Why Social Media Shouldn’t be Your Primary Lead Generation Tactic

Why Social Media Shouldn't be Your Primary Lead Generation Tactic

When talking with venue owners and in-house event planners, I always ask them about what kind of marketing they do for their events business. I’ve been working in the online marketing world for my entire career, and I’m a bit of a marketing nerd and am always curious about what others are doing, how they feel it’s working, and if I can offer up any help.

Here is what I hear the most: “We’re on social media!”

Me: “And how’s that working for you?”

Them: “Well, we get leads, but not enough.”

Social media marketing works because, as a brand, showing up where your desired audience hangs out in the virtual world and interacting with them organically gives them a glimpse into your venue, so the next time they are looking for a venue to use for hosting a party, they will subconsciously think of your positive interaction.

3.6 billion people use social media apps every single day. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and others should absolutely be part of your marketing and event lead generation efforts. These platforms are where people hang out, socialize, gain inspiration, look for new ideas, and spend a lot of time. Social channels should be part of your overall marketing strategy for brand awareness, lead generation, and customer engagement.

However, relying solely on social media efforts won’t always help you maximize your events calendar or help you expand your business into new revenue streams. Focusing on lead generation will get you more leads and more bookings. Lead generation is the process of attracting consumers to your brand, piquing their interest enough to convert them by having them submit their personal information, and ultimately closing them into a booked business, in this case, a booked event.

Why social media shouldn’t be your only source of event leads

Limiting where you market your brand ultimately limits how many leads you can generate. You don’t have to be everywhere, but you should take advantage of any and all channels that work for your business and that you can successfully manage. Maximizing touch points with consumers expands your potential reach to help capture as many leads as possible.

Three marketing channels that should be included in your marketing strategy:

1. Networking

Networking encompasses attending local professional organization events, trade shows, conferences, local farmers’ markets, town celebrations, or even hosting an event at your venue to showcase your services. Any type of gathering where you can mingle, hold a conversation, and talk about your offerings is considered networking. Get out there and spread the word about who you are and what you offer.

2. Email marketing

Email marketing is still invaluable to re-engage past customers and to attract new ones. It requires a database of names; fortunately, event management applications such as Tripleseat streamline the collection, managing, and marketing a collection of names.

Stay relevant with your database of names by emailing them on a consistent basis, such as monthly. Always let your audience know what new things are going on at your venue and what upcoming promotions you have going, or simply send a reminder to book that holiday event before you sell out. Creating urgency, even if you aren’t technically almost sold out, encourages folks to take that step immediately to book their favorite venue for their next event.

At the end of each email or newsletter you send, always tell your readers what you want them to do next, with a blurb like, “Share this email with family and friends.” Having your audience recommend you to their network is the highest level of word-of-mouth marketing you can achieve. According to ReferralRock, 84% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family more than any other source of information about a brand. Grow your database of names with people who value your brand and venue.

3. Online venue marketplaces

Online venue marketplaces work in a similar way as standard search engines. This is where planners would search for a venue for their upcoming party or occasion. But on standard search engines, so much time is spent digging through websites, trying to find one with the right aesthetic, the type of space desired, and any needed amenities, all within a set budget.

This is why event planners often turn to a venue directory like EventUp. EventUp is the leading global venue directory with more than 15,000 restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. More social, corporate, and wedding planners find their venues on EventUp using advanced filtering to narrow down all the inventory to only those that fit their exact needs. Once they find a venue that will work for them, they submit an event request directly to the venue to finalize the booking.

As a venue showing your spaces on EventUp, you are essentially opening your doors to more than 100,000 planners each month that are actively looking for a space. Any lead that is generated on your listing page is yours alone. EventUp will never resell your leads or charge you a commission for them.

Set up your marketing tools and get started

As with any marketing initiative, you should start small with a test campaign, analyze the data, make tweaks to the campaign based on findings, then expand budgets where you see the highest return on investment (ROI) backed with the power of data knowledge.

Consumers’ behaviors are ever-changing — and how we market and engage with them should change just as frequently. That’s why marketing can never be a “set it and forget it” model. It’s an ever-evolving process to keep up with consumers’ ever-evolving needs and interests.

In the future, there will most likely be new channels and new social media platforms that we will have to learn how to navigate and use to our marketing advantage. For now, utilizing social media in combination with networking, email marketing, and your EventUp listing, your events calendar is guaranteed to be fully booked with events.