10 Tips for Promoting a Small Business Event
Events are an amazing way to foster a sense of community and excitement around your business and among your customers. Check out 10 tips and ideas for promoting your next event below.
Create a Facebook Event + Google Event
Google Events is a great way for event exposure through search, Facebook Events is a powerful tool to notify your current following about your event. Make sure to add any co-hosts or artists to maximize your reach. Additionally, you can invite specific people to your event through Facebook. You can also promote your FB event through ads (see next point). If you have never created a FB event or need a refresher, check out my tutorial.
Run Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are an excellent way to reach people who otherwise might not be notified about your event. Setting up an ad is fairly easy, targeting is the tricky part. If you are planning on running ads, make sure you do your research.
Push the event on social media + email newsletter
Consistently post on Instagram and Facebook about your event - use a mix of standard posts and stories. If you have an email list, send it out to your subscribers as well. However, make sure you plan your promotions as not to bombard your followers with notifications about your event.
Run a giveaway on social media
Promote your event through an Instagram or Facebook event. Tell people to invite/tag 3 friends in the comments for a chance to win a sample product/service/gift card.
Use Facebook or Instagram live during the event
Using Facebook or Instagram live during the event is a great way to draw in last-minute attendees as well as show off the success of your event.
Post in geographic and interest-based Facebook groups
Join and post in Facebook groups related to the event’s interest or the geographic area. People in Facebook groups already acknowledge they have an interest in that topic or area and are often fairly active.
Request to be featured in local newsletters
Do some research into local email newsletters and Instagram accounts spotlighting events or the interests related to your event. Often community social media accounts are looking for quality content, however, some will charge a fee for advertising. Even look for local businesses to feature you in their newsletter. For example, if you are hosting a free yoga class event, contact a local wellness center or massage therapist and ask if they would feature your event in their newsletter.
Get on the local event calendar
Find your city, county, or township’s event calendar and contact the organizer and ask to be added. Note: In order to get on the calendar, you will probably need to contact them months in advance.
With all of the digital promotion options, it is easy to forget that good old paper can be a great way to promote events. If you have a retail location, display event promos weeks in advance. Also, see if there are other local businesses with community boards.
Create an event hashtag
Not only does this ad a fun flair to your event, but it also creates ease in finding images to use as promotions for future events.
Bonus Tips: Utilize these at your next event to help with promotions of future events.
Collect testimonials at your next event to use in future promotions. Decided what information you would like people to mention in the testimonials and tailor your request to that. For example, if you would like people to talk about how much they learned at your recent workshop you could request let us know what you learned at our travel hacking workshop. There are many ways you can choose to collect testimonials - you could send out an email survey, post on social media and ask people to comment, or you could use good old pen and paper at the event. If you would like more responses, add an incentive - perhaps free entry to a raffle or a sample product/service.
Create a highlight reel of events
Start taking high-quality photos or videos at your events and compile a highlight reel. Create a YouTube video, slideshow, or photo gallery and post it to social media and your events page on your website. You can also encourage attendees to share videos and images (using your event hashtag) to include as well.
Play around with your event promotions and find what works for your business and community. Event planning and promotion can be very enjoyable, so let your creativity flow while you are brainstorming!