Regardless of your industry, at some point, you will consider hosting an event or attending an event as a vendor where you can promote your brand. If you know how to utilize social media before, during, and after an event, you can build excitement and set yourself up for success, plus gain some new Instagram followers in the process! First, start with the basics. Sit for a moment and strategically plan out what you want to post, when you want to post it, and on what platforms to attract the most people to your event space. This article focuses on Instagram. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at how you can create total FOMO (fear of missing out) before, during, and after an event.
Before the Event
Prior to an event, the goal is to announce, promote, and build anticipation. Here are some ideas you can quickly implement to get your Instagram audience excited for your event so they can purchase tickets and invite their friends to join them!
1. Offer early bird discounts and post often about deadlines to create a sense of urgency around registering or purchasing tickets. Early bird discounts also give you an opportunity to grow your list.
Example: Sign up to get on the early bird list for a 15% off discount.
2. If there are guest speakers or a lineup of entertainment, create teaser videos to increase excitement. Make a countdown to the big reveal of who will be headlining the event using the countdown sticker in Instagram stories. This will allow viewers to turn on a reminder, so they don’t miss a thing.
3. Once someone has committed to an event by purchasing a ticket, they will want their friends to join them – have a hashtag or incentive for buyers to share on social media that they bought a ticket or are attending the event.
4. Run a giveaway or contest for something such as VIP access to the event. Make sure to think through the logistics of promoting this and give yourself plenty of time to ensure its success.
5. Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos prepping for an event. Start to do this before tickets even go on sale to build anticipation. This will boost conversation and engagement on social media because viewers will leave comments such as “I can’t wait” or ask a question about details.
6. Don’t forget about user-generated content. If someone posts about their excitement around an event, be sure to share that post or story to the event page and thank the individual for their support.
Examples: We’re so pumped you can make it. See you there. Want to join in on the fun? Click the link to purchase your tickets before they sell out.
7. Create a Facebook page for the event. Here you can share behind-the-scenes photos, allow people to ask questions, provide information, and even offer special discount codes only available through the Facebook page. If you are trying to drive traffic to your Instagram profile, direct people from Facebook to Instagram.
Example: Follow us on Instagram for exclusive event information and discounts.
8. Partner with industry leaders and influencers – ask them to create hype around an event by sharing it on their own accounts. Make sure the influencer’s values and account content aligns with your brand and the goal for the event. It will help ensure their audience is also similar to yours, which will make the partnership more successful.
During the Event
The goal during an event is to encourage attendees to share their experiences in real-time so that viewers not at the event can see just what they are missing out on. If tickets are still available during an event, or tickets are required, some people may want to show up to join in on the fun because FOMO officially hit them!
1. Share images, videos, and quotes from event attendees.
2. Have a photo booth at the event with a hashtag for sharing on social media.
3. Design a custom AR filter for Instagram or Snapchat and encourage attendees to share stories using the event filter.
4. Go live – provide a red-carpet experience by interviewing event guests and individuals involved in making the event happen.
5. If you are giving away swag at the event, tell people to follow you and turn on notifications for updates on where to go for freebies.
6. If your event has a guest speaker, share quotes from that individual and remember to tag them in hopes they will share your post to their account.
7. Take people behind the scenes by sharing what is happening live at an event.
8. Have interactive stories so people can ask questions about the event or create a poll asking attendees what they love about the event.
After the Event
Your event was a success – you did it! Now it’s time to gather feedback, so you know what worked and what needs improvement for next time.
1. Keep the conversation going – ask for feedback. Create a survey to find out how the event can improve and get viewers excited for the event to return.
2. If journalists were at an event, it’s okay to brag a little about all of the excellent press coverage.
3. Make a highlight on your profile for followers who want to reminisce or those who missed the event.
4. Collect testimonials and share quotes.
And repeat! Simple ways you can utilize Instagram to promote your event and gain new followers.
Author: Vicki Goebner
Editor: Jennifer Hart
About the Author: Vicki Goebner, Social Philly
Vicki Goebner is the founder of Social Philly, a social media management organization that helps small businesses and personal brands grow their online presence. Vicki is passionate about taking entrepreneurs’ social media to the next level by implementing strategies proven to initiate organic growth. She is one of Hart House Creative's collaborators. Follow Vicki on Instagram @SocialPhilly for best practices to help your brand thrive.
More inspiration, know-how, and creative collabs to come in our upcoming squeeze selections. Get your creative juices flowing with us! Subscribe now.
Keep creating Hartists!
Hart House Creative Team
Follow @harthousecreative on Instagram
Know an inspiring maker? Dm, us @harthousecreative on Instagram for a possible feature, and give us a follow while you're there to fill your feed with positive design and art vibes.