Whether you are offering an event that lasts one evening or four days, it is essential to develop a robust content strategy—which can include blogs, videos, and social media content—that is created with four goals in mind:
• Remind past attendees to buy tickets for the current year.
• Encourage those who haven’t attended before to do so.
• Enhance the experience of all event-goers with exciting content.
• Share the event with those not able to attend to inspire them to attend next year.
Here are nine tips to help you step up your social media game for your next event, no matter its size.
1. Create a Content Team
Events are more fast-paced than you may think. With social media, sometimes you have to drop what you’re doing to capture a moment. It’s nearly impossible for just one person to effectively create all your event’s content, so putting a team together will save you some headaches.
The team should include photographers, videographers, bloggers and social media managers. Their job during the event is to identify content opportunities, capture them, and then distribute their work through various channels. This approach will help share the experience of the event through more lenses, and audiences will love the breadth of coverage. Just like with any content strategy, remember that it’s important for your team to understand your brand voice.
2. Plan Content in Advance
Planning content prior to an event will ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. You’ll also want to plan who needs to be where and when during the event.
It’s also important to prepare for all types of scenarios, both good and bad. But don’t let all this planning blind you from the serendipitous moments of the event. The greatest content can sometimes come from the moments you didn’t plan for, so be ready and flexible.
3. Diversify Your Content Strategy
You’ll want to diversify your social content strategy so that you can reach the maximum number of people in the most appropriate and effective way possible. To do so, you should employ both organic and paid strategies in your event marketing plan, as the two perform better under different key performance indicators. Using the strategies in tandem allows you to reach people who already love your event and people who haven’t even heard of it.
Ads are a great way to increase ticket sales, while boosted posts serve as a kind of “undercover” ad.
Boosted posts look like organic posts, but they can be targeted to your ideal audience just like regular ads. As a bonus, you don’t have to compete with posts from your audience’s friends and families thanks to Facebook’s algorithms.
Keep these points in mind when developing your social media strategy:
• Paid posts typically produce the same if not more reach than organic, even if you share more organic posts in a day than ads.
• An increase in organic posts doesn’t always lead to an increase in organic reach, whereas an increase in paid posts consistently produces an increased paid reach.
• Ads tend to produce better results more consistently than boosted posts, but cost as much as three times more.
4. Recruit Local Influencers
While your posts may reach your current audience, recruiting influencers is a great way to reach new audiences. Getting the help of some local influencers is a cost-effective and easy way to promote
The audience of influencers tends to trust their opinion of an organization more than they would if they heard the same thing from the actual organization. If an influencer’s posts show that they’re genuinely excited about your event, this will likely have a positive effect on their followers. Often, you don’t even have to pay for these promotions—many influencers will accept tickets to your event or content promotion in exchange.
5. Use Stories
Instagram stories provide a second touch point to your audience. They’re particularly effective for promoting important pieces of content or event happenings in a way that’s different from your in-feed posts. It gives your organization a second chance to show off your content if an audience member scrolls past the in-feed post. Secondly, you can post whatever you want and at any time without worrying about receiving a lot of likes, shares or comments.
Additionally, using the poll and Q&A features in Instagram stories not only makes your audience feel involved, but also gives you some valuable insight into their thoughts and opinions.
6. Be Timely/Thoughtful in Replies
Responding to your followers makes them feel listened to and encourages other audience members to speak up if they have a question or comment. This in turn nurtures those relationships between your organization and your audience members, and brings those people closer to purchasing a ticket.
7. Use Linktree for Instagram
Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in individual posts, but there is a tool to get around this. Linktree lets you make the most of your sole bio link by taking your audience to a page where they can select from a list of links. This way, you don’t have to skip Instagram when promoting your new blog or other content; and you can simply tell your audience to check out the “link in bio.”
8. Verify Your Instagram Account
For Instagram stories specifically, you need to get your Instagram account verified to use the “swipe up” feature. Basically, this feature allows you to add a link directly into your story. While this is designed to help sell products, we envision it as a way to drive people from your Instagram to your website, which is where the real magic happens. This is another valuable feature considering the friction caused by Instagram’s hyperlink-less platform.
9. Scrape Data and Finish Strong
Finish the event with the same fire in your eyes that you started with. By scraping your event data, you’ll gain insights to drive your content decisions during the event, and for many years to come. When the event is over and you’re asked what went well and what didn’t, you’ll be thankful that you have data to back up your intuitions.
Some beneficial data to compile include:
• Year-over-year performance indicators,
• Paid versus organic posts performance,
• Ad versus boosted posts performance,
• Social media website referral traffic,
• Conversion performance data.
Once your data is collected, you can draw insights and come out of the event a better marketer.
No matter the size or type of event, you’ll want to have a solid content plan in place well before the kickoff date. Your event is going to be talked about and shared online whether you join in on the conversation or not, so make the most of the buzz by leveraging a solid social media strategy.
Katie Rosenholm is a digital marketer at Vital, a website design and digital marketing agency in Portsmouth. For more information, visit vtldesign.com.