Webinars, or online seminars, have become a very popular way for businesses to convey information to an audience that is geographically dispersed. Creating a successful webinar requires valuable content, an engaging speaker, the right technology and most importantly, an audience. It’s like the saying, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If no one watches a webinar, does it exist?
Valuable content: What are you offering to share with customers, employees, industry leaders? Is it of value for them to spend an hour online with you? Make sure you have industry insights to share that aren’t commonplace.
Engaging speaker: Webinars should be a mix of good video presentation and an engaging, interesting speaker to carry the slides or video clips along. A successful webinar will feature a voice that users can relate to and are generally smooth and without any distracting mannerisms.
Right technology: Having the right tools in place for your webinar is crucial. Will you have a live Q and A? What about annotation capabilities from audience members? Are you are planning to drive your audience to a landing page that features customer support software from LivePerson or to your company’s Facebook page for a discount offer? Then make sure it’s all working correctly; check the links in the webinar and what the speaker is using as well.
Your audience: Use all your tools to widen your audience for your webinar. One of the keys ways in helping to secure your audience for a webinar is to use social media. With the growth and relevance of social media these days, social media should be part of any promotion and marketing plan. Facebook has more than 1.1 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn has 90 million users and Twitter has more than 200 million active users – there’s your audience! Social media is the easiest way to reach millions of users. This is a resource that should definitely be tapped into in order to have a successful webinar.
Steps for Using Social Media to Build Your Webinar Audience
Here are a few ways you can and should use social media to elevate your webinar success. The following ideas include tips for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but depending on your webinar topic, you may find other social media networks to be useful in promoting your webinar, such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
1. Set Up Social Media Accounts: If you don’t already have social media accounts set up for your business, this will be the first step in using social media to build your webinar audience. Make sure to have accounts for the three major social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
2. Connect With Your Audience: Once you have accounts created with all three of these social networks, join groups, like Facebook pages and follow Twitter accounts that are relevant to your webinar topic. This will help you reach the users who would be interested in the information your webinar is offering.
3. Create Blog Posts: Create blog posts about the webinar and share links to the posts on the webinar registration page and on your social media accounts. This will give the potential audience members more information about the webinar.
4. Create a Facebook Event: Schedule a Facebook event for the webinar, setting the day and time of the event to match that of the webinar. Include details of the webinar and a link to the registration page. Invite all of the fans of your Facebook account and share the Facebook event link on your Twitter account and LinkedIn account.
5. Create a LinkedIn Event: LinkedIn also allows users to create events. Create an event for the webinar, setting the day and time of the event to match that of the webinar. Then invite your contacts and group followers to join the event. You should also share the event listing in your news feed.
6. Tweet About the Event Frequently: Tweets get buried quickly, so Tweet often to ensure your followers get the information. Give your Tweets some variety, by alternating between linking to the Facebook event listing and straight to the registration page. Include relevant hashtags and Tweet groups or individuals who might be interested in signing up for the webinar.
7. Create a Hashtag: Create a Twitter hashtag for your webinar that you can use in the promotion of the webinar, perhaps for discussion during the webinar and any discussions occurring on Twitter after the webinar. Share the hashtag with the users.
8. Spread the Word: If you have a guest speaker or sponsors involved with the webinar, ask them to help spread the word by Tweeting about the webinar and posting it on their Facebook page. People following them would likely be interested in participating in the webinar.
9. Email Marketing Campaign: If you have an email database you can send to, create an email promoting the webinar and send it out to the database, including a link to register for the event. Include social sharing buttons in the email so the recipients can share with friends and connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
10. Make Social Sharing Easy: Include social media sharing icons wherever possible to make it easy for people to share the webinar with friends and connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure to include these social sharing icons on the registration page. Additionally, when someone registers for the webinar, it would be ideal to give them the option of sharing the fact that they signed up for the webinar on their social media accounts.
Although the mechanics of creating and launching a webinar are important, using social media for your successful webinar is what matters most. Social media is a great tool to expand your reach and build your webinar audience. Use these tips to elevate the success of your webinar using social media.
Author Bio: Cynthia Sassi lives, works and plays in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is passionate about running, her three pups and her work. You can learn more about her at http://linkedin.com/in/cynthiasassi and http://twitter.com/cynthiasassi.