Using social media to promote your events. Cheat Sheet for visual content.

Visual content is very appreciated and the mix between it and social media is irresistible, but not all event planners have the time to deal with the numerous social platforms that are available today. To help you I have created this cheat sheet for the main social media platforms and the photo dimensions that you should use on each of them. Visual content has the ability to instantly share emotions that your attendees felt while partying at your events and the purpose of this article is to help you better use social platforms when promoting your event(s).

As I’ve always said what works for one event planner doesn’t work for all and surely not all platforms will have the same impact when trying to engage your fans. Not all social media platforms will help you as much when promoting your event, or at least not in the same way. But to understand where attendees like to engage you we strongly recommend to use at least the following:

 

Photo dimensions for Facebook

With over 1.3 billion daily active users, Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform. We have talked about it before, in a dedicated article, about how to use it to promote your events. Today, before showing the right dimensions that you should set your FB picture, I just want to give you one more reason you should use it: over 60% of the marketers still consider it the most important social media platform¹.

cheatsheet with photo dimensions for facebook

 

Visual content on LinkedIn

The business-oriented social media platform may not be the best place to engage your attendees, but for sure is the best one to be seen by your future sponsors and partners. With over 550 million users (half of which are monthly active) LinkedIn is the best social platform for Business2Business marketing. Over 90% of B2B marketers use it, 72% of them seeing it as a good source for qualified leads².

visual content on LinkedIn

 

Photo dimensions for Twitter

Twitter is all about the momentum and a great way to share live insights from your event. There are 336 Million Monthly Active Users, 80% of which are affluent millennials³.

photo dimensions for twitter

Tip:

Video content is very powerful on every social platform, but its growth on Twitter is impressive. Remember that the length of a video on Twitter cannot exceed 140 seconds or a 1900 X 1200 px. resolution and that you cannot tag your attendees in Twitter videos.

 

How to use Pinterest to promote your events

Pinterest is great for those that are looking for fresh ideas and it’s the social media platform that really puts infographics to work. Creativity is at its best on Pinterest, so I dare you to show us the Top 10 reasons attendees love your festival or 7 ways to recycle during a festival. But it’s also great if you are looking for inventive ideas for your future events, so don’t neglect it when searching for some inspiration.

upload dimensions for Pinterest

 

Photo dimensions on Instagram

It’s not the first time we write about Instagram either. We have even posted a 2018 update on best features that you can use, so today I just want to focus on photo dimensions.

photo dimensions for Instagram

Tip:

A great way to use Instagram option for multiple uploads is to edit a landscape photo 2160 X 1080 and to cut it into 2 separate 1080X1080 photos. Using the multiple upload option you can upload the 2 photos and Instagram will unite them into your original picture for a fresh experience. This is how the final result will look like:

Let me know how you like to use social media to promote your events.

 

¹source: Wordstream

²source: Omnicoreagency

³source: Twitter

photo dimension on social media infographic

 

Are you using Instagram’s latest updates?

2018 brought some really exciting updates on Instagram, making the Facebook-owned platform one of the hottest places on the internet. We have talked about Instagram before, and I would like to start by letting you know that over 100 million new users joined since our last article on how event planners can use Instagram to promote their events. We have already mentioned the general features, today we are going to focus on the latest updates and how event planners can use them in their best interest.

picture of a phone logging in on Instagram

You can now follow a hashtag

I would like to start with my favorite update, the ability to follow hashtags. Yes, this is correct, Instagram now allows us to follow hashtags just as we follow people or brands. The result is that all posts with that particular hashtag will appear in the user’s feed.

This new option is very helpful for event planners that have created a unique hashtag for their events. Fans will be to join an online community by simply following the hashtag; their feed will gather content that uses that particular hashtag, no matter who posts it (official account of the event, performers, attendees of fans).

Carousel ads for Instagram stories

With the help of a few lucky advertisers ( from brands like Coca-Cola, GAP or Bottega Veneta) Instagram is testing the way Carousel Ads fit into Instagram Stories. As an event planner, Carousel Ads are perfect because they allow you tell a short story about your event. As a marketer, Instagram Stories are great because they have a higher conversion rate than Feed Ads ( in a 2017 study conducted by Agorapulse – Instagram Stories had a 23% higher conversion rate than Feed Ads). I think it’s safe to say that Carousel Ads for Instagram Stories will be a great tool that combines two powerful features. For start, the carousel format will allow marketers to use just 3 pictures/videos, but according to Instagram officials this is just the starting point and things may change.

