By Lisa Major
Experiential marketing is all about creating experiences, while social media, on the other hand, is about sharing them. However, when you combine the two, something magical happens. Incorporating a social media strategy (or a few strategies) not only allows a brand experience to begin before the activation even takes place, it allows the conversation to continue long after the event is over. Social media also gives brands an opportunity to reach an even broader audience. To ensure that you are utilizing all that social media has to offer, consider incorporating at least one of the following strategies in your experiential marketing campaign.
Part of experiential marketing is the element of surprise that it brings, so sure you’ll have a certain number of people interacting with your experience that have no prior knowledge of the event. But, for your existing customers or followers, you’ll want to use social media for some pre-event marketing to drive traffic to your event.
Facebook is one of the go-to places for people to find events that are happening nearby. Creating a Facebook event gives you the opportunity to announce the details of your activation and provide reminders and updates to those who have shown interest. With a little bit of keyword research and entering in key information regarding your demographics, you can create an event that can be easily found (and hopefully shared).
Tip: Boosting your event through paid ads on Facebook is a relatively inexpensive, yet effective way to get your event in front of more eyes.
Social media marketing is most effective when the copy is combined with photographs, videos, infographics, or any other form of visual content. Images allow users to visualize the experience, feel drawn to it, and hopefully share it.
Tip: When creating or posting imagery for an experiential marketing event, share something that will appeal to your target audience, something they can relate to and something they will interact with. The more it speaks to them, the greater chance they will interact with it.
Fear of missing out is a real thing and is a driving force behind consumer decision making. Offer an exclusive giveaway or special offers that are only available to those who see your social media post prior to the activation. Or, post a teaser for your event to keep followers intrigued.
Tip: Offering something exclusive to your followers makes them feel special and solidifies your brand.
Using social media influencers (bloggers, the media, micro-influencers) to help spread the word about an upcoming event is a great way to build relationships, your network, and your business. Influencers who share a similar target audience can share information about your event to their followers, expanding your organic reach through word-of-mouth marketing.
Tip: When reaching out to an influencer, ensure that you offer the influencer something in return for their efforts.
There are so many options to get people talking during an event, but one of the most important things you can do is create easily shareable content. Don’t make it too hard, and don’t force it.
Create a memorable photo opportunity that people will want to participate in, and better yet, share. This can range from incredible visual design elements to photo booths to mosaic walls. Add branded elements like logos, your website address, or a hashtag to your digital elements to add even more value.
Tip: Definitely go for in-your-face shareable content, but also subtly incorporate photo sharing opportunities into the activation.
Getting found is a huge part of building brand awareness and hashtags are a fun and effective way to do just that. Not to mention, clever hashtags can generate a lot of buzz for your brand. You will want to choose a hashtag that is unique to your brand, the event, and your target audience. Be sure to use the hashtag in branded visual elements and get your brand ambassadors to encourage attendees to use it when sharing content.
Tip: You can incentivize the use of the hashtag by offering a giveaway to those who share content using the hashtag. The same goes for photo sharing, check-ins, and mentions.
Captivate attendees with a social wall. Social walls give real-time feeds from social networks allowing people to see their posts and photos on the big screen. People can’t resist seeing their name in the limelight and that will increase engagement significantly.
Tip: Incorporate several platforms on your social wall to get the most engagement.
Using social media for post-event engagement is super important. It will help you maintain a connection with attendees, keeping you on their radar.
Continue the conversation with attendees by creating a post-event contest or giveaway. You can promote the contest during the event and encourage people to follow your page for updates and contest winners. This will increase your fan base and will allow for increased engagement and interactions.
Tip: For a double whammy, ask users to share the contest with their followers. This will create even more awareness and generate even more followers for your brand.
In the immediate days after your activation, offer an exclusive discount for your product or service or a digital giveaway.
Tip: If you offer a discount, require an email address to receive the digital offer. This way, you can collect email leads and keep in touch via email and through social platforms.
Show off the experience to your followers with photos and videos and reshare consumer-created content from the event to add a personal touch.
Tip: If you reshare consumer-created content, be sure to mention the person who posted the content to make it even more personalized.
The important thing to remember is the story you want to share and the primary goal of your social media efforts. Once you have that in place, you can decide on what social media strategies are right for your campaign.
Creating a positive brand experience for consumers will pave the path for your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. And those responsible for creating that experience should be at the top of your to-do list. When you are in need of brand ambassadors or event staff to take your experiential campaign to the next level, you can count on ATN Event Staffing.