The Need for Social Media
Event professionals, in the current scenario, have a lot of competition out there. With the transformation in the events industry itself, the nature of events has changed from simple social gatherings to an essential tool for marketing and a medium for growth.
To keep up with these changes and to outweigh the competition, event professionals must make use of multiple strategies to generate leads, promote their events and build a network.
The Professional Social Platform
Talking about social media platforms for event professionals, one of the best platforms to build your professional network in the industry is LinkedIn. As per the latest report by the Event Manager Blog, based on more than 1000 responses, 80% of Event Professionals consider LinkedIn to one of the most popular channels for event planners to be active on.
LinkedIn provides a variety of solutions from LinkedIn premium, Talent Solutions, Slideshare to LinkedIn groups. Each of these solutions can be leveraged for multiple purposes including event staffing, growing your business and network, content marketing for your event as well as your event business.
LinkedIn has been the B2B go to for a while now. For corporate event planners, especially, LinkedIn can be a really helpful platform that can help you grow your business. In this article, we shall delve into the basics of LinkedIn that can be utilized by event professionals to make the most of the platform.
Learn all about leveraging this platform to grow your career as an event professional along with your event:
1. Set up the perfect LinkedIn profile:
Talking about the basics of LinkedIn, the first step to getting started is to create and set up the perfect LinkedIn profile. Before getting started with the platform, it is better to map out the kind of image you would like to create through your LinkedIn presence. Then begin editing your profile accordingly.
Set up your profile picture, banner and add the perfect tagline to your name. Use keywords that are relevant. If you are a certified event or meeting planner, make sure to include it with your name (Extensions such as CEP, CMP, etc.).
Use keywords such as ‘events,’ ‘conferences,’ ‘meetings,’ etc. based on the kind of events you’re looking to plan. Your LinkedIn profile should indefinitely highlight all your experiences and strengths that could work in your favour.
2. Add connections to build your network:
LinkedIn can work wonders in terms of networking if used correctly. One of the initial ways to build a good LinkedIn profile and make the most of the platform is to connect with relevant people. How do you do that? Build relevant connections.
Begin with researching on best practices to build your network on LinkedIn. Create a plan in terms of the kind of people you would like to connect with, people who can become your potential leads. Find relevant people to connect with. Filter connections based on companies, job, designations and even location as per your requirement.
Create an effective message that will persuade these people to accept your request to connect. Make it a habit to send at least 10 relevant connections a day. Overall, LinkedIn members can have a maximum of 30,000 1st-degree connections.
LinkedIn does have its limitations for a free account and the number of invitations you can send at a time. But do not worry if you do exhaust this limit. LinkedIn renews your account limit the 1st of every month. You can go ahead with your strategy to connect with relevant people once your account limit is renewed at the beginning of the next month.
3. Follow related LinkedIn pages:
They say knowledge is power. LinkedIn can be a great source of finding relevant update and resources related to the events industry. Recently, especially with the upsurge of the video feature on LinkedIn, influencers across the platform have been sharing a lot of great event industry content including videos, blogs, articles, graphics, etc.
There are a lot of great pages out there that share amazing and relevant content that could be of use to you. Find such list of pages and follow them. Check out the content these pages share on a daily basis to keep yourself updated.
It also provides you with an opportunity to understand and analyze the competition. Make a list of competitors that you would like to understand, follow their pages, stay updated with the kind of content they are sharing as well. Understand what works for a majority of these pages and what doesn’t and apply it all to your own event marketing strategy.
4. Create your own company page:
The basics that have been shared so far are mainly to get you settled down. Once you set it all up, it is also necessary that you create a company page of your own to promote your event business and your events.
Prepare a visually appealing banner and logo for your business and events. Write an engaging bio that gives potential customers who visit your page a glimpse of what you do and the kind of events you plan.
You can mention your past clients in your bio as well. Apart from this, ensure that you send out quality content through your page. Your leads are looking for updates and good resources on the platform.
Sharing useful and versatile content including pictures, videos, blogs, etc. will help you gain loyal followers for your page. It is a slow and steady process, gaining followers on LinkedIn.
You can maximize outreach by sharing valuable content from your own website or from other related blogs or publication in the industry and tag them as well. Company pages are a great way to showcase your event business and put across your work.
5. Join and create groups to increase engagement:
Another great feature to get the word out about your services, events and more, LinkedIn groups give you a platform where you can connect with people from your niche. The free version of LinkedIn lets you be a member of up to 50 groups at a time.
From personal experience, even a couple of relevant active groups can help you drive a lot of engagement and gain valuable leads through LinkedIn. Sort out the list of groups based on your niche. For e.g. groups such as Event Planning & Event Management — the 1st Group for Event Professionals, Event Pros, Eventellects, etc. are great for connecting with fellow event planners, meeting professional etc.
You can also share your website, blogs, case studies, etc. on these groups to gain an audience. These groups help you in strengthening your network as well as gain valuable advice and suggestions from professionals in your field.
Be sure to remain active in LinkedIn groups, help out other members when you can and share your own content that you feel might be relevant and interesting for fellow professionals. Creating your own LinkedIn group can also help you generate more leads from the platform as well as drive engagement to your website as well as the LinkedIn page.
6. Leverage the power of LinkedIn Ads:
Think of this as a bonus step once you’re all set up with the platform when you have the budget. LinkedIn ads are relatively more expensive than other platforms.
But due to LinkedIn’s extensive targeting feature and competitive auction, you can definitely reach out to a number of relevant leads through LinkedIn. LinkedIn lets you set up multiple types of ads including:
- Text Ads
- Sponsored Content
- Display Ads
LinkedIn also provides advertising partner solution including Premium Display Advertising, Sponsored InMail and Follow Company Ads. Follow company ads are a great way to drive the traffic to your company page and take it on from there.
You can set up ads as per your budget and promote your events, event website or business accordingly. LinkedIn also provides Lead Retrieval tools including lead forms that you can integrate with your Sponsored Ads. From content, graphics to taglines, each kind of ad has a set of guidelines that you must follow.
If done right, you can generate a lot of valuable leads by combining the LinkedIn Lead Retrieval tool along with LinkedIn ads. We shall elaborate on these LinkedIn ads in our upcoming articles as well. Be sure to stay tuned.
This is just to get you started on the platform and get acquainted with the basics if you haven’t already. In our upcoming article series, we will take you through multiple aspects of LinkedIn that can be valuable to you as event professionals.
Have your own LinkedIn tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, LinkedIn.
Know more about us here.