 

series of 3 pictures showing how carousel works on Instagram

source:adweek.com

Scheduling for Instagram

In the past, it was impossible to schedule a picture to be automatically posted on Instagram. The process involved push notifications, meaning that when the time came for the post to go online we would still need our approval. The good news is that starting January 2018, Instagram allows business accounts to schedule single photos (and it automatically posts them) – the changes in Instagram API allows 3rd party apps like HootSuite, Later or Buffer to do that for Instagram users. For videos, ads, and multiple photos scheduling still involves notifications, but this update shows us that things are moving towards what we all want. For event planners, this new feature means more posts with fewer interruptions.

P.s.  there are signs that scheduling will become available for regular users as well.

An improvement made to Instagram Stories

Instagram made it easier for users to upload pictures and videos into the Stories section. Following its latest update (April 2018), it is now possible for multiple photos and videos to be uploaded at once. Great news for content creators, this new option helps them save precious time.

Earlier this year “Stories” received another update, the “Type” mode initially used for status update on Facebook. “Type” allows you to create personalized messages using stylish fonts and backgrounds and can be used by event planners to deliver live messages to their followers. It may not be the best way to communicate but it is an option that may come in handy.

 

The Facebook-owned platform seems the hottest place to be right now, and the new features developed by the team behind are a clear sign that Instagram is shooting for the moon. The new Instagram Updates can help event planners better connect with their followers but also to reach new ones. 2018 seems to be Instagram’s year and it would be a shame not to use it to promote your events.

Creating a unique #hashtag for your event

In a previous article, when speaking about how you can use Twitter to promote your event, we recommended you to use the almighty event #hashtag in order to gain more visibility. Today I want to talk more about the #hashtag in particular, to see how and why you should create a unique one for your event.

But first, let’s remember what a hashtag is. Google dictionary informs us that it’s “a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic”. In other words, it’s a searchable link used on social media platforms to categorize content, tying public conversation in one single stream.

hash sign followed by EventHashtag

Twitter was the first social media platform to use # as a searchable link. In 2007 user Chris Messina first brought it up on Twitter, but it took 2 more years before the feature went live. Twitter is not the only social platform to use the hashtag for grouping content anymore but it’s the platform where users use it the most, over 125 Million # being used every single day.

#hashtags are also used on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (tested it, stopped using it, started using it again) Google+ or Pinterest. Even Snapchat users are using it, although on this platform it can’t be used as a searchable link.

What can I include in a hashtag? 

Although I’m sure almost everyone knows how they look there is some specific information we need to know. Hashtags don’t support spaces, so if you want to to use multiple words you can use capitals to differentiate them (example: #ExperienceTech). Punctuation marks and special characters are not supported either but numbers are, so #WAM18 can be (and is) used as an event hashtag.

Why should I create an event hashtag?

Twitter capture of GuinessWorldRecord account

source: Twitter.com

 

 

 

 

What would you say if I told you that one hashtag, #AIDubEBTamangPanahon, connected over 40 million tweets and comments in just 24 hours? Yes, this is a world record, but it’s a good example of how the snowball hashtag can roll, getting bigger and bigger.

Using the right hashtag (or combination of hashtags) will help you keep your followers close, and also reach new ones. Someone interested in your event will simply click on the hashtag and will “gain access” to all content where your # was used.

Your unique #hashtag can be used in combination with other ones in order to increase your reach but used wrong hashtags can also decrease it. These charts will show you the number of hashtags you should use on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for a better reach.

Twitter: it’s not recommended to use more than two hashtags per post.

Facebook: don’t use more than 3 hashtags in one post.

Instagram: Instagrammers love hashtags, so it seems that posts with 9 hashtags have the best engagement. But as you can see, the more the merrier.

You can check out Socialmediatoday to find out more about the recommended length of a hashtag for this 3 social media platforms.

How should my event hashtag be?

Simple and easy to spell. Try keeping it as simple as possible, so people don’t find it hard to remember (or spell).The goal is to have it used as often as possible and a very complicated one won’t help you (yes,  #AIDubEBTamangPanahon seems anything but simple, but why take the risk?)

Unique. Make sure that your branded hashtag wasn’t used by another company before (#eventplanning or not). You want your hashtag to be associated with your event, not with dog food (although let’s face it, dogs are damn cool).

Relevant. Don’t use a hashtag that might mislead users, it will backfire for sure. Use something that represents your event, like #ETA2017 for Event TEchnology Awards 2017 or #burningman for…well, guess this one.

P.s. you should also check your hashtags for double-meaning and also you should say it out loud before using it, it may save you a lot of trouble afterward.

How should I use my event hashtag?

Your mission is to create meaningful events and the event hashtag is closely connected to it, so I want to show you how to best use your hashtag before, during, and after your event(s).

