The power of social media is undeniable, but even in our digital world, it’s difficult to ignore the impact of face-to-face connections on consumers. What happens if we bridge those two relationships?
Experiential marketing and social media, when combined, can maximize the impact of consumer interactions and brand awareness. Taking a multi-channel approach makes sense: merging event marketing and social media marketing boosts clickthrough rates by 236%.
In this article, we break down how you can make your upcoming events as social-minded as possible.
Choose Your Platforms
Events and experiences allow brands to funnel consumers directly to their social media. But, how do you decide which social media platforms are best for this?
While it’s great to consider which platforms your brand is most active on, it’s equally as valuable, if not more so, to know which platforms your audience uses most.
Do you see consistent engagement on your business page? You should consider rolling Facebook Live at your next event. Are your target customers posting more often on visual platforms like Snapchat and Instagram? Try incorporating a geofenced Snapchat filter or an event-specific hashtag so that your experience gains traction in the digital world. Check out the latest 3D Camera mode that Snapchat just recently added to their platform, to bring more perspective on images based on how you move your phone to view them,
An essential part of creating experiences that WOW both in-person and online audiences are front-line engagement. Designate social media coordinators and brand ambassadors to jump in whenever possible to respond to questions and comments in real-time. Learn more about promoting your event across your social platforms.
Provide Shareable Photo Opportunities
Even the most casual Instagram user has probably seen the same scenes filling their feed over and over again. Maybe it’s a post from their high school bestie sipping coffee and posing on the iconic orange plush couch at the Central Perk Cafe pop-up. Or perhaps it’s their sibling sitting inside a pool of sprinkles at the Museum of Ice Cream.
There’s research to support the frequency of event-specific posts. Splash found that 81% of millennials shared photos on social media at a branded event. No matter the activation, it’s clear that brands leverage the power of social media to create shareable moments. Especially because a promo video won’t tug at peoples’ emotions the same way an event-goer’s footage might. User-generated content holds weight: 98% percent of consumers create digital or social content at events!
There are several ways to make your in-person experience translate into a digital space, especially on Instagram. With nearly 500 million daily users, Instagram is one of the most public channels that consumers use to discover brands. National Geographic boasts more than 126.7 million Instagram followers and recently posted this stunning image– Light seeping through an ice cave. This image alone garnered almost 267,000 likes! Relevant content works.
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Photo by @acacia.johnson | Light seeps through a crack in the roof of an ice cave in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Known as "aufeis," this unique type of river ice— which can sometimes cover rivers year-round—is found in parts of Alaska, Russia, Mongolia, and Arctic Canada. I discovered this cave on an expedition to Alaska's Arctic with my father, and I was learning to use a 4×5 film camera. We later heard that Alaska's aufeis has dramatically decreased with warming temperatures in the past few decades—one of many changes I have witnessed in my home of Alaska during my lifetime. Follow me at @acacia.johnson for more stories from Alaska, the Arctic, and beyond. #alaska #aufeis #arcticnationalwildliferefuge
Focus on Emotions
The best activations, while equipped with quirky displays and trendy Instagram opportunities, should also make people feel. When deciding between brands, millennial consumers seek emotional connections, especially when those connections are personalized.
Give your attendees an opportunity they’d otherwise never have: Offer them VIP status; or invite them to create a unique product, like at the St. Ives pop-up shop in New York City. Not only did guests leave with a custom beauty blend, but they also left with positive brand associations. Creating personalized experiences will encourage people to capture it and share it with others.
Whichever way you choose to merge experiential and social media marketing, your approach can be as varied as your brand, and it doesn’t need to break the bank.
Are you looking to engage attendees at your next event? Download our checklist for developing a foolproof social media event promotion strategy.