A wise woman once said, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one tweets about it, did it really happen?” These days the same can be said for your event, your business, your marketing plans….the list goes on!

As a small business, if you are investing in an event, even if that investment is a few bottles of beer and a piñata, costs are important to you and you really want to squeeze the most out of what you spend.

Finding ways to super-size your impact without super-sizing the budget is critical to the small business purse (and long-term success).

However lots of small businesses I work with are either nervous about using the channels open to them (including events and social media), or it simply had not occurred to them to try.

There are lots of ideas for super charging your digital impact on Do It Digital www.doitdigital.uk if you’d like even more digital inspiration, but for the purposes of this post, here are my top 5 tips to get you started on supercharging your event with digital:

  1. Supercharged invitation

This might sound obvious, but if you want to fill a room, you are likely to need a bit of help.

Tap into your friends and colleagues’ networks by creating a shareable invite that they can send on. This is the great thing about a digital invite – you don’t have to keep printing, there is no postage, and you can invite people you don’t yet know.

This is great as a business to expand your network! Create an online invite (e.g. with Eventbrite!) and use the weblink to share far and wide. (Top tip, you can use custom links to track if it is helping you sell tickets or drive up registrations, so you can see who is engaged and responding, and who isn’t).

I know that some businesses feel a bit protective of their invite list and are nervous about putting the invite out there without “control”. All I can say is – strangers are just customers you haven’t met yet! Trust your nearest and not so dearest to share with their good people, and you will reap the rewards.

  1. Supercharged Twitter

So, you have a digital invitation, now to go and share it! I am going to assume you are all over email and have some contact details, so now you are going to reach beyond your immediate audience.

Create a shareable tweet including your digital invite and make it exciting, for example “Interested in cake decorating with a gin cocktail twist? Join our event down your street! [insert link]”. You can shorten your invite link using a site like https://bitly.com – use your 140 characters wisely!

Now buzz your friends, colleagues and current customers and ask them to share it. Done? Okay, lets reach out to other communities too – have you looked into your local twitter #hour? It is a great way of reaching the local community!

One of the biggest in the country is #MerseyHour – awesome Merseyside businesses and customers chatting for an hour on Twitter on a Saturday. People will follow the hashtag just for that hour and the main account will re-tweet you if you are interesting enough.

Add your local #hour to your post to reach a much bigger audience than you would normally get. Now is a good time to introduce a hashtag for your event that can be used on the day – #YorkPizzaParty !

  1. Supercharged Facebook

Facebook is super easy to use for business and you can get word of your event out to your community really easily.

Start with a punchy, short intro to your event, add your shareable link, then create a fab picture that gives a real sense of your event (micro pigs having a picnic??)

Again, ask your friends and family to share this for you. Tag people in your post that you know have big networks. Then if you have a bit of cash, just a little bit, you can really easily promote your post to your local geography – even adding on £30 to boost the post can really increase the impact.

Facebook analytics will tell you when your post is really engaging people and is super easy to use. Feeling like your event is making more of an impact already?

Related: 5 Tips on How to Get Started With Facebook Advertising

  1. Bring the supercharge back home

It is great that you are now creating a bunch of buzz for yourself, but remember, whether people come to the event or not, you want to make the most of any views they may have of your brand.

Make sure you add a link into your invite and social posts back to you – your website or if you don’t have one, your social media page. Make sure this link leads to a snappy page (with a fab picture) that explains who you are and what you do – and also where you are!

I have discovered some fantastic businesses online only to discover that they are 100 miles away – ah, the disappointment!

  1. Supercharged newsletter

Wherever you are, I’ll bet you that there is a local newsletter that goes out over email. There are so many these days, its pretty much guaranteed.

Perhaps you get some and largely ignore them? Now is the time to tap into these! Try your local council, BID, town team, or even other businesses that you know nearby who can include you.

This is a great time to make new friends and tap into their digital reach – how about finding other local businesses that might want to get involved with your event? Partners and friends are near on priceless!

Think of things like the local wine shop, who you can invite to provide the drinks, and then contact their database via their email newsletter. Boom! Whole new audience for your kitchen fitting business!

Related: Your Guide to Successful Business Partnerships for Startups

More than an event…

Don’t forget that for these things, impact is cumulative. Once you have run an event, turn the attendees into new members of your community, who in turn can help promote your next event!

Make sure they take pictures and post on social media while they are at your event as that is gold dust for promoting your next one.

Have a think about unusual ways to encourage digital engagement at the event – such as props spelling out your hashtag, or special hats, or just your logo! Anything that encourages photos and tweeting is all good.

Think of each event as an opportunity to grow your digital gang.

Post-event, link in with all those lovely new contacts and encourage them to tell their friends and colleagues and customers what a great time they had.

You can use these testimonials on your next shareable invite… your next tweet to the #hour… your next Facebook promoted post…. And so your event is no longer just an event – it is a ripple in a massive online customer puddle that will continue to spread long after the last paper napkin is recycled.

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