Another big opportunity in event promotion is here and the good news is you are probably already using it!
Instagram, that fun and easy-to-use sharing app on your mobile phone, has evolved into a tool that adds another dimension to your event’s promotional strategy. Sharing images of your event draws people into your story and is a very enticing way to grab the attention of potential attendees. By uploading photos to Instagram, you’ll provide a look inside your event from start to finish.
Here’s a starter guide for your next Instagram promotional strategy.
Hashtags are your best friend when it comes to an Instagram promotional strategy for your event. Come up with something unique if your event has a common name. Perhaps add the year or city after the name of the event. You want that hashtag on every one of your event posts in order to make your content more discoverable.
Let your guests know that when they are at the event they should use the event hashtag when posting their own social media photos.
Create a Strong Marketing Strategy
Prior planning creates a fertile environment for your marketing to flourish. Consider an integrated approach that includes your other social media channels, as well as traditional marketing efforts to build a framework that is mutually supportive to boost the overall effectiveness.
Create a storyline out of your images to provide a comprehensive view of your event. Define the length of your campaign and schedule images that fit into the unveiling of your narrative. Follow the guidelines of a traditional story arc for a clear message; the introduction, the body (planning and execution), and a conclusion.
Entice Your Followers with Images and Video from Past Events
Leverage the success of past events by digging into your archive of photos and videos from past events. Highlight the great achievements of your speakers, sponsors, vendors and your team to reinforce all the amazing programs you’ve created in the past.
Ask sponsors for photos of their favorite moments, offering them a link to their websites in the caption. Put the spotlight on your most dedicated workers with a collection of photos that show their participation throughout the years. Present the beautiful work of your vendors and encourage everyone to share all these images across their own networks.
Get Busy with Creative Posts Followers Will Share
Consistent and frequent posting is the best tactic for getting your event noticed on Instagram (as it is with every social network). Creating a schedule and dedicating one or a few of your most trusted team members to take on the duties of regular posting is a good way to keep your event front and center on your followers’ timelines.
Be sure to provide them with a clear plan that details your content and posting strategy. Let them know what is your most desired message to promote and what, if anything, to avoid discussing. Check in with your account occasionally to ensure they haven’t gone off message.
Drive Traffic to Registration
Take advantage of your Instagram campaign to drive registration numbers up. Show them the advantages of attending your event, both for them and for the people your organization serves.
Along with the great photos and videos you post leading up to the date of your event, include a link to the registration page to make it easy for followers to click over and sign up.
Share on Facebook & Twitter
There is strength in numbers, especially when it comes to a social media campaign. Utilize your current followers’ networks to extend the reach of your campaign far beyond the borders of your event’s social networks.
Share your Instagram images across all your event’s platforms to multiply their impact.
Each social media platform has its own formula for posting and you should try to cater your message and posting times to best correlate with each one. Check in with your statistics and create a posting schedule based on the results you see, then fill it in with the images that you want to promote. Encourage additional attendee engagement by mining their accounts for images you can share, but always be mindful of the overall message you are trying to send.
Now, take a look at a few of the great tools available for getting the most out of every Instagram post.
A Color Story is an app that offers over 100 filters, 40+ effects and more than 20 tools to create photos that will *pop* on Instagram. One fun feature of this app are the color fogs that can add layering and blending to your photos. You can also fine tune your images with customized editing tools you’ve created and save all the adjustments you’ve made throughout the process.
SnapWidget provides tools to showcase your photos and videos from your Instagram timelines on your website or blog. There are several types of widgets to choose from, including a few “pro” widgets and a free SnapWidget that provides bare bones tools, without the ability automatically include a hashtag with each share. These tools are available for your Twitter and Facebook accounts, too!
ScheduGram makes posting easy through pre-planning, scheduling and automatic posting. Create a plan that combines pre-scheduled posts, along with posts provided in real-time by your team to eliminate some of the workload you’ll have in the weeks leading up to the event. This tool will convert your uploaded images and videos to the correct size and format that best suits Instagram. The app’s Queue feature will automatically post at the best time, without notifications, nudges, or confirmations from you.
Iconosquare is an analytics app that helps you streamline your strategy for effectiveness. It can help you track the growth and demographics of your followers and let you see how your Instagram postings are received through impressions and reach statistics, comments, views and reactions. With Iconosquare you can manage multiple Instagram and Facebook accounts, create content, schedule and respond to comments through one interface.
Repost for Instagram will repost your favorite photos and videos on Instagram, along with a credit given to the original Instagram poster. This is a great app to include in your toolbox, as it ensures that your follower whose image you’re sharing is given the proper acknowledgment. When word gets out that you’ve shared their image and recognized their contribution they will be excited to further share it on their social media timelines!