In November 2012, LinkedIn deactivated several of its integrated apps, presumably to devote its efforts elsewhere. Among the apps that the platform abandoned was the event app. Event organizers and marketers, including yours truly, used this app to promote events. In case you’re not familiar with the event app, please know that you didn’t miss a whole lot: the app was basic and offered limited functionality at best. In my experience, few attendees actually employed the app unless they were LinkedIn diehards or part of the event organizing committee – or both.
And yet I’m still disappointed that LinkedIn disabled this feature. Why? The only response that I can come up with is that the app – limited though it was – was still better than no app at all. Instead of dumping the app, the meeting planner in me wishes that LinkedIn had invested greater resources to further develop the app than to abandon it altogether.
I still believe that with 200+ million members is a great marketing tool, especially for events. I’ve put my thinking cap on to devise some new ways to promote events on LinkedIn. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1) LinkedIn Groups
Groups are a source rich with opportunities for networking and information sharing. If yours is an association event, promote it on the organization’s main Group page. Provide periodic updates on topics of interest: big name keynote speakers, the program is now available and the discounted advance registration deadline is imminent are all good choices. Don’t post so frequently, particularly on topics without much substance, or you’ll disenfranchise Group participants.
2) Launch a Group
Perhaps your organization doesn’t have an existing Group or it has a Group which historically has received little engagement. Why not launch a Group specific to your event? You’ll gain a following of people who have interest in your event and it’s entirely appropriate for you to boast about it here. If you choose this approach, however, be certain to refrain from assign a year to the Group (i.e. XYZ Event 2013). You want these folks to continue following your Group after the 2013 event takes place and a Group name with 2013 will look pretty foolish in 2014. LinkedIn only allows Group owners to change Group names a few times. Avoid “expiration dates.”
3) Status Updates
Connected to clients, customers and members of your organization? Post relevant event updates to your personal account when activities warrant viewing.
4) Enlist Supporters
Nonprofits especially have a great opportunity to enlist the help of board members and organizing committee members. Ask these “inside” supporters to help promote awareness of your event by posting on Groups and in their own status updates as well!
Surely there are other creative opportunities to continue to use LinkedIn to promote your next event on LinkedIn as well! Share your ideas here!