There’s no doubt that reaching audiences through social media is valuable for fostering customer engagement. When it comes to building more meaningful relationships, however, it’s often best to continue the conversation offline.
That’s why 87% of C-suite executives believe in the power of live events and plan on investing in them more in the future. And to meet this need, there are many platforms for arranging professional events such as Facebook Events and Eventbrite. And now LinkedIn has now gotten on board by offering its LinkedIn Events feature.
Here we'll look at the value of LinkedIn Events and how companies can leverage them for brand awareness, industry leadership and more.
What Are LinkedIn Events?
LinkedIn Events is a feature the platform recently added that allows organizers to create events and attendees to accept event invitations or join public events on their own. “LinkedIn created the events feature to build awareness and at the same time, provide a space for subscribing attendees to connect ahead of time,” explained Lizzy Duffy, senior strategist at Sparkloft Media.
While LinkedIn Events is part of the social media platform, the purpose is to foster in-person networking. “Networking in real-life is extremely valuable for building relationships with other professionals in your industry,” suggested Deepak Shukla, founder of Pearl Lemon, “and LinkedIn Events are a great way for companies within the industry to enhance this experience.” That’s because LinkedIn Events makes it easier to find professional events, attend in-person meetups or conferences, and continue the conversation with attendees afterward.
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LinkedIn Events vs. Other Event Platforms
“LinkedIn Events will likely look similar to Facebook Events and Eventbrite once they've fully rolled out to all members,” predicted Duffy. She believes the advantage of LinkedIn over others, however, is the built-in user-base of professionals. “People already flock to LinkedIn for networking and many will see the advantage in subscribing early to connect with individuals ahead of the event, either at the one-to-one level or within the event's discussion thread,” she said. That could mean greater user engagement for company-sponsored events on LinkedIn than most other platforms — both before and after the events.
The focus on professionals is a huge advantage with LinkedIn Events. “On Facebook and other event platforms you have to cut through a lot of irrelevant content and events related to entertainment, sports and more, this makes it much harder for your event to get noticed,” said Shukla. That’s why you need to consider ways to leverage LinkedIn events under your current event-based marketing strategy to improve engagement and attendance.
How Companies Can Leverage LinkedIn Events
LinkedIn Events is a great way for brands to connect with their customers, particularly for B2B companies that are targeting business professionals. “As adoption of LinkedIn Events builds, companies should seek opportunities to promote professional meetings and networking opportunities,” Duffy said.
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Plan a Variety of Events
There are a variety of events companies can promote on LinkedIn Events. Companies can host casual meetups, industry talks or roundtables, larger conferences, and many other types of events. “You may even consider promoting live webinars on LinkedIn,” Shukla suggested, “in addition to having your own marketing and sales teams attend other industry events to spread brand awareness as well.” All of these events can get your company employees talking with potential leads in real life, and therefore, building stronger business relationships.
Invite Relevant Professionals
When planning a product launch party or other company events for building awareness and industry authority, LinkedIn Events greatly streamlines the process. “It’s so much easier to reach relevant industry professionals on LinkedIn,” Shukla explained, “whereas on Facebook you’d have to wade through hundreds of profiles to send out relevant invites.” You can easily search the platform for specific industries, market segments, or many other relevant filters, so it’s a much better use of the event planner’s time.
Promote Events Effectively
“Unlike Facebook and Eventbrite,” Duffy added, “promoting your event through ads is not possible and you will not be able to make tickets available for purchase or advanced reservation.” That means you must rely primarily on word of mouth and engaging with your potential attendees directly for increased discoverability of an event. She said you can also gain more visibility for your events by utilizing hashtags and regularly posting relevant content within the event page.
For companies pursuing an event-based marketing strategy, LinkedIn Events is an excellent addition to their toolset. Brands can get their message out there for sponsored events, invite relevant industry professionals and better engage with their target audience through event discussions. “LinkedIn Events clearly has value for marketers so it’s definitely not a feature that brands should overlook,” said Shukla.