2019 Guest Post by Natasha Ponomaroff
As of 2018, Instagram had an estimated 77.6 million active users. 500 million people use Instagram every single day; 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram and 23% of Instagram images are more likely to get ‘likes’ vs Facebook images. Still not impressed? How about…1 out of 3 of the most viewed Instagram ‘stories’ are from businesses.With such massive and diverse public appeal, Instagram has enormous potential for business promotion and the event industry. For example, Instagram’s potential for interaction (content shares, ‘likes’ and purchases) is ten times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
Using Instagram as a marketing tool for businesses and event promotion only makes sense. Instagram can help with more than advertising; it can increase event ticket sales and help you to sell out fast!
Source: Pew Centre
Here are a few tips to get you started:
It’s Who You Know
The foundation of great event promotion on Instagram is to grow your audience: the more followers you have the more potential ticket-buyers you have. To do this, make a concerted effort to give your viewers high-quality, exciting and interesting posts - post content that informs, inspires, educates and entertains.
Source: Instagram prestonrbailey
Posting attention-worthy images is easy; you can use a photo-editing app to correct lighting, composition and distracting details. Then try adding different types of details that will appeal to your followers at various stages of their Instagram visit - adding inspirational quotes encourage new users to comment on your posts and follow your account, product tags/stickers persuade followers that are ready to buy, and ‘behind-the scenes’ videos can inspire repeat purchasing and support from return patrons. Once you’ve mastered the art of creating magical Instagram content we can get to the brass tacks of using Instagram to market your event.
Get Excited About the Venue
Post a sneak peak of the event space, an exclusive look at what ticket buyers can look forward to. Showing pics of the interior and exterior is an excellent way to give an impression of the atmosphere they can expect.
But it can be hard to select the perfect venue. Why not get the audience involved? Upload photos of each potential location on Instagram and let your followers vote on which one is best. Remember: you can upload videos. Walk through the space, record it and post it. Add a fun description while noting the architecture or outdoor areas.
Since you’ve got people casting ballots, why not reward them for their interest? Turn the voting process into a contest! Enter each voter to win a backstage pass, free drinks and/or food, 2-for-1 admission, VIP swag... you get the idea. The most common, and simple, of Instagram contests is, “Like And/Or Comment to Win” which is very easy for people to enter and even easier for you to moderate as you don’t have to track entries or hashtags. A user-generated content challenge is an excellent way to promote your business and event. Ask your users to show themselves using your product, and/or post photos that are related to your product (I.E.: travel for a travel brand) for a chance to win! An Instagram contest is a fun way to collect content from followers that you can share across your social channels. But make sure the terms and conditions are clear..
Source: Instagram beatjunkies.tv
Make everything (getting tickets) easy.
The easiest way to sell tickets to your event is via a link in your bio. Your bio is the second most important feature of your profile after your profile pic; use it for timely details such as your special event. Or you can sell tickets through a partner such as Eventbrite. Thanks to a new partnership with Instagram you can now add a ‘Get-Tickets’ button on your Instagram business profile, which will help generate more interest in your event listing.
Once your followers have decided to attend your event, prevent any obstacles like complex or glitchy payment methods from getting between them and the tickets. There are lots of great ways to streamline purchases for mobile users: Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Ali Pay just to name a few. Check out a ‘how-to’ blog for tips on how to set up optimized mobile paying systems.
Posting During your Event is F.U.N and beneficial
The hashtag has been called ‘the new watercooler’; it’s the place where people gather to talk about what’s happening. Posting pics, videos, and selfies with event-specific hashtags is an excellent way to advertise and create hype. Hashtags can be used to engage sponsors or start a conversation between guests and speakers. AND, after the event is over, you can collect content from the attendees. A noticeable, easy-to-remember hashtag will boost the online conversation around your event — and ultimately, your ticket sales. Here’s how you can use hashtags before, during, and after your event.
Images from Instagram: (L to R, T to B) very.hungry.hippo, cheffbakken,
janet.perkins.turner, kuzynki.gotuja, glasgowfoodcollective, aja_roubah
Selfies are more than just a fad, they’re another terrific way to get user-generated content on your Instagram feed. Why not add to your audience and follower experience with an onsite photo booth? Rent a photo booth or stage a special area at the event for people to take selfies and fun group pics, add some playful (branded) props and colorful backgrounds to encourage people’s creativity.
Image Source: www.geventm.com
Post Often Before, During and After the Event
A contemporary event has two audiences: IRL and online. Posting during the event lets people who didn’t get tickets (or those who weren’t able to attend) feel included; it also maintains their interest in your event. On top of that, it gives your business a chance to prove that it can throw a solid party/conference. Using Instagram to post updates and live moments via the ‘story’ feature gives everyone an opportunity to see what’s happening. Try not to upload random images, make each post count.
Static photos are great and so are live action shots. They let your followers see exactly what is happening and how people are engaging, reacting and enjoying your business event. Before you post perfect all of the features of your photos and videos; touch up the color, lighting, composition and more using a photo editing app. Posting a video or photo on your Instagram ‘story’ is easy and lets you become a cinematographer, even if for just one night.
Evidence of Success
Using Instagram as a promotional tool is an excellent way to grow your business profile, manage ticket sales and promote your events. Perhaps you’re hungry for some hard evidence, “how did Instagram work for your business? How many people viewed your profile?” Check out Sprout Social’s compilation of Instagram analytics tools that you can use to tap into your key marketing metrics and plan even better, sell-out, events in the future.
Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.