about their wedding.
Most people love talking about themselves, and that tendency is amplified when we’re on social media. The content we post becomes part of the image we have of ourselves.
That self-image is powerful.
So powerful, in fact, that your self-esteem receives a boost every time you look at how awesome your Facebook profile is with all the images and content you’ve put up there.
So why do we share other people’s content when we could just post our own? Because sharing is even more powerful and does more for our self-presentation.
Here are the three reasons people share on social media:
- It’s easier than composing something new.
- It shows others what we like and think about it.
- It creates a connection with the original poster.
As you can see, there is plenty of motivation to share events on social media. Your event can form part of someone’s self-image and self-presentation.
How to spread the word about your event: 9 actionable tips
We’ve covered the biological and psychological reasons for sharing events online. But regardless of what the science says, it’s also useful with actionable tips on how to make sure your event gets shared. Take a look at these tips and apply them to your event.
1. Say what you want to accomplish
Although people might share your event of their own volition, it also helps if you tell them how it’ll help you. Explain what you’re trying to accomplish with the social shares.
That could be:
- Trying to increase attendance
- Providing a valuable workshop
- Boosting mailing list subscribers
- Creating a sense of community
No matter how selfish it may seem from your point of view, bear in mind that people will feel good about helping you out with your event. It’s not all altruism.
2. Provide an incentive
You can also tack an incentive on your social sharing request if you’re feeling generous. That can often help push the more reluctant people to share your event.
Potential incentives include free or discounted items like:
- Food or drinks
Tip: Make sure you’ve factored in any discounts and freebies when you create and manage your event budget.
3. Make it easy to share
Let’s face it: People are lazy. You might lose out on social shares if it takes more than a few seconds for people to help you promote the event.
That’s why you should make it as easy as possible. Write a message with a link they can copy and paste to their social media feeds. Even better, give them ways to share with one click.
4. Host online competitions
Contests and social media giveaways are among the easiest ways to spread the word about your event. Not only does it include free stuff, but there’s also the element of competition.
Tip: Check out our guide on social media giveaway ideas to discover how you can build hype around your event online. Remember to include an event hashtag people can use.
5. Use event signage
It’s also a good idea to include your event hashtag on event signage around the venue. That way, there is not a shadow of a doubt as to what your attendees should include when they share the event online.
Remember to plan the look and placement of your signage far in advance.
Tip: We’ve written a guide to event signage you can use for reference when you plan the event.
6. Set up selfie spots
As mentioned, people love themselves. Look no further than the prevalence of selfies on social media for proof of that fact. It’s also something you should capitalise on at your event.
Set up a selfie spot with a backdrop that has your event branding. Now watch your attendees flock to it with their smartphones out and best duck-face on.
Tip: We’ve covered that and much more in our article on how to make your event more sharable on social media.
7. Style out the venue
Great aesthetics are part of the success formula for any event. Either choose a venue with an interesting look or style out an otherwise bland venue with decorations to suit your event theme.
8. Use event photography
The smartphones of your event attendees shouldn’t be your only weapons when you want to document your event. Make sure you have your own event photographer on site to take snaps of your attendees.
Tip: Find out what to look for in an event photographer and where to find one in our guide.
9. Thank everyone for sharing
Although your attendees are often more than happy to share your event, it doesn’t hurt to show a little gratitude for their efforts.
Make sure you thank them for helping you make the event possible by sharing it with their friends—both before, during, and after.
Tip: Have a look at our guide on showing appreciation for specific tips.
Let’s make your event go viral
Now you know how to spread the word about your event with actionable tips and guides for further research. You can make the entire process easier for yourself and your guests by using a ticketing site that integrates with social media platforms.