Before the event: Before the event, you should use it to create a buzz around it. This way more and more potential attendees find out about it.  For this, it’s best to ask all your partners to use the event hashtag. You can also create contests where the followers using your hashtag can win tickets to the event, backstage passes or any other event related prize. This way you will encourage people to use and share information about your event, meaning you will reach more and more potential attendees.

During the event: Experience taught us that attendees will post/tweet during events, letting their friends/followers know what a great time they are having. Or who they have just met.

picture of Gary Vaynerchuk and a fan from brandmind_asia's Instagram account

source: Instagram, brandminds_asia account

You can expand your reach by reposting (or retweeting) their content with your event’s “official” hashtag.  You will also show your attendees that you appreciate their social media posting.

After the event: Being used as searchable links, hashtags are great when looking for user-generated content. And considering the fact that over 85% of the millennials say User Generated Content is a good indicator of the quality of a brand you should really use testimonials in your favor. Curated UGC can boost registration for your future events and your event hashtag is a great way to identify it.

Event marketing on Instagram. 5 ideas that will get you going

We’ve talked about the importance of social media in marketing. It offers us access to billions of users around the globe. Today I want to focus on Instagram, the platform that seems to be on everyone’s lips. With around 700 million accounts and over 400 million daily active users, Instagram had a fabulous growth in the last 4 years. And considering the fact that over 60% of its users are under 35 years old it’s clearly obvious that Instagram is great if you want to bring Millennials to your events.

smart phone placed over a laptop

So, without any further introductions, here are 5 ideas that will help you if you are planning to use Instagram to increase ticket sales.

Instagram is all about visual impact

Don’t forget that Instagram is the place where people come to see beautiful pictures. So for your Instagram profile, you should always have your camera ready. You can use pictures from your previous events (high-quality pictures with people having fun are perfect) or pictures with your crew setting up the place. A good way to show your progress is to use before/after pictures with the slide options; you can use up to 10 photos in just one post, showing your progress in setting up the place. If you want to edit your photos you can use Canva, a tool that allows you to edit photos directly into the Instagram format (1080px X 1080px).

Another powerful feature of Instagram is the Story section, where you can add both photos and videos. We talked about this section in a previous article that can be found here.

It’s easy to use Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads are a great way to ensure a greater reach for your posts. Just like Facebook, Instagram allows you to promote your posts so more potential customers hear about your business. There are four types of ads on Instagram: Photo Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads and Stories Ads.

Instagram is owned by Facebook so if you ever used Fb to set up a paid campaign you will find it very easy to set one up on Instagram. if you just want to promote a previous post you will be able to set up an Objective, select an Action Button, Audience, Budget, and Duration.

User-generated content works wonders

What will convince you to buy a certain product/service? The brand promoting itself or a customer that used it and can offer you a full review? Well, it seems that 76% of the consumers think that brands are not very honest when promoting themselves and believe that average people are, so they rely on user-generated content more than they rely on one particular brand’s marketing. Instagram is a great way to use this type of content because we all love to take photos, especially when having fun. Are you planning a festival? Create your own hashtag and your own location so people can tell the world where they are having fun. Planning a conference? I’m sure that attendees will love to take pictures with the speakers; repost those photos for some great user-generated content. There are many ways to use Instagram for USG, Hubspot went the extra mile and gathered some of the greatest campaigns.

Influencers can help you

Influencers love Instagram and you should take full advantage of it; it’s a great way for you to increase your number of followers or even convert some Instagrammers into attendees. How? Set up a partnership with an influencer in your niche so a post promoting your event will reach his tens of thousands of followers. This is the best tactic if you aim for a fast growth of your number of followers. If you want to set a strategy based on influencers you can read more here.

“Link in Bio” to the rescue

As I’m sure you know, Instagram doesn’t want you wandering around the Internet, so there are no active links on Instagram apart from the one in your Bio. It may look like a downside, but it’s not. You just need to learn that is OK to change the link in your Bio. Do you want to inform your followers on how to use your NFC cashless payment system? Add in Bio a link to an article that explains how this technology works. Are you selling tickets? Change the Bio link with so it leads to your tickets.

Instagram is a growing star, that’s for sure. And it’s great if you want to create an online presence. But, as I told before, you should test everything to see what really suits you. Remember that the vast majority of Instagram users are under 35 years old, this could be a very important information for your marketing strategy.

How to Rock Your Event with Snapchat and Instagram

I suppose that until now, we are all familiar with Snapchat and Instagram and how they became an essential tool in event marketing.

these sparks between us will

Even though Snapchat is losing market share since the launch of Instagram’s stories, it seems that the two are slowly taking different directions regarding the market segmentation and the user’s behavior while using the app. Instagram’s users are mainly over 24 years old and spend around 15 min a day browsing while 60% of Snapchat’s users are under 24 years old and spend an average of 30 min per day creating content. (Read more)

While Instagram is great in bringing awareness of an event within their 600 Million user base, Snapchat is perfect to create content and especially post event marketing material.

