How to promote your event business on Instagram: Event social media marketing tips, tricks, and ideas
Just a couple of years ago, we were bound to our homes and only had the opportunity to attend online events. Webinars, online conferences, and even online concerts became a solid part of our lives during the pandemic.
Today, the world is slowly recovering from the coronavirus, bringing offline events such as weddings, festivals, and real-life conferences back.
But the world of event business marketing will never be the same. It’s not heavily digitized with most event promotion happening on social media.
It’s imperative that you nail event social media marketing if you want your business to stay afloat and prosper.
Luckily, you have us. In this article, we talk about the importance of social media marketing for event businesses; discuss the best social media platforms for different events; and share our 9 best ideas and strategies for event marketing on social media. Stay tuned!
And make sure you…
Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to host online parties, curate special live-stream conferences, or replenish the good old in-person festival with global outreach; you need to design a lot for these occasions, and the VistaCreate graphics editor will help you come up with an excellent design for any event.
Why is social media marketing important for event businesses?
According to stats, 86% of event marketers are optimistic that technology can greatly impact the success of their events.
Social media marketing and event businesses go together like peanut butter and jelly, like milk and cookies, like VistaCreate and creating great designs in minutes… Well, you get the memo, don’t you?
Social media marketing is a must for any event business that wants to increase its brand awareness, reach a wider audience, and sell its services to a higher number of customers.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the key benefits of event social media marketing:
- Social media makes it easy to double on your social proofing efforts. One of the peculiarities of the event business industry is that it’s heavily dependent on client reviews and User-Generated Content. Social media marketing helps you to better manage social proof and use it to your advantage.
- It helps increase your brand and event exposure. Thanks to organic and paid social media advertising, you can deliver information about your brand or a specific event to more people. As a result, your name will have a ring to it, and when the right time comes, potential clients will come to you and not your competitors for their event planning requests.
- It helps you reach your target audience. Social media platforms are home to millions of users of different profiles, including those who could be interested in the services your event business offers. This means that you can use social media to not only reach large audiences but also target specific groups within those audiences based on particular characteristics they share.
- It helps build excitement around your events. Social media marketing can help event planners to establish ongoing communication with their target audience. Regular activity on social media can help build a connection with the followers, while continuous teasers of upcoming events will make them more and more excited about it.
- It helps showcase your expertise as an event planner. If you play your cards right (which you will, granted that you read this article till the end!), you’ll dilute your social media content plan with educational content. Instead of only sharing information about upcoming events, you should also publish content that will prove your expertise and give you more credibility in the industry. As a nice-to-have bonus, it will also garner you plenty of reposts and saves.
- It helps build a community around your events. Often, customers use events as a form of networking. So, providing them with a space where they can meet like minded individuals and chat with them (the comments section, live streams, etc) prior to the event helps turn them into brand advocates and stay with you for longer.
All in all, social media marketing is vital for event businesses because, at the end of the day, it allows them to increase sales.
However, leveraging the benefits of event social media marketing is only possible if you manage to identify the right social media platform for your marketing activities.
So, let’s move on to the next question on today’s agenda: which social media should you choose for your event business?
Which social media should you choose for your event social media marketing?
There are currently loads of social media platforms that differ in their popularity, the niche they cater to, and the content formats they focus on. Some of the most common social media platforms for event social media marketing include Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest.
P.S. The latter is particularly popular among wedding planners because what girl hasn’t had a “Wedding inspo” board at some point in her life 😉
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and talk about each of these platforms one at a time to find out which event businesses will benefit the most from each social media platform.
Here’s a brief overview of all of them:
- Instagram: An uber-popular platform that focuses primarily on visual content such as photos/videos, and is especially popular among younger audiences. It offers a wide range of features that can be used for event business marketing, such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Lives, Stickers, etc.
- Facebook: The OG social media platform with over 2 billion users of different age groups and interests. It boasts a lot of native functionality for event promotion, such as event pages, organic, and paid promotional tools.
- Pinterest: A social media platform that focuses exclusively on visual content and, traditionally, attracts people looking to plan events.
- TikTok: A platform that has recently become really popular among users of different demographics. The main benefit of this platform is that it allows you to promote your event through short videos. Its algorithms also make it easy to reach your specific target audience.
