Long before there was social media there were real live events. From the first time that a bunch of cavemen hung out around the fire trying to figure out the best strategy to get that darn mammoth, through to the students sitting under a Greek olive grove listening to Socrates explain his penchant for Hemlock-Cola, all the way to today’s massive trade shows which can spread throughout several million square feet of convention space… these live events have been around nearly forever and have only recently been transplanted to some degree to the social networking sphere.

A holistic approach appeals to a wide audience

Any event producer must keep foremost in mind that social media marketing events and their associated strategies are not necessarily exclusive of their face to face counterparts and vice versa. Indeed they are essentially complimentary and must be seen as just another way to get people from a wide variety of backgrounds and geographical areas to connect with each other, share information, and interact to the fullest degree. It is this integral complementarity which drives event producers to embrace social media events and promotions in order to arrive at a holistic approach which is of value to the widest possible audience.

Dovetail your online & physical events through social media

Your physical event can be continually promoted by a broad variety of postings and online events to your social media circles of followers across the networks where your event maintains a presence. Strategically and properly timed email invitations are one of the preferred ways to target potential attendees for the dovetailing online and physical events but through the implementation of a coherent social media strategy you’re actually able to increase your frequency of solicitation from that which would be widely considered excessive if it were conducted via email. You will be able to reach your potential audience more frequently through posts and tweets to keep their interest piqued than if you were sending out massive email newsletters each time you announce an online event that is complimentary to your physical one.

Key your approach to the online channel

Of course each channel’s approach is keyed into the specific format and thus must adhere to the conventional expectations of your subscribers, followers, and fans. When one of your prospects is reading a tweet they fully expect you to give them a short sampling of something related to your event’s promotion within the strict 140-character limit imposed by Twitter. However, when they are reading a Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ post a paragraph or two is fully acceptable. The full details in a complete marketing pitch format is best reserved for the email newsletter which is designed to provide a total spectrum description of the value proposition of your entire event, both in its online and in its physical incarnations.

Never exceed a 3:1 promotional to informational ratio

It is a general rule of thumb on the social media side that you should never exceed a 3:1 ratio on your promotional vs. informational posts and tweets. That translates into having at least one post or tweet that essentially does not promote your event in any way shape or form, for each three that do. The reason for this ratio is that if you exceed it and barrage your followers and fans with too much “pitching” they will soon become calloused to your approach and see your social media presences as being nothing other than a way for you to hype and hawk your event. In social media circles, this perception can be the kiss of death for any brand. In order to avoid alienating your fans and followers the insertion of at least 25% of the content being not pushing your event at all can reassure them that you are attempting to provide a full range of value to them which transcends their purchase of a ticket to your event.

There are an almost infinite variety of online events which you can create in order to promote your physical events, so when you select them to be complementary to each other you’re on the winning track!