Event marketing with LinkedIn is an effective way to increase attendance and engagement for your next event.
With over 396 million members, LinkedIn represents a huge opportunity for event promotion. And although marketers dominate in using the platform for lead generation, very few are using it specifically to promote events.
The best part? Unlike Facebook where organic reach is heavily declining, you don’t necessarily have to spend money on ads to reach a large audience on LinkedIn.
Here are some of our favorite techniques to use LinkedIn for event marketing. These tips can all be used to increase attendee engagement & ticket sales, attract new event sponsors, and amplify your event messages.
1. Leverage Existing LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great way to tap into an existing community built around a shared interest. You can easily find groups for interests related to your event by using the search bar at the top of the page. From the dropdown menu on the left of the search box, select Groups, then type in the keyword you wish to find groups for.
As you type, LinkedIn will auto-suggest groups that fit your keyword. Check out different groups to see which are the best fit for your event. Keep in mind that LinkedIn Groups are all about shared interests and most frown on self-promotion. You wouldn’t walk into a room full of strangers and just start shouting a commercial for your event, so don’t do the online equivalent by joining a group just to drop links to your registration page.
Instead, check out the group rules (most have them posted on the right sidebar) and browse through the conversations to see what kinds of topics group members are interested in. If your event is genuinely a good fit, contact the group admin(s) to ask them to share your event with the group. While you can certainly share yourself, broadcasts from the admins have a much larger reach and will give you the best chance at getting your event in front of all or most of the group members.
To find the group admins, click on the members under the group name. The Members List will have a tab that lists all admins for the group.
A personal approach is best when reaching out to a group admin. Introduce yourself, share why you think your event is a good fit for promotion to their group, and share a few key details with them (date, ticket cost, registration link, etc..). Don’t forget to specifically ask for what you want – them to broadcast the event to their group.
Don’t forget to specifically ask for what you want – them to broadcast the event to their group. Group admins are often willing to share your event with their members when you include a special incentive such as early access to tickets, ticket discounts, or other bonuses exclusive to group members.
2. Create Your Own LinkedIn Group
This LinkedIn event marketing technique works especially well for recurring events. A LinkedIn group for your event can help connect attendees before and after the event, providing a central place for them to ask questions and facilitate discussion around the event topics.
As admin of your own LinkedIn group, you’ll be able to share company updates about the event, links to registration, and other information about the event. An often-overlooked benefit is being able to ask for live feedback as you plan out event details using group polls & discussion topics.
3. Targeted LinkedIn Invitations
Did you know you can use LinkedIn to search for people in your target audience that you’re already connected to? Using the Advanced People Search, you can filter the results by how you’re connected (1st connection, 2nd connection, part of the same group, etc…), as well as by keyword, industry, and location.
You can use the Advanced People Search function to find people that would benefit by attending your event, media contacts that may be interested in covering the event for their outlet, potential event sponsors, or my favorite – people to help you promote your event to their respective communities.
4. Mention Your Speakers, Organizers, Volunteers, & Sponsors
People like recognition. When you talk about event speakers, organizers, volunteers, or sponsors on LinkedIn, make sure you tag them so they receive a notification. That gets your post on their radar and you’ll often see them like or share the update. Every like or share your LinkedIn post receives increases its exposure, putting your content in front of new connections.
5. Company Updates
As the host of an event, it makes sense to share information about the event on your company’s LinkedIn page. Some ideas for posts you can make on your company page:
- Share a link to your upcoming events calendar
- Call for speakers/proposals
- Sponsor recognition
- Ticket sale dates
- Speakers or topics being covered at the event
- Information about the venue
- Photos from a past event
6. LinkedIn Company Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages on LinkedIn are an extension of your company page. Users are able to follow an event Showcase Page to receive updates and information specific to the event.
They’re particularly useful for large organizations where only a sub-section of their audience may be interested in a given event or for organizations that host a variety of events all targeted at different audiences.
7. Personal Updates
Don’t underestimate the power of updates posted on personal profiles. When you share links or updates on your personal LinkedIn profile, they are visible to your connections in their personal feed. You can write your own updates or share updates from your company page.
When you share a post from a company page, you have the option of also sharing it with a group you are part of. Just remember the guidelines from our first LinkedIn event marketing tip at the beginning of this post – be sure to follow group guidelines and avoid shameless self-promotion.
8. LinkedIn Posts
Also known as long-form posts, LinkedIn Posts are basically the equivalent of blog posts published on the LinkedIn platform. The content you publish is listed in the Posts section of your personal LinkedIn profile and is shared with your connections and followers.
Posts have the added benefit of being searchable by users that are not part of your personal network. If they like what they read, they can subscribe to receive updates the next time you publish a post.
Bonus tip: To amp up the reach of your post, try writing it with the goal of being featured in the Pulse section of LinkedIn. This is the area where Linken curates posts on topics they think will be “interesting & relevant” to their users.
You can access this area of LinkedIn by navigating to Interests, then selecting Pulse from the drop down menu. The hamburger menu in the upper left of your screen will help you filter posts based on categories.
LinkedIn keeps their algorithm a secret for how they select posts for each category, but reading through a few posts in the topics related to your event can give you some general insights for crafting your own post.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to use LinkedIn for event marketing without spending money on ads. Like any other social media platform you use for your business or organization, make sure you’re sharing useful content, avoid being overly-promotion, and don’t forget to have a little fun.
Top Image: Nan Palmero on Flickr