- LinkedIn: A social media platform for business people that is particularly effective for promoting “serious” events targeted at professionals, like conferences.
- Twitter: A social media platform best known for its immediate, real-time nature, which can come in handy for generating buzz before an event and during it.
So, if you’re an event business that takes pride in its striking visuals, Instagram is the platform for you. It provides event businesses with the opportunity to wow their target audience using astonishing pictures, unconventional designs, and all that jazz. Video is also a particularly popular format on Instagram, thanks to the recent introduction of Reels that put Instagram on the same level of videofication as TikTok. So, if you’re planning to advertise your event with the use of videos, give Instagram or TikTok a try.
To choose the right platform for your event social media marketing, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your potential attendees actively using the social media platform in question?
- Can you post content on the platform that aligns with your brand?
- Does the platform you’re considering have all the functionality you need to effectively promote your event business?
9 best ideas and strategies for event social media marketing: How to promote your event on Instagram
Create a catchy hashtag for your event and make it go viral
The effectiveness of using hashtags to boost your social media profile is a topic of controversy in a lot of industries… With the only exception being event planning!
When it comes to promoting your event business on social media, hashtags can come in handy — you just need to think it all through.
First, you need to come up with a catchy hashtag people would use to talk about your event online. Now, there are several rules to creating a good one:
- Relevant – Your event hashtag should clearly relate to your event’s name, purpose, or topic.
- Unique – You need to make sure that the hashtag you use for all your future event marketing communications is only applicable to your particular business or event. Otherwise, there might be unwanted confusion. For example, #SummerParty is a bad hashtag as it can refer to countless events across the globe. You need to be a tad more specific.
- Short – The shorter the hashtag, the easier it is to use. If you want your hashtag to go viral on Instagram, don’t make your audience do any extra work typing it out.
- Clear – We all love a bit of mystery, but your hashtag shouldn’t be too tough to decipher. You want people to recognize it straightaway, especially if you’re using it to target new attendees.
- New – Make sure your hashtag hasn’t been used by another event business before.
- Timeless (or timed) – If you plan to host the same event again in the future, avoid using time-bound phrases like “2022” or “August”. However, if it’s a one-time event, including a date will only make the hashtag more meaningful.
And once you have that down… It’s time to make your hashtag go viral! Include it everywhere you can (we mean it!):
- Place the event hashtag in the bios of your social media accounts
- Add the event hashtag to the header/logo of any print materials
- Put the hashtag in your email signature
- Add the hashtag to every social media post you publish
- Add the hashtag to the visuals on your social media
Make it a part of your event’s branding, too. The trick is to make the hashtag visible in areas where photos are being taken, like the entrance to your venue or the stage background.
Here’s an example of the Digital Marketing World Forum (also known as #DMWF) doing it right:
By the way, to give your event even more exposure on Instagram, you can combine your event hashtag with some more generic event business hashtags:
#conference, #event, #events, #meeting, #party, #eventplanner, #eventtips, #eventplanning, #webinar, #bestevents, #forum
Teasers, teasers, and… more teasers!
The moment you enter the world of social media with your event, no one knows a thing about it. It’s your task to enlighten your audience and tease them to the point where they can’t help but grab tickets to the event.
There are several ways you can approach this task:
- Publish a video-teaser
- Create an Instagram carousel with images from a previous event
- Introduce the speakers/key personas that will perform at your event
And don’t forget, the aesthetics of your Instagram profile really do make a difference. Here’s an example of a creative Instagram feed by a Ukrainian electronic music festival, Brave Factory:
Here are a couple of beautiful templates from VistaCreate that you can use to promote your event on Instagram:
🔥 VistaCreate Hot Tip: Introduce one speaker every day leading up to the event, and get them to talk about what they’re going to talk about at the event to build up excitement.
Another great idea would be to go to Instagram Live and host a Q&A session with either the key personas of your event or the event planner themselves. There, people will be able to join in and learn more about the upcoming event, find out the information they’d like to know, and more.
Make sure to promote this Live with a couple of Instagram posts so that people are hyped for it, too!
Show behind the scenes to build up excitement
Another way to build up excitement around your event is to give people the inside scoop on your event planning process.
People love seeing behind-the-scenes content: it’s human nature to be at least a bit curious about what’s going on behind closed doors. So, give people the chance to take a peek and attract even more attention to both your event and your business.
