It’s that time of the planning process when you need to think about event promotion. “We need to utilize social media channels to connect with the younger audience,” someone says. Now it’s on you to figure it out. Don’t worry – I’ve got 5 pro tips to ensure your social media presence is successful and engaging.
1. Get the Look
Instagram was originally created to be an instant way for people to share photos and videos with their peers. It has now become a way for companies to increase brand awareness and appeal to a younger crowd. When creating a social media look & feel, think about what kind of message you want to convey. Do you want to match your corporate branding? Create a unique look & feel just for your event? Are there certain photo filters you want to stay away from (“Rise” provides a warm glow, but might make your brand colors look aged).
Pro Tip: With a corporate account, many of your images might be professional photos that have been planned out weeks or months in advance. Make sure these images do not become repetitive or stale. Keep things lively by varying professional photos with fun, user-generated content!
2. THE Hashtag
A key component to a successful social media campaign is effectively using hashtags. When you’re considering what hashtags to include, consider industry-related (#incentivetravel), location-based (#dallasmeetup), and “trending” phrases (#instalike). When people search a hashtag that you have used, your post will appear. This is a creative way to get more likes and more followers. When creating an event-specific hashtag, keep it short and concise to minimize post clutter, and to make it easy for attendees to remember.
Pro Tip: Multiple hashtags are definitely acceptable, but 2-3 per post is plenty! Too many hashtags can become overwhelming.
3. Start the Discussion
Make sure your account is set to public in order for everyone involved in your event to view your posts. This allows people that do not follow you to search the hashtags you use. Involve your audience in your posts by “mentioning” them (tagging their account in your post) and re-gramming (sharing the information they’ve posted). Involvement drives engagement and creates community.
Pro Tip: Raise a question – this will encourage your audience to contribute to the conversation.
4. Tag, You’re It!
When posting pictures, always tag your corporate Instagram account in the picture (@username). This will drive attendees to visit your corporate account and hopefully follow you to see future posts. Use this as a way to connect attendees with speakers, entertainment, and other attendees. Tagging their user names will make it easier for attendees to find others at the conference.
Pro Tip: If you are having trouble tagging certain media, keep in mind Instagram does not allow tagging of the video content itself. To get around this, include the tag in a caption and/or comments below the video.
5. What Time Is It?
A company’s presence on Instagram needs to be consistent, which means setting a posting schedule in advance of your event. Determine what days and times to post before coming up with content. When developing your posting schedule, keep in mind the agenda of your event, when attendees will most likely be posting and what type of content they will post during that time (educational during breakouts vs. social engagement at the evening networking event). Also consider what calls-to-action (CTAs) you want to include (visiting the event registration page, viewing newly posted speaker bios).
Pro Tip: Most adults will check their phones in the morning while trying to wake up, at lunch, in the afternoon between 2 and 3, and right before going to sleep. Keep in mind your attendees’ habits – many people will wait until they have free time on breaks or at the end of the day to scroll through event posts.