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  • Isaac Hananiah
  • Isaac Hananiah

    22nd March 2018

Social Media Marketing Guide – Webinars and Webcasts

Get Social

We’ve all heard of it, most of us use it but very few know how to make the most of it. Social Media is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to Digital Marketing as it gives your organisation access to a targeted audience, with all your content becoming easily accessible and shareable.

So how can you use it to promote your webinars and webcasts?

This guide will take an in depth look at the top three social media platforms and how they are used. It will also provide you with a checklist and timeline for marketing your digital events.

What’s included?

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Creating Sticky Topics
  • Creating Social Media Images
  • Social Media Marketing Timeline

Facebook is more than just a collection of funny cat pictures and memes. It is in fact one of the best places to advertise your webinars and webcasts. All of your Facebook content is easily visible and shareable, and if used correctly can reach an extremely large audience. Depending on the type of event you are running and your budget, you can choose to post to Facebook for free or take advantage of Facebook sponsored ads and boosted posts.

Free

If your business has a limited budget, Facebook is the perfect avenue to advertise your event. It’s a great way to share information with people who have already demonstrated an interest in your organisation and are likely to want to attend your event. A good idea is to encourage your presenters or other members of your organisation to share/like and comment on your posts as this will make them more visible to their own database thus increasing their reach.

Sponsored Ads

Research has shown that on average, free advertising reaches only 16% of your Facebook community. This is where sponsored ads come in. Depending on how much you would like to spend, you can choose your budget and daily/monthly limit which will determine how many  people your post will reach. You can also choose a target demographic for your audience based on their location/age/gender/interests or any other indicator you choose.

A great feature of sponsored ads is that you can choose to include a call to action button e.g. register/sign up now which makes it easier for your audience to engage.

So where do you begin?

Step 1: Go to www.facebook.com/ads/create or click Create Campaign in the top right of Ads Manager
Step 2: Choose your campaign objective
Step 3: Name your campaign
Step 4: Choose your audience
Step 5: Choose where you would like your ad to appear. You also have the option to connect with Instagram
Step 6: Choose your budget and schedule
Step 7: You can choose to advertise an existing post or create a new one
Step 8: Once you have reviewed your post, click ‘place order’ and you’re done!

Boosting Posts

Boosted posts are very similar to sponsored ads, as they allow you to promote your post to a select demographic. This feature is available for all existing posts by simply clicking on the ‘boost post’ button. You can then choose your target audience and budget, which will determine how long your post will be advertised.

Step 1: Click ‘Boost Post’
Step 2: Select your audience + budget

The Perfect Facebook Post

Believe it or not there is actually a science to posting on Facebook. For example, posts which are shared at 3pm receive more likes than posts at any other time of the day, and Thursdays and Fridays have been shown to be the best days to post for the greatest amount of reach.

The perfect Facebook post is short, snappy and visual. Instead of just giving a brief overview of your event, you should ask questions or provide interesting statistics to grab your audiences’ attention.

Research has shown that posts below 250 characters gain 60% more engagement than longer posts and those with pictures are 39% more successful than text based ones. You should also provide a Facebook generated thumbnail link to your event (make sure you remove the long URL from the post once the thumbnail has been created) and add a picture to accompany it.

TIP! To keep your posts short, include additional information in your picture
i.e. time/date/cost and include only the question/statistic and short summary in the text post.

Photo sizing

You also need to make sure that your posts are the right size so they don’t come up skewed and blurry. The optimal size for shared photos is 1200 x 900 px (must be at least 399 x 150 px). File sizes under 100 KB are optimal and PNG is the best format for images with text.

How does your Facebook match up to competitors?

You can check how well your Facebook page is doing and compare it to others using www.likealyzer.com. This tool will give you a score based on your engagement/likes/growth and other factors, identifying where you are doing well and what can be improved. Simply go to Likealyzer and type in your Facebook URL.

2 BufferSocial, 2016 ‘7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page’, via https://blog.bufferapp.com/7-facebook-stats-you-should-know-for-a-more-engaging-page

LinkedIn is one of the oldest social media networks and has been rated among the top sites as a source of trusted information. It is viewed as a more professional platform than Facebook and Twitter, so you should consider a business oriented tone. You can choose to post to LinkedIn organically or utilise the sponsored updates feature.

Here is a breakdown:

Free/Organic

Like Facebook, LinkedIn free advertising is a great way to reach your personal and professional database. You need to provide a short and interesting event overview, link to the registration page and a photo.

While Facebook posts can be very light-hearted, your LinkedIn posts should be a little more professional as LinkedIn is generally seen as a more serious social networking site. The post can also be targeted towards a specific audience in your database based on their interests. You should also encourage your presenters and colleagues to share your LinkedIn content to increase your post reach.

Groups are also a great way to start a discussion and get your audience involved. Consider creating a group for your webinars, inviting your community and then facilitating discussions around your events. For example, if you are hosting a webinar or webcast on leadership, pose a question to your group that asks them about their leadership experiences.

