Attracting sponsors is hard enough. But once you have them committed to your event, you need to show them you have a valuable investment and that they’re getting their money’s worth. Creating a mutually beneficial relationship between your event and your sponsors is the goal. One marketing channel you can leverage to help you reach that goal is social media. Here are five ways you can use social media to give your sponsors more than they were expecting:
- Offer a sponsored giveaway using a custom hashtag
Stir up engagement by giving your social followers and fans a chance to win a sponsor-provided prize. That prize could be a gift card or merchandise item; whatever it is, it should have a direct tie to your sponsor and must have real value.
Create a custom hashtag for the giveaway and ask your social audience to share something — a post, video or image — with that hashtag to be entered to win. For example, if your sponsor is heath foods store, offer a $100 store gift card to one lucky follower who shares their favorite organic snack with the hashtag #eathealthy5K.
This is something special you can offer on your social channels while giving your sponsor a moment in the spotlight, with the opportunity to reach a new and targeted demographic.
- Ask a sponsor-related question
Invite your sponsor to poll your social media audience with a question or a request for help. These fill-in-the-blank posts typically perform well on Facebook in particular. For example, if your sponsor is a clothing retailer, you could post a question such as: “Which [sponsor brand] T-shirt design do you prefer? We need your help choosing the best one!”
This type of post will help you entertain your social media fans, while allowing sponsors to have an authentic touchpoint with your audience and gather real-world feedback.
- Invite sponsors to do a channel takeover
If you have an active, thriving environment on one or many social channels, you can consider offering top sponsors the opportunity to “take over” that channel for a period of time. This is a frequently used marketing tactic that can be very effective when done well. A takeover means your sponsor could post, tweet or pin whatever they want on your social channels (with your oversight, of course).
The goal is not to be pushy and try to sell products as much as to present your fans and followers with great content coming from a completely different perspective — similar to having a guest appearance on a favorite TV show. This also gives your sponsors a hugely valuable chance to interact directly with your audience.
- Tie sponsors to donations
If your event is raising money for a charity, or you simply have a good cause that’s closely tied to your mission, organize a social campaign where your fans and followers “donate” sponsor money. For example, you can create a hashtag and every time your social audience posts or tweets that hashtag for the next 12 hours, your sponsor will donate $1 to the charity. The hashtag could be something as simple as #tritofeedthehomeless, or it could incorporate a heavier sponsor message, such as #thanks[sponsorname].
An alternate way to do this is by having sponsors donation match. You can still fundraise on social media, but instead of the trigger being a hashtag, the sponsor would donate a certain amount of money each time one of our social followers did. For example, a sponsor would match 10% of every donation made through your social channels.
This is a great way to create goodwill for your event and your sponsors, while raising even more money for a charitable cause.
- Incorporate sponsor messages on special pages of your website
Currently, your site probably has some type of connection to your social channels, whether it’s a logo linking to Facebook or your Twitter feed running like a tickertape along your homepage. Consider creating a separate page on your site that’s just dedicated to your social updates — it could feature your posts, tweet and/or pins. Think of it like a social media album. This sort of album adds valuable real estate to your website and provides you with in-demand space to offer your sponsors. You can add a sponsor logo or ad to this page and increase the amount of impressions you provide them.
Another option not directly related to social media is to use Virtual Event Bags. This would also entail setting up a page on your site to host these offers, which is more valuable extra space you can use to benefit sponsors.
For more info on this topic, read our article on “5 Tips for Getting and Keeping Event Sponsors.”