Social Media Makes for Eventful Event Planning Credit: Business event image via Shutterstock

If you want the next event you hold for your business or nonprofit to be eventful, you should take a page from the playbook of successful event planners and add social media to your marketing mix, a new survey suggests. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of event planners use social media to market  events, and another 14 percent plan to do so in the next year.

But it's not a clean sweep for social media, according to a survey of 474 small businesses and nonprofits conducted by Constant Contact, an engagement management company. The survey also reported that event planners still rely heavily on email marketing, online event marketing tools, websites and print advertising to promote their events, indicating that traditional forms of event marketing still play an essential role.

But the vast majority of respondents using social media said they would increase their social media efforts to market events next year (81 percent), with the remainder reporting that their level of usage will remain the same.

[Social Media Poised to Surpass Traditional Marketing]

Forty-six percent of respondents have at least an initial plan for their social media marketing efforts, and another 10 percent report having a thorough and refined social media strategy. Those who do not yet have a plan see the value in creating one: 34 percent said that they were beginning to think about creating one, while another 9 percent believe they should start.

"Event marketing has evolved. It’s no longer just direct mail invitations, phone calls and simply hoping that people will come," said Chris Litster, vice president for Constant Contact. "Now, it's social media conversations, real-time communication and online video — true engagement across platforms to create a holistic event experience from start to finish. An event — be it a networking gathering, open house, fundraiser or class — is by nature a social affair, so it makes perfect sense that social media would be a fantastic tool to help plan, promote and build excitement."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.