You can now add event planners to the list of occupations embracing social media . . . and, as has been the case with other professionals surveyed in earlier studies (marketers, retailers, SMB owners, etc.), it seems Facebook is clearly their number one social media site of choice.
Online marketing firm Constant Contact surveyed small businesses and nonprofits late last year. Nearly 500 event planners in business-to-business, business-to-consumer and nonprofit organizations participated, and their responses showed that these professional not only view social media as a critical marketing tool, but they fully expect its importance will only increase going forward.
Among the findings:
- 77 percent of event planners already use one or more social media outlets to broadcast their event news, with another 14 percent expecting to do so this year.
- Of those who currently market on social media, more than 80 percent predicted that their social media efforts will increase in 2012, with the remaining respondents indicating that the amount of time and effort they spend doing so will remain about the same.
- Nine out of ten respondents stated they use Facebook to promote events, followed by Twitter at 66 percent and LinkedIn at 54 percent.
- Many of these professionals see other uses for social media beyond being simply a promotion tool. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) said they hope to use it to gather feedback from those who attended past events, and 63 percent would like to keep in touch with past attendees in order to keep their level of engagement high.
- The event planners who do not currently use social media for marketing admitted that their main reason was that they didn’t know how (54 percent) or that they found using it too time consuming (39 percent).
“An event –be it a networking gathering, open house, fundraiser, or class — is by nature a social affair, so it makes perfect sense that social media would be a fantastic tool to help plan, promote, and build excitement,” explained Chris Lister, vice president and general manager of event marketing for Constant Contact. “If the goal is to get as many people as possible interested in your event, social media is a perfect complement for spreading the word to your core base of customers, members, and beyond.”
Online marketing for event planners is not limited to social media, however.
The vast majority of those polled (91 percent ) reported they use email marketing. Nearly as many (85 percent) employ online event management/marketing tools, and 77 percent stated websites played an important role in marketing. Nearly 70 percent said they use print advertising.