Billy Ray Cyrus

Social Proof: How Social Media Can Help Get The Word Out

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Well, good morning!

I’ve got a bit of a twist for you today – we’re NOT going to talk about event planning ... but we are going to talk about how to maximize event awareness and participation using your sphere of influence. There are a number of factors that are BIG things to consider as you go forward in creating the marketing plan for your non-profit event–especially with social proof.  Nulia Events, LLC has been managing these things for a long time, and here are some “behind the scenes” ideas that you can use no matter how big or small your next event is going to be.  Of course, we can handle all this for you, but here’s a look behind the curtain at some of the ways you can raise interest through marketing channels you are probably already using…

But social proof is more than just social media. Now, you are going to use social media, but with a twist on your usual brand of communication.  Everybody is always quick to jump on Facebook when it comes to social media, but the sheer volume of choices may lead you to Periscope, Twitter, or even Pinterest (depending on your event).  Before you do anything, you must first understand and define the target audience for your event. You may find that there are a number of Meetup groups in your area that are aligned with your cause and when you loop those folks in to what you're doing, they can market your event on their social media outlets (less work for you!). Selling a product to raise awareness? Pinterest is a good place to start.  

Without a doubt, the important thing is to build an audience that is connected through similar interests, making them engaged and open to your communications. They become the “apostles” that carry your message forward and link to it into their groups.  Social Proof.  

Let’s take a look at a recent activity that validates this phenomenon – the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Once it started, there was no stopping it, and the organizers needed only had to post a few meaningful and targeted pieces … the apostles did the rest.  It was on Facebook, in your Twitter feed, on the nightly news – everywhere!!!!

As it got bigger, the rainmakers got into it – the celebrities, the bloggers, the “movers and shakers” that made it such a big deal that everybody felt compelled to top what others had done.  And it all started with a few people putting together an exciting and strategic plan that eventually kept making news.  This is a brilliant example of how to use social influence to get others involved and create a media frenzy!

You can even start right in the Twitter feed of those rainmakers. You probably aren’t going to get Taylor Swift to answer a tweet, but if you can generate some momentum (start smaller – think Billy Ray Cyrus instead of Miley), soon you are getting into those six degrees of Kevin Bacon, and now you can get the celebrity – or just a widely-read blogger – to pick up the cause, throw your event a bone, and start to get some traction.

Getting that person to buy in to your idea, though, can be a chore – and this is where posting great content – and comments – can get the feed picked up.  If your Twitter feed just says “Rummage sale to benefit fire victims” – you’re not going to get any movement on the Richter Scale.  But if you throw in a “#” into links about that fire, the news stories associated with it, and what others have done to help, people are going to take notice.  

Simply put – think of the things that you and others in that circle would respond to, and then frame your action and message accordingly. Then, take the next step - what other demographics do you want to engage? Seek those types of outlets, as well.  

Lastly – have fun and convey that attitude in your tactics.  Nobody likes the idea of child abuse, but having a good time raising money to help the victims of it doesn’t have to be a somber experience. Celebrate, don’t mourn and convey that in whatever tack you take. There is enough depressing stuff out there, so show that “attitude of gratitude” and help people look forward to what you’ve got planned. Besides – the social proof is in the pudding – when you create a new reality that is more fun than people would expect, you have brought them something that has real value – and for a good cause!