Use Instagram to post photos and videos of the event planning process, reflect on the progress, show how you’re getting on with different tasks, and give your audience a taste of what they can expect from the upcoming event.
🔥 A hot idea: Choose several days leading up to the event to take your followers on a journey with you. Run a couple of errands and film all the little details. For example, if you’re planning a dinner party, show your followers the process of deciding on the menu and tasting different meal options.
It would also be a great idea to introduce your team and show what each member of the team is responsible for: not only is it interesting, but it also gives personality to your event brand, humanizing it. Besides, it can help you showcase the expertise of your team members and gain a couple of extra credibility points.
Partner with influencers
Sharing is caring! Even if somebody shares and cares for a little fee.
Make a list of influencers that already have an audience that overlaps with your target audience, and get them to promote your event or event business on their social media pages.
VistaCreate Hot Tip: You can even establish a deeper connection with your existing audience by asking them which influencers they’d like to see at your event via an Instagram Stories Poll or the comments section. This is guaranteed to generate better engagement, too!
Once you choose an influencer to partner with, get them to create some pre-event buzz:
- Ask them to make a post about what they’re going to wear to the event
- Let them invite their followers to join them at the event
- Invite them backstage to show their audience the event planning process
Run a contest
A little contest goes a long way. When it comes to event social media marketing, contests work wonders.
It kills two birds with one stone:
- Generates event and brand awareness for your business
- Generates lots of high-quality User-Generated content
A prize can be virtually anything, but the most obvious is, of course, free tickets to your event. But you don’t have to stop there. You can raise the stakes and offer your contestants other things, too:
Create an AR Filter to use on Instagram
Custom geofilters used to be particularly popular for marketing events on Snapchat back in the day. Today, Snapchat is no longer popular, but Augmented Reality (AR) masks still remain at the peak of their game, now in the form of Instagram Story filters.
By the way, despite the effectiveness of this method, not a lot of event businesses do it, so you can easily stand out from the crowd if you choose to use this trick!
Here are a couple of filter ideas you can create before your event to generate more visibility and buzz for it:
- Which drink are you?
- Who’s speech should you attend at the [Event]?
- Which stage matches your vibe?
- What is going to happen to you at the [Event]?
If you don’t want to get busy with creating an overly complicated event filter, you can always go for a funny one. Such filters have the potential to go viral, too!
🔥 VistaCreate Hot Tip: Make sure all of the filters you create are branded. You want to make the connection between the event and the filter obvious.
Speaking of Instagram Stories… You can also make use of Instagram’s functionality and add a countdown till your event, or create a reminder:
Make use of User-Generated Content
The strength of your event business lies in your relationship with the audience. At the end of the day, if your audience isn’t interested in your events, they won’t attend them. So, you need to make sure that you use your social media to deepen this bond.
The best way to do this is by leveraging user-generated content. Repost images and videos of your attendees, and publish their reviews of the event.
Here are a couple of review templates by VistaCreate that you can use to quote your event attendees:
And, of course, make sure you entice your audience to attend your events to get some amazing pictures of themselves and make an appearance on your social media page!
Actively use social media during the event
Event social media marketing isn’t only about creating buzz before the event or reflecting on the accomplishments after the deed is done. You can also use social media to promote your event while it’s taking place. It will be particularly beneficial for attracting those followers who had the intention of going but ended up not attending the event. They’ll think twice before skipping your next get-together.
Some things you can do during the event to boost your business’s Instagram presence:
- Livestream the event using Instagram Live
- Introduce your speakers through Stories
- Ask your audience questions using the Questions Sticker
And don’t forget to save all those Streams and Stories. You’ll need them for the next event business social media marketing idea.
Repackage and repurpose content from your event for further posts
Finally, don’t let your social media page die in between events. It’s important that your followers keep getting reassured they did the right thing when they followed you. That’s why you need to keep providing value with every publication and do it regularly.
Here are a couple of things you can do to achieve this goal:
- Offer a recording of the key speaker’s performances
- Turn the main points made by each speaker into an infographic
- Produce a report
- Share high-quality video-clips from your event
- Share some ever-green educational content about the event industry
- Share relatable funny images
And remember, it’s not only about what you post, but how it looks. Make sure your event appears just as appealing online as it does offline with VistaCreate’s design solutions for different industries.