LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe. It’s an important tool in the social media-savvy event planners toolkit, the suited-and-booted serious one that’s strictly business. No frivolous food pics to be found here, that’s for sure.
Event professionals are a pretty savvy lot when it comes to getting the most out of LinkedIn.
- You know that keeping your profiles up-to-date and full of juicy keywords is a great way to show the world what you’re all about.
- You’re great at using LinkedIn to connect with the new people you meet at events.
- You’re adept at navigating the 1.5 million groups on LinkedIn to find the ones where your audience is lurking, and using these groups to share timely and relevant content that you’ve created.
But what’s the one thing you could be doing on LinkedIn to get the most out of the platform, that most people don’t think to try? What’s the secret sauce for getting the best people out to your event via LinkedIn?
Is it advertising? You can run PPC campaigns on LinkedIn, and there’s some great info out there on how to optimise for success. This is a great tool, but that’s not what we’re hinting at.
Could it be setting up a great business page? More than 2.9 million companies have LinkedIn pages, and with access to analytics and the ability to get content in front of your followers, it’s a solid tactic to pursue. But that’s not it either.
There’s one thing you could be doing to improve your event attendance using LinkedIn, and it’s so simple you’ll kick yourself if you haven’t tried it before.
Are you ready to find out what it is?
The one bulletproof way that events professionals can use LinkedIn is….
That’s right. Personal invitations. It might sound time consuming, but it’s a great way of getting the right people out to your event. Dig out your list from last year and see how many of those people you’re connected with on LinkedIn already. It’s probably quite a few. A few weeks out, spend a couple of hours putting together personalised messages for these people (this definitely isn’t a good tactic to use last minute, as it can look like you’re trying to boost your numbers).
If you’re confident your event is a good fit for them, they’re guaranteed to appreciate the time and effort spent into their personal invite. You can even go one step further and set up a discount code just for them – VIPSTEVE for example – that they can share with their colleagues and associates.
Another way you can use personal messaging to create a more engaged audience is to ask a question about the event format. Ask them if there’s a particular speaker they would like to see this time around, or if they’d prefer a wine tasting or a beer sampling at the after party. Make sure it’s something you can deliver on, and show that you’re listening to their responses. Not only will you get feedback, your attendees will feel like you’re really paying attention to their needs.
In a world full of rapid communications and bulk messaging, a little personal touch goes a long way.
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live brings a seamless social experience to events, conferences and exhibitions using a combination of mobile applications and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) swipe cards to streamline information sharing.
This post was written by Clemi Hardie, founder and MD of Noodle Live.