Most event marketers are well versed in how to leverage social channels like Twitter and Instagram to enhance and amplify their events, but all too often, LinkedIn comes as an afterthought—and for many, that’s a mistake. One of the first digital social networks on the scene, LinkedIn has evolved into a robust business platform, rich with tips and tools for boosting killer live experiences. Following are a few key insights on how to leverage LinkedIn for events.
1. Venue Finding. Sick of occupying the same tired event sites? LinkedIn’s Venue Finding tool could be the answer to finding a fresh new space. The tool serves as a free, comprehensive database that assists in finding the right articles and experts, resulting in specialized results that help the user find the perfect venue—and negotiate rates.
2. Company Page. Before getting to invitations, consider promoting events on your company page to build some initial buzz. Include any news on speakers, the event app and registration info, along with any other details that might pique the target audience’s interest. Links to event-related content should also help generate excitement around the experience.
3. Groups. Building a LinkedIn group around a specific event is a great way to spread the word about a live experience, and can help boost brand awareness in general, particularly if the event is new. But the name of the group has to be relevant and searchable in order to be effective. Key words and an accurate description of the event and its purpose will lead the way in attracting the target audience.
4. Targeted Invitations. If other tricks and tools aren’t yielding the volume or type of attendees you’re hoping to attract, consider using LinkedIn’s search tools to create targeted event invitations. The Advanced People Search allows users to filter results by key word, industry, location, company and several other criteria. The approach may even produce interested sponsors or strategic media contacts, so pay close attention to the results.
5. Publishing. Just like its more popular social media counterparts, LinkedIn allows users to post status updates. The option gives event marketers an easy way to broadcast the details of an upcoming event and generate buzz, especially when a striking photo and/or a link to more event-related content are included. Also be sure to highlight how the event will professionally benefit your audience, and remember to post updates during regular business hours when more LinkedIn users are likely to be active.
6. Post-Event Interaction. Savvy event marketers know that the work is never done after an event ends. Keep momentum from the experience going by taking advantage of any important connections made during the live experience. Sending customized connection requests to key contacts after the event will help you develop stronger relationships with individuals who have the potential to become future business allies. And don’t sweat it if you don’t have something explicit to say to those new connections right off the bat. Simply interacting with their posts will help keep you top of mind.
When you break it all down, the majority of the platform’s features are built for amplifying content. And since LinkedIn is one of the only social media sites that specifically cater to the business community, the people likely to consume that content are like-minded professionals. So, give it a whirl—it may just be the missing link you were looking for.