There is no shortage of companies asking small businesses to shell out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to promote themselves. But if you’re like most small business owners, you could really use some free tools to jumpstart your marketing. That’s why we’ve begun a weekly blog series featuring free tools for SMB owners to help you with your various marketing needs.
One great way to get your name out as a small business is to host or participate in events around your community. But how do you let people know about your events? Facebook, Twitter and email blasts are great ways to let your followers know that you’re hosting an event. But how easy is it for attendees to share the event so that you can get the word out? Also, unless you have an RSVP form, its impossible to know how many people will be attending.
Thankfully, Eventbrite can help! Eventbrite helps you host and organize your events online. It’s quick and easy to get started and it’s free to use unless you’re charging tickets for your event.
Eventbrite works like an evite – it’s an online invitation. The difference between Eventbrite and other invitation systems is that Eventbrite is very professional, easily sharable, and provides results analytics. Eventbrite also allows you to charge for tickets.
To get started with Eventbrite, you need to open an account. Creating an event is easy – just input the date, time, place, and other information into Eventbrite’s system. Then pick or design your own custom event invitation. Invitations can be customized to include a company logo and colors. Once the invitation is complete, you can email it to an email list or share it on social media. Make sure to promote your event on your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in order to get the word out as much as possible!
You may be thinking, “Why do I need Eventbrite if I can just post my event to my blog and social media?” That’s a good question – I’ll tell you why I used it when I was planning our holiday party last month to show you what Eventbrite can do for you.
Our company party was being catered by a restaurant and everyone was invited with a guest. Like most small businesses, I had a budget that I needed to stick to. Party platters from came for either 20 or 35 people with a price different of almost $500. I needed to get an accurate headcount so that there would be enough food and drinks for all but not blow our budget by ordering too much.
Although we all work in the office and use email to communicate, I send out multiple emails a day sharing content. As you might imagine, some of my coworkers have grown immune to my emails, no matter how catchy the subject line. Add that to busy schedules, and it would have been difficult to confirm who was attending the party without hunting people down.
Eventbrite offered a solution to my problem – a catchy email that would get the attention of my coworkers and an easy RSVP system so that I could get an accurate headcount for the party! It also let me design this invitation in line with the rustic theme of the party.
One of the best things about Eventbrite is how easy it is to share your event. While posting a blog post on social media is also something you should be doing, sharing the Eventbrite link takes people directly to the site with the information about the event and let’s them RSVP in just one click!
Once someone signs up, they can also share the event on Facebook or Twitter with a post that says something like, “I just got tickets to the ThriveHive Holiday Party – join me by clicking here!”. This type of sharing is great for social media because it’s an example of word of mouth referrals from a customer. Instead of you telling someone how great the event will be, someone who already signed up is doing it for you!
Eventbrite has a great social media team as well. If you post your event and tag Eventbrite, they sometimes retweet or share your event on their social media pages, increasing the reach of your event.
Not only will there be a strong buzz on social media, but your event also shows up in the Eventbrite local events pages as well! It’s not just businesses who use Eventbrite to post events – individuals use it to find events too!
People who are looking for things to do can search Eventbrite by date or location. If your event is public, it can be listed on Eventbrite’s website. Potential customers are more likely to come across your event and learn about your company. This increases the reach for your event and makes it more likely that more people will come.
If you’re thinking that this sounds like reciprocal word of mouth referral marketing, you’re right! Not only that, but Eventbrite has great SEO so your event will show up in Google searches too. Using Eventbrite is the perfect example of how small businesses can come together to help each other out on social media.
Eventbrite offers analytics to see how many people have opened your email and the percentage of tickets that are already reserved. You can set the ticket limit to accommodate your venue or what your budget allows if you’re serving food and drinks.
In our case, everyone was invited with a guest so there were 30 tickets available to employees only. While this wasn’t a metric that was important to me, if you’re trying to get people to sign up for your event and you’ve sold 80% of tickets, that’s a metric that you can post on social media as an inventive to get people to get their tickets before it sells out.
Eventbrite is a great way to get the word out and create buzz about upcoming events that your small business is hosting or promoting. Check it out and let us know what you think!