3 Ways to Maximize Your Venue’s Reach on Social Platforms

3 Ways to Maximize Your Venue's Reach on Social Platforms

When Microsoft launched its ad campaign for its new search engine, Bing, it hired New York City dog walkers to wear shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Ask me about Bing". While dog-walkers may not be the best billboards for advertising in your city, social networking websites are great advertisers in any city. Here are some ideas to get the information out about your music, theater or entertainment venue, and events in order to maximize your venue's reach.

Utilize Facebook Events

You might already have your own Facebook page (We do) that fans can "like". However, if you do, are you utilizing your page by using event invitations? Make a Facebook event for each of your actual events and invite all your venue customers and fans who like your page. Posting each event separately and inviting people through Facebook is an excellent way to advertise your events in a forum people use every day without overwhelming them with emails. In addition, when someone RSVPs to your event, it will appear in the person’s profile, perhaps piquing the interest of others who may not have previously known about your organization.

Offer Incentives for Retweeting

You have a Twitter account, and you are actively promoting events. Now, consider a contest where users who retweet you are eligible for a free ticket or other prize. Another contest might ask users to include your Twitter handle when tweeting about your events. These methods may gain followers and increase event attendance. For example, you might offer a free ticket to the 100th (or 10th, or 50th, or 5,000th, you get the idea) Twitter user who retweets the message. Opening up your tweets and information about your venue to a broader audience makes up for the price of the free ticket will probably more than pay for the price of a free ticket or other award.

Do make sure you follow Twitter's contest guidelines and best practices and that you review their terms of service. (Thank you to @toddbarnard for his guidance!)

Make Your Tweets Searchable with Hashtags

Another promotional tool involves using hashtags in your tweets. Hashtags are search terms and key words that within a tweet and denoted by a pound sign followed by a term (ex: #hashtag). Tags of multiple words shouldn’t include spaces between words. For example, for our own ThunderTix account, we might use the hashtags #thundertix or #tickets within our tweets, and Austin Film Festival might include #aff11 or #filmfestival within their tweets.

To get started, think about terms people might search and include them in your tweets. You can also check out hashtags.org, a third-party site that tracks trends in hashtags. Finally, you might also take a look at this Twitter wiki to learn more about hashtags. And if you’re still not sure what hashtags to use, don’t worry. The best way to learn how to effectively use hashtags is to pay attention to how other Tweeters use them.

Do you have any other power plays you incorporate in your social networking programs? We'd love to hear your feedback!