Social Media Marketing for Speakers 101: What you Need to Know

Here’s a fact: we are all on social media and even the few people that aren’t, know about it. The world has changed, and so has the way we communicate and interact with others. That inevitably means that to sell, business owners and entrepreneurs need to adapt quickly if they don’t want to get lost in the vast cyberspace. 

But social media marketing for speakers can be a tough nut to crack, especially if you don’t have much experience. Even though most people use social media daily, not everyone knows how to take advantage of it as a business tool.

We all know how to create a profile and post a picture on Facebook, tweet a couple of words, and maybe share some news on LinkedIn. It seems easy, but doing it properly to get more clients and market yourself outside of your close circle, that’s another thing.

So to understand how to use social media marketing for speakers effectively, here are a couple of things you should know:

Social Media is a doorway

For speakers, as for any other business owner, social media can turn into a communication channel to reach the right audience and market yourself as an expert in your field. 

But social media is rarely an end goal. Rather, think of it as a doorway — or multiple doorways— through which people can find you. And, if they like what they see in your feed, feel identified, and want more, you can redirect them to your website and, ultimately, lead them to book you for more speaking opportunities, or encourage them to share your contact information with someone interested.

The first thing you need to do is to create a social media presence. And, no, that doesn’t just mean creating a profile and start blasting people with content. It means creating a proper social media marketing strategy to reach your target audience.

This will help you build up credibility and will serve as a doorway for people who don’t know you yet to have a first impression of you and what you do.

Social media is not advertising 

We talked about what social media is, but maybe it makes it more clear to state what it isn’t. Social media is not advertising, and I cannot stress this enough.

The reality is that people don’t go on social media expecting to be sold anything. If they wanted old-fashioned commercials, they would go and watch TV or listen to the radio. Most people go on social media to connect to like-minded peers, learn and have fun. Therefore, social media marketing for speakers shouldn’t be only focused on booking your next gig.

The purpose of social media is to create meaningful and engaging interactions between you and your audience. Just like you would call or text a friend, get to know them, interact with them, joke around if that is your style, and build trust. And then you can convince them to listen to what you have to say. 

Before ‘what’ you must think ‘why? Define your goal

Social Media Marketing for Speakers

Social media marketing strategies are all about goals, and the more concrete and specific they are, the better. This is the only way you can measure whether your social media efforts are successful or not and what you can do to improve them.

So, before getting your mind wrapped up with what kind of content you need, take a moment to think about the why. Why is this message important for you? Why is it important for your audience? Why should they listen to you specifically?

There are millions of reasons, as many as there are speakers in this world, so define the why and determine your goal based on it before anything else. 

If you are yet not sure about your goals, here are some social media marketing for speakers that work:

  • Get partnerships, sponsors, or speaking opportunities

Maybe the most obvious goal out of all social media marketing strategies for speakers is getting noticed by other authorities in your field or sponsors who might want to offer you different speaking opportunities. Having a large community and quality content increases your chances of that happening.

  • Share what’s new

Social media marketing for speakers, as for any other business, is still a way to get your work out there for people to see, so use it as an opportunity to share information about new events and conferences you’ll be attending, maybe even some sneak peek about what you’ll talk about or behind the scenes from the conference. 

  • Explore new topics and attract new audiences

Because social media is a more informal environment— although that doesn’t mean less professional—, you can also explore other topics that fall out of your comfort zone or a recently discovered passion you think might be of interest to others.  

  • Increase brand awareness

As a speaker, you can build your brand and take it to a broader audience to get noticed and start networking. Increasing brand awareness is the kind of goal you’ll go for when you are starting to seek speaking gigs and people don’t know you yet.

  • Strengthen your brand identity

If you are already a well-known speaker, take social media as an opportunity to strengthen your identity, sharing content that supports your values and beliefs.

  • Increase the value of existing clients

This goal goes hand-by-hand with building a community because it involves giving more value to those people who have already seen your conferences, that have been following you for a while, or that hired you one time and loved you. 

You can always strengthen that bond by providing them with exclusive content, programs, webinars, etc.

  • Get feedback and interact with your audience

A great advantage of social media is that you can get immediate feedback from your audience and interact with them, promoting debates and interesting conversations that can give you a lot of material for your next conference. 

But, remember, this is a double-edged sword because, as you’ll see in the next subtitle, users are the ones that hold power in social media.

When it comes to content, quality is better than quantity

Yes, I know, it’s the same old story, quality over quantity. But this time, it’s crucial. 

Social media gave users the power to choose what they want to see and what they don’t. And there’s a lot to choose from with millions of creators, entertainers, and, yes, speakers, who are also competing for their attention.

This is why to make social media marketing for speakers effective, you should be thinking in terms of what makes this message valuable rather than how many messages can we send. Try to find a balance between the two, prioritizing quality. 

An important note here I find useful when thinking about social media strategies for speakers is the nature of social media itself. We mentioned before that people don’t like to be advertised on social media. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ever promote your speaking gigs. Saying “Hey, I’ve got this event on Friday, and I’d love you to come” is good, just make sure that’s not the entirety of your content, otherwise it will feel boring and pushy. 

Another great tool you can use to flip the script so it doesn’t feel like blatant promotion is storytelling. People love a good story, and it keeps them engaged and entertained while also serving your purpose of informing them about what’s coming next with you. 

Plan your content according to your brand, objectives, and resources

Once you’ve determined your goal, it’s time to create some content.

Start with the basics, what kind of content leads you to achieve this particular goal? Who should I express my message to so it reaches people, and it also makes it engaging and enjoyable for them to interact with? 

At this point, things like your client avatar, your brand voice, your image, and everything you’ve built for your personal brand serves as a source of inspiration to create content. You can even look up holidays and special dates to plan relevant content accordingly.

Remember that, in social media marketing for speakers, the main purpose is to have conversations, but that doesn’t mean you should post whatever is in your mind. Find some topics that are interesting to you and your audience and explore them on your social media platforms. 

You can even repurpose some of your speeches to create infographics, videos, and blogs to share. Use all of the resources you have available and have fun. If you are the one creating content on your own, find whatever format that works for you. If not, provide your team with some guidelines and the objectives to meet, and let them do the magic.

Social media marketing is a trial and error

As someone who has made a business out of this, I’ll tell you the real secret of social media marketing for speakers: nothing, not even the most perfectly structured plan, is carved in stone. 

Think of your first social media marketing strategy as a pilot and be ready to make changes if necessary to progressively improve your results. Remember social media is always changing and pivoting sometimes is part of the process.

After the first couple of months, compare your results and strategies using success metrics such as:

  • Performance-based on platforms. Should you focus on one or the other?
  • Performance-based on content. What kind of content is getting more attention?
  • Engagement. What topics are more attractive?
  • Time. What time of the day is your audience more active? What days?

Now that you know all of this, it’s time to create your content strategy. And yes, I know social media marketing for speakers isn’t something you learn by reading just one blog post, so I’ll be posting a step-by-step guide on how to create your own social media content strategy next. I can’t wait for you to see it! 

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About Lauren Pibworth

Lauren Pibworth is an internet marketing strategist specializing in growing the business of professional speakers. Lauren and her team of graphic designers, web developers and online product and course development and launch specialists work with speakers who want to diversify their revenue streams and move 'beyond the keynote' through smarter marketing solutions, delivered with care.

Lauren (an amateur sommelier) and her husband enjoy fine Ontario wines, great food and travel to exotic, warm destinations where they spend the majority of their time underwater - scuba diving.

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