8 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Event Marketing
With over 3.7 million active LinkedIn users in Australia, there’s a good chance that all of your prospective delegates are using the platform. Yet it is often overlooked as a social media tool to utilise when attracting attendees.
Here are our top eight techniques to using LinkedIn for event marketing — ensuring your event is the most talked about and eagerly anticipated event you have ever run.
1. Status Update
The most obvious method of communication on LinkedIn is to post a personal update to your connections including a link to your website or Eventbrite page.
This would typically be done by typing a few lines and then copying the url and pasting it into the update. LinkedIn will then scan that page for images and let you choose which image to show in the update. Alternatively, you could use a ‘share to LinkedIn’ button on the Eventbrite event page itself.
If you have a nice standout image on hand, you can also attach it to this post to grab even more attention than the standard link that LinkedIn displays. To add a more prominent image, simply click on the small image icon in the top right corner of the update field and locate the file on your computer. It is also important to make the post interesting and engaging, to increase being seen in the activity feed of your wider network (connections of people that like or comment on your post).
2. Published Post
You can now publish your own long-form content directly onto LinkedIn, which is a great way to boost your events’ numbers by doing some content marketing using this highly effective native tool.
Essentially, the ‘Published post’ tool provides an opportunity to reach a much wider audience. Your direct connections will see this in their feed and notifications, but if it becomes popular there is also a chance of it becoming featured in one of LinkedIn’s channels. Keep posts relevant and interesting rather than blatant advertising to help boost your chances of being seen.
3. Direct Message
You can’t be shy when promoting an event, so you should be familiar with contacting people directly. You can send three types of direct messages on LinkedIn:
This is the paid method of communicating on LinkedIn. An InMail can be sent to anyone provided you have credits which come with premium accounts or they can be purchased separately.
- First tier connection message
You can send a free direct message to anyone you are connected with and you can send one message to up to 50 connections by simply typing their name into the ‘send to’ field. Note – remember to de-select the ‘show email addresses’ box at the bottom.
- Group message
If you share a group with someone you can send them a free, direct message by simply finding them (members tab) in the group and clicking on the ‘send message’ link.
4. Company Page Update
You can also send status updates from a company page (provided you have administrator rights). Company pages cannot connect to people but individuals can chose to follow the updates from your company page. This will normally be a more limited audience (depending on the size and familiarity of your brand), but it is still a good place to keep people informed about your event news.
5. Create a Showcase Page
Showcase pages are separate subsections of a company page that have their own followers. You could create a showcase page for your event and ask relevant people to follow it, this will then allow you to post regular updates about the event. More suitable for large events or an event series where regular updates are useful and new information is more regular.
6. Create a group
Groups are designed to be community-based discussion forums, and they can be a very useful feature for publicising and running events. Create a group specifically for the event and invite people to join – this can include delegates, organisers and speakers.
You can create discussions about the subjects that will be covered during the event and ask the relevant speakers to contribute. This will help the speaker to gauge the audience and create a greater buzz around the event. In addition the discussions could continue after the event allowing delegates to remain in contact with the speakers and other delegates.
7. Speaker Posts
If your event involves speakers then ask them to write an overview of their talk and pose questions that are pertinent to the subject. They could publish this as a post on their own profile which you could then share or just send you the copy and you could publish it from your profile making sure that you quote their name in any status updates you post to promote the post (assuming they are a connection, quoting their name will alert them of this and link to their profile).
There are two ways you can post paid adverts on LinkedIn. You can buy an advert block which works in a very similar way to Google adwords, but by far the most effective method is a sponsored update.
This method allows your update to be specifically targeted at anyone on LinkedIn (location, job title, seniority, industry etc) as opposed to just your connections. Updates are more likely to be seen than a standard ad posting because users browse through their update stream. Additionally, sponsored updates can be seen via mobile and tablet apps — which makes up over 50% of LinkedIn traffic.
So there you have it, eight simple ways to use LinkedIn for event marketing. All of these methods can have a significant impact, but if promoting your events is all you do on LinkedIn, they will be much less effective.
The key to communicating effectively on LinkedIn (as in any marketing) is to post regular, useful and interesting content that is not only about selling you or your events, because this then earns you the right to occasionally post something of a more promotional nature.
If you are a connection and the only time I see anything from you it’s a promotional update, post or message then I will quickly learn to ignore you. A healthy and effective ratio should be one promotional update in every four.
Good luck with your next event!
Have you seen success in promoting your events on LinkedIn? It would be great to hear about your experience in the comments!