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How to promote your event in the digital age

As a hospitality manager in the digital age, how can you use social media to increase engagement and promote an event?

A large part of event management takes place on social media through promotions and posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. There's no better tool to promote an event than social media due to its immediacy. You probably already know how to use Facebook to invite people to an event, but there are other strategies you can use to engage your target audience.

Here are a few ways you can use social media to manage events.

1) Show exclusive behind-the-scenes content

Increase people's excitement by giving them more information the closer it gets to the event.

Show your target audience the journey involved in the event management process. This could include posting videos of potential venues (and asking your followers to vote on which one they like most), sharing pictures during the set-up process, or even just providing quick updates detailing what stage you're at. This will raise the event's profile from an early stage and leading up to the event.

Increase people's excitement by giving them more information as it gets closer to the event. For instance, keeping the venue a secret and then having a big announcement on social media will create a stir.

Videoing the event management process as you go is a great way of creating excitement.

2) Invite followers directly

Instagram now has a direct messaging feature. Take advantage of it by filming a brief video inviting new followers to your event, and have it automatically sent to them as soon when they click 'follow'. Brief is the optimum word here - according to AdAge, a third of viewers stop watching an online video before 30 seconds. Include a link in your bio to the event and mention this in the video. You can do the same for Facebook and Twitter.

Eighty-four per cent of respondents to an InfoTrends survey said that personalisation made them more likely to open direct mail, so personalising your invites is also a great way to engage your audience's attention.

3) Get your featured guests involved

If you're inviting featured guests, ask them if they'd be willing to announce that they're attending your event on their own social media page, and have them link to the event website. You could even interview them about why they're attending and what they're most excited about, and post content from this.

Ensure you also retweet their posts. If they've recently attended an event elsewhere, retweet it saying how excited you are that they'll soon be attending your event.

4) Hashtag it

Think of a short, snappy hashtag for your event that will work across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ensure you include this hashtag in all your communications, both on social media and if you're using email to invite people. This will make a huge difference - Twitter's own research found that brands that include a hashtag in their Tweets receive 50 per cent more engagement than those that don't.

5) Make engagement easy

Build a share button into your event page so your followers can easily promote it. Ensure the content you share works across all social media platforms and allow comments and likes. To increase engagement, it helps to introduce an incentive - offer attendees a discounted ticket if they get a certain number of people to buy tickets themselves. Have the discount grow the more people they get to attend.

If you want to learn more about hospitality management Le Cordon Bleu offers a range of options, from Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management to Bachelor of Business degrees in hotel and restaurant management, to a Master of International Hospitality Management!

To find out how to become a hospitality manager in the digital age, contact Le Cordon Bleu today.

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