So you have a big event coming up and you want to know what the latest and coolest things are to help you get your event promoted. Welcome to the wonderful world of social media, where in 3 months an application can go from 100,000 users to 3 million users. Enter Instagram.
We all know that the image we put out for our event can be worth 1000 words. Well, Instagram is banking on that.
For the newbies, what is Instagram? It’s pretty much a social media site based around visuals. If you haven’t played with it yet, then ask someone who has and how addicting it is and to show it to you on their phone. The app that allows you to take, edit and share photos with your friends. Why is it so popular? Everyone wants to be an artist and looking at pretty pictures inspires people!
So when social media sites start to get really trendy, naturally us marketers want to see what’s going on to see how we can profit from the popularity….right? Isn’t that what event marketing is all about?
As an event branding expert, I’m always coming up with fun and cooky ideas to get more exposure for my clients (the event marketers that I consult). Although I haven’t seen many examples of event coordinators entering the Instagram scene with marketing intentions, I’ve come up with some pretty cool ideas for you to begin showing off images that convey the core of your message without looking like you’re promoting your next event.
What you’re looking for are “brand journalists”. These people are not a part of your paid staff. They are the first ticket purchasers to your event…the first RSVPs. As an event promoter, all you need to do is come up with the idea that they are supposed to take pictures of. They look at your brand as an outsider would, and create content (in this case, filtered photographs), that is real and that others will want to look at. These “brand journalists” are experts at finding these unique nuances and interesting games that you’ve set out for them.
The beauty of a photograph is that an athlete can truly “get” an event brand through an image, without the brand having to push the marketing message. Here are a few examples of how event marketers can use Instagram well:
TICKETS IN HAND
Have someone in your office write down on a big poster that you’re awarding VIP passes to people who post pictures of their ticket to Instagram. Then someone on your staff will take a picture of another person holding the poster and will post to instagram. The rules are that the first 10 people who post a picture of their ticket IN HAND (must see a hand) with the hashtag #Countdown[EventName]. The picture goes viral.
Hosting a conference event and want to get attendees excited about the exhibitor booths? Then open up a contest to exhibitors! To celebrate that the exhibitor is excited about attending your show, challenge them to take a cool picture of their product or service and post to Instagram with the hashtag #VisitBooth222[ConferenceName]. As a conference organizer, you’ll determine the prize (if any) of the most creative photo leading up to the conference.
I LOVE [YourEvent]
In this challenge, your brand journalists will be asked to snap pictures of the reasons why they you’re your event with the hashtag #Ilove[YourEvent] for a chance to win a prize and to have their photo featured on a future flyer, Facebook cover photo, and Twitter background. You see how you can get your fans involved in all of your branding and tie it all together???
REAL TIME INSTAGRAM GALLERY
Regardless of weather you make a contest out of it or not, people are going to take pictures at your event and post them to Instagram…so why not make some fun out of it? Announce to users that the photos they tag with #Funat[EventName] will be posted real-time to a projector of pictures you have at the event.
What are some ideas that you’ve had success with using Instagram before, during or after your event?