Creating a marketing plan for a venue can be challenging in general, making social media for venues even trickier. Whether you’re opening your first event venue or need some fresh ideas, read on. Here are ten ideas to consider when creating and implementing your social media plan for your venue.
1. Visual storytelling
When thinking of social media for venues, consider the fact that you’re selling an event space.
What does that mean for you?
It means you’re marketing to planners who want to transform that space to fit their needs. How flexible is it? What are the myriad of different events that have all looked totally different that took place in your venue? Telling the story of each event with visuals will help planners with that creative spark they need to envision their event in your venue.
Having an active blog is a key component in social media for venues. Especially given that prospective clients want to know more about what it would be like doing business with you and what goes on behind-the-scenes of your space. Taking the content marketing road with a blog gives you a lot of room to show off the venue’s selling points. Start with easy to produce content like event recaps, team or client interviews, and then test out more complex topics.
Using venue hashtags can work wonders for your social media presence, but creating your own unique hashtag can be a game changer.
Come up with a personalized hashtag for your venue, include that hashtag in each post (particularly on Instagram), and encourage your followers and venue visitors to do the same. Doing this will allow ALL photos with that hashtag to show up when people click on your hashtag, making it easy for people to see the different ways your venue can be used, encouraging creativity in new clients, and serving as free advertising.
4. Live video
There seems to be a commonality amongst people, brands, and businesses who create a constant stream of content and have a large social media following: they’re using social media in unique, high-impact ways. Live video is one of those mediums.
Showing the pre, during, and post event peek will bring your followers into the fold in a memorable way. Not to mention, having a venue presents a ton of opportunities to show off what you do and how well you do it. Is your in-house AV team the best in the biz? Are your catering creations light years ahead of competitors’? Do a few short videos on InstaStories, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook showing the transition your venue makes when it goes from a blank canvas to a decorated space.
If you have a backlog of photos of your space, don’t just use it for your website. Use Pinterest to showcase your venue and to inspire planers considering your venue. The more versatility shown in your space, the better. Create a board for social, corporate, or association events. Or, why not try showing your venue during the day versus events hosted at night? There is no shortage of how you can show off your space on Pinterest.
Not every venue hosts just social events. Maybe you host corporate events or medical meetings. Whatever the case may be, get yourself on LinkedIn and connect with your potential clients. Be it financial advisors, CEOs, religious organizations, and others who may need to rent your space in order to host a fundraiser, company dinner or event, or even a holiday party.
Facebook has so many new features embedded that it’s hard to ignore it as a channel to market your venue. There’s photo, live video, micro-communities, groups, and more.
Even if you don’t partake in the added features Facebook has to offer, just using basic best practices are a great place to start. Engage with your following and be sure to answer any messages in a timely manner. You never know if your next lead could come from a Facebook message!
Twitter is made for quick, easily digestible content. While you may think it’s an insurmountable challenge to tell planners of all the wonders of your venue but it’s actually a great channel for venues.
You can do live videos, photo clusters, and attach animated gifs to posts. Twitter is another channel where you can leverage visuals to tell the story versus the content.
9. Word of mouth:
It’s no secret– some of the best marketing you’ll ever receive isn’t social media for venues. It’s via word of mouth. The happier your clients are when they’re event is over, the more likely you are to receive a Thank You via social media. And that Thank You can easily lead to another booking. Encourage clients to review you on Yelp or Facebook and leave photos from their event.
10. Scope your comps
There’s no shame in finding out what the next person is doing, so go ahead and insta-stalk your competition to see what they’re posting and what engagement those posts generate. Are they posting all day? What content seems to drive the most traffic and engagement? Take notes of what may or may not be working for your competitors and use that to your advantage.
Social media for venues requires time and effort, but it will pay off in getting your event venue on the map.
Don’t take it from us: what are your social media tips for venues? Give us a holler with your tips on Twitter or in the comments below.