In this article I am going to talk about what are the best practices and uses of both Snapchat’s and Instagram’s stories.

How can you make use of the Stories in order to promote your event?

Like any other event we have three main phases: Pre-event marketing, Live marketing and Post-event marketing;

Pre-event marketing

  • Provide a sneak peak and Teaser – this is a great way to keep your audience intrigued and interested in your event while creating awareness within the possible attendees.
  • Create behind-the-scenes content – there’s nothing wrong about letting followers know about the hard work you and your team have put in creating this event. From the engineers who helped put everything in place –  to the artists doing their rehearsals, this will only make your audience feel more excited and included.
  • Overtake the Snapchat or Instagram account – it is a common trend that  a celebrity takes over a brand’s account for a limited period of time. Their main purpose is to showcase the event from their own perspective while offering valuable insights for their followers.
  • Incorporate location; based Geofilter and animated graphics that pertain to the event – Geofilters are available only on Snapchat and can be created or customized for your event; but keep in mind that this should be done ahead of time since they need a few days to be approved.

Live Marketing

  • Encourage Attendees to Use Snapchat’s and Instagram’s Stories – this represents the most important step in Live Marketing. It means bringing awareness, motivating and offering incentives to your audience in order to create content.
  • For both Instagram and Snapchat you should create centralized crowd-sourcing stories  and hashtags where your attendees can send all off their photos and videos.
  • Cross-promote your Snapchat’s and Instagram’s account – don’t forget to create a snapcode!
  • Create event and location hashtags so that your users can add them to their posts.
  • Snapchat’s geofilters are a big yes-yes – it is important to have it ready for when the event starts. The geofilter is like a stamp. A stamp which has to say your event’s story at one glance. It’s a stamp that your attendees should want to integrate in all of their Snaps.
  • Encourage celebrities to post behind-the-scenes content – everybody is curious about what is happening behind the scenes, how everything is organized and how the celebrities are getting prepared. Satisfy this thirst of curiosity by encouraging celebrities to post by themselves.
  • Respond to individual inquiries – when live streaming, in order to show your audience that you care about them, randomly answer some of their inquires. It is a small thing but it can bring a lot of satisfaction and loyalty.

Post-event marketing

  • Curate the content sent by participants – the content created by your attendees is Gold. Especially the content created with the use of Snapchat. The photos and videos created through Snapchat, will definitely bring an added value because of the different features the app has to offer; from editing tools, filters, animated filters and Geofilters the outcome of the content created is going to be unique. Receiving so much content from so many people and perspectives will definitely help create fun and entertaining videos for you to share on the Social Media profiles and let your attendees remember what a great time they had.
  • Send fun facts – another good practice would be to send fun facts and stories about what happened during the event. For example, at a festival: how many beers were drank or how many hotdogs eaten.

How to use and create Snapchat’s Geofilters

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 15.54.09

Snapchat offers their users the opportunity to create their own Geofilters according to the occasion.

Categories of Snapchat’s Geofilters

Community Geofilters are mainly used for a place that it is meaningful for you and your community (this geofilters are free of charge).

Personal Geofilters are created for important moments which happen in every one’s life, such as birthdays, welcome home parties or any kind of events. (the price for these geofilters starts at $5).

Business Geofilters are dedicated to help any kind of business drive awareness and engagement in one swipe. The event category will fall under this section too. They are more pricey than the Personal Geofilters but still affordable.

Unfortunately,  the On-Demand Geofilters (Personal & Business) are only available in the USA, Canada, Australia and UK.

How to create your Geofilters for Snapchat

First of all, the Geofilters have to be original and in order to do that you need to design or have one designed it for you. PicMonkey and Canva are two good example of platforms that can help create wonderful filters.

From February 2017, Snapchat, launch a tool that creates on-demand geofilters on the web so that you don’t have to use any other external platforms.

For those who still prefer creating a Geofilter with a tool that they are more comfortable and familiar with, need to keep in mind a few aspects when designing it:

  • Include your event name/logo but be careful not to add any logo or design that you don’t own.
  • Insert creative graphics and text but try to keep it around 2-3 lines tops.
  • Your text and design should not cover more than 25% of the screen dimensions.
  • The size of your geofilter should be: 1080 x 1920 pixels and less than 300kb, saved in .PNG format.

Snapchat and Instagram are two amazing tools that should not be ignored while organizing an event. Comparing them with other channels of event marketing, they are cost effective and sometimes free – why not take advantage of their great features?