Social media smarts: Find them. Engage them. Convert Them.

by: Sundeep Kapur

A friend of mine runs marketing for a financial institution. They used to host a quarterly financial best practices workshop to enhance relationships with existing members and also attract a few new consumers. Their marketing process was simple; they would do a direct mail drop, following it up with some online advertising, an ad in the paper a few days before the event, and some desperate last minute calls to fill the final seats. They ended up with reasonable success – 60-70 attendees, a few empty seats, and about 12 people signing up for their offerings.

Two summers ago, their printer missed the direct mail drop and we (I joined them) were panicked into using social media. Our panicked approach resulted in more than 300 consumers showing up (standing room only), lots of pre-event questions, and confirmed appointments with our experts even before the main event started.

What was our end result? We spent $4500 less per event in the advertising with a 400 – 500% boost in attendance. Our conversion rate improved to 30% and almost everyone who came to the event had something positive to say about the event.

We documented our approach into an effective process. We write an article about the next event on our blog and promote it via Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn. We even get our speakers to record a short video about the event and the first 20 people to sign up are invited to interact with the speaker in a smaller setting. Every attendee is encouraged to complete a two-question survey on social media that keeps adding to our testimonial library.

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