*By the Numbers: 125+ Amazing LinkedIn Statistics via http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-fewimportant-linkedin-stats

Sponsored Updates

LinkedIn sponsored updates allow you to choose a budget and audience for your post. You can choose your audience based on their job title/function, industry, company size and position level. You can set your budget based on clicks and impressions, and LinkedIn will stop promoting your event once the budget has run out.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Go to https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/ads,  click on ‘Manage Ads’ and select your company account.
Step 2: In the top right hand side, click on ‘Create Campaign’.
Step 3: Name your campaign
Step 4: Choose the post you would like to sponsor and click on ‘Sponsor Selected’ in the top right of the box
Step 5: Select your target audience based on their location, industry and job title. To save time, you should also click on ‘Save audience as template’ so you can re-use it in the future.
Step 6: Select your budget – Make sure to set a daily budget and an end date to your campaign. It is also a good idea to match the bid to the highest recommended as this will mean that your content will always appear at the top for your audience.

The Perfect LinkedIn Post

In order to create the perfect LinkedIn post, you have to follow a few key steps. Firstly, the title of your post needs to be less than 70 characters long as anything longer than this will be cut off when posted on your page. You should try asking questions and using numbers and statistics to get your audiences’ attention (more on good titles below!).

The post also needs to be short, as posts over 250 characters will be cut off with ellipsis and you are likely to lose your audiences’ interest. Make sure you provide a link to your event which should be displayed as a LinkedIn generated thumbnail or a short link if you are using a picture advertisement with the link in the description.

On LinkedIn, you also have the ability to change the text of the title and overview, and upload a customised picture in the link thumbnail. The link appears larger than the post text so you should focus on making the contents of the link stand out. Make sure to always use a picture as this will help to grab the audiences attention.

It took three years, two months and one day from the first tweet sent to get to the billionth tweet sent. It now only takes one week to send a billion tweets. Twitter is constantly buzzing and getting on top of this social media platform can make all the difference.

However, Twitter can be a little tricky to navigate due to the 140 character post limits and the hashtag feature. Let’s take a look at how to become #professionaltweeters.

Shorter Posts

140 characters may seem a little short, but it becomes even shorter when you have to include a URL and/or picture which takes up a portion of the character count. Luckily, there are a few little tricks you can use to make the most of the shorter posts.

TinyURL.com
Use this website to condense long and messy URLs into simple and shorter ones.

Picture this…
Instead of trying to fit all of your information into a short post, why not create an image with the main event details included?

By the Numbers: 170+ Amazing Twitter Statistics via http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-importantlinkedin-stats
Hubspot, 2014 ‘How to Craft Perfect Posts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter’, via http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/create-perfect-socialmedia-posts
slideshare#sm.00001oabmweon2djjwl6mginqmo81

Creating Sticky Headlines

Once you start promoting your event, you will be faced with the difficult task of making your post stand out. Among the thousands of posts on people’s feeds, why should they click on yours?

We have mentioned previously that you need to include questions, statistics or interesting facts in your headline, so lets take a look at some examples below:

  1. Ask the Question
    We all love to ponder now and then. Using the words how, why and when resonates with people and will get them thinking about their own learning objectives.Creating employee training programs that work vs How effective are your employee training programs?
  2. Use Numbers
    Be upfront and let people know what they’re going to walk away with. People love numbers and lists – they spark curiosity and will definitely increase click through rates.Creating employee training programs that work vs 7 ways to increase employee engagement
  3. Be Negative
    We know, we know, positivity is preferred – but trust us, this actually works! Reversing your topics will grab the attention of your audience.Creating employee training programs that work vs How not to create employee training programs

As well as trying out the tips above always remember that each audience is different and your post content will vary depending on the type of event you are hosting.

#Hashtags

The hashtag feature has become a Twitter and social media icon. It is used to categorise your Tweet depending on the key words you choose to hashtag, helping them become more visible in the Twitter Search. Once someone clicks on the hashtag, they are taken to a database of all the Tweets marked with that keyword.

Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle or end and there isn’t a limit to how many words you can hashtag.

TIP! Only hashtag one or two words per Tweet as an overly ‘hashtagged’ tweet can become annoying. This way, only the most important words e.g. event or webinar, will stand out and your tweet will be added to the most relevant Twitter database.

Tagging
If you are mentioning someone in your post, make sure you tag them using the @ feature. This will make their name appear in your post and create a link to their profile. It will also make your Tweet visible on their profile.

A picture tells a thousand words – or in the case of social media it saves you your valuable character space. Condensing a large amount of information into a short and snappy social media post can be tricky. Instead of thinking of creative ways to re-invent grammar so your post doesn’t go over your Twitter character count, why not include an image with the information instead?

Canva
Budget = Free

Canva is your best friend when it comes to creating images for social media. There are thousands of free templates and images for you to play around with which will help you create what you need for your post.

Flickr & Pinterest
Budget = Free

These websites are your gateway to a large database of free and sharable images. You can use the images both for your events and day-to-day social media to help engage your followers and increase your audience. However, always be sure to double check the privacy settings.

Timeline Action
2-3 weeks before Search for relevant blogs/articles and any other content related to your topic.
Choose 1-2 pieces of content which seem the most interesting and share them on your social media pages
10 days before Open registrations for your event and create launch posts – include links to register
7 days before Create a ‘Did you know’ post relating to the topic to capture interest
4 days before Post a reminder for the event and try to capture a quote from your presenter
1 day before Post a Last to Chance to Register image
Post Event Post a link to the archive and include key take-aways as a teaser

 

In order to get the best results for your event you should always combine your social media with a strategic email marketing campaign. You can view a step-by-step guide here.

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