Instagram has for some time been at the forefront as a platform for sharing images and short video content. There was a lot of competition but it has come out on top as, arguably, the leading social media platform.
Like all others, the usage scenarios are being extended every week or so. Instagram can be used for product, service or even event promotions. And it has proven to be a fantastic tool for doing just that. Having an estimated 400 million active users around the globe, it is unthinkable to not utilise its full potential to promote your events.
By incorporating the use of Instagram into event planning, you can create that hype, buzz, and excitement like never before. What you have to keep in mind that this is not your run of the mill personal account. Selfies of you with your cats and dogs are not going to cut it and there are principles on getting started and running an Instagram account. Here are a few tips on making the most of this platform to maximise your event marketing potential.
1. PRIOR TO YOUR EVENT
One of the most notable elements of Instagram is the #hashtag. You can custom-tailor these to your event. Tagging your staff and volunteers can also create wonders when it comes to getting the word out there.
This creates a collection of related posts making them easy for people to sift through. If you mark multiple posts with the same #hashtag, they are put in a playlist of sorts. Traffic is generated and therefore you create a conversation on your event topic. Any other #hashtags relevant to the content and the event alike are very helpful in making sure that your photo or video is easily discoverable.
Instagram is filled with professional or professional-like photography that often takes our breath away. But not to worry, there are plenty of ways to up your photography skills, even without professional equipment. Not sure how to create the hype? You can always start with generating FOMO: the fear of missing out.
Make your event too tempting to miss out is always a great idea; people will want to see more. This makes it a lot more probable for them to actually show up, enjoy themselves and take from it something of value. Instagram is a great platform for you to post video or photo teasers that include just a taste of what your event has to offer. Be it special guests, games, vendors, or whatever that is particular to our specific event.
It is not only about what you post, but it is also very important when you post. There are strategies when it comes to post timing. The general rule is that the best times to post something is when people are getting off work and looking to relax. It makes sense for them to (at least for a few minutes) browse through their social media feeds.
That is your best window to catch people’s attention and make your posts as visible as possible. The second-best time to make a post is right after midnight. Some night owls do tend to browse their Instagram feed after hours. Having these basic intervals in mind, it will do you good to have at least two to three event-related posts to post during these times. Another thing to note is that consistency is paramount. Australian digital marketing experts state that people like patterns and by regularly posting at set intervals, whatever they may be, will build trust and get the most eyes on your content.
3. AT THE EVENT
Just because your event has started, that does not mean your social media promotion campaign needs to stop. On the contrary, there are plenty of things you can do to document the event for future use.
It can serve you and your future events if people can see from the archives that past ones were successful. One of the features you can use is Instagram Stories with photos and videos. These should encompass the entire thing, from before to after the event. Live testimonials from attendees at all points in the event are very powerful as they put a human face on the entire experience.
Not to get spammy though, there is a difference between posting every five minutes and at regular, civilised intervals with meaningful content. On average, a good interval is, for example, every couple of hours, depending on the type of the event. We can always put several videos and photos into a single post and thus easily categorise captured moments without overwhelming people with content.
Even after the event, your work is not done. There are things you can do to ensure people know that attendees had a great time and have taken something of value back home with them. If you share attendee posts you not only offer recognition and thanks for participating, but we also spread the word for future events.
If there happens to be news coverage, that is excellent traffic and should be shared on your Instagram page. Lastly, feedback is more valuable than gold. You need to ask for it, take it into account, embrace it, and act upon it always. Positive or negative, feedback is what drives you to be better than you were yesterday.
Since 2016, Instagram was the second most popular social media platform to Facebook. It is a platform that is checked regularly by its users and we can use this to our advantage. Social media engagement is an absolute must for maximising event attendance and experience alike. With Instagram, you have a perfect platform to tell your story and make new ones better than ever.