Instagram is a fantastic tool for spreading the word about your event. By incorporating the use of Instagram into your event planning, you can create excitement before, during, and after the big day. Here are a few tips for making the most of this free platform to boost your event marketing capabilities.
BEFORE THE EVENT
Create a #hashtag that is specific to your event, and another that is specific to the volunteers. Using these two hashtags before the event can do wonders in creating buzz! Use them for every post related to the event so that people can click it and see the collection of related posts. Any additional hashtags related to the photo and event are also very helpful in ensuring that your photo is easily discoverable.
Review Photo-Taking Tips
If you feel you don't have the best photography skills, not to worry! Simply brush up on a few simple steps that can help you take more eye-catching photos and increase the chances of them being liked and shared.
Create buzz to generate FOMO: the fear of missing out. Posting information that instills the fear of a missed opportunity will have people wanting to see more and is likely to get them to your event. Use Instagram to post video or photo teasers that could include special guests, games, or vendors.
Giveaways and contests get people excited, and they encourage followers to spread the word for you! To increase exposure and encourage more engagement, post an Instagram contest with clear rules and instructions to follow. Rules could involve tagging friends in the comments of the photo or reposting the photo to their personal profiles. Incentives for this contest should include for example, offering free admission or free swag to people who complete the assigned steps.
For more on event planning, check out our Event Planning 101 Guide!
Get Volunteers Involved
Volunteers are perfect for promoting your event! Get them fully involved by having their daily duties include; Instagram posting. Give each volunteer a target number of photos, and have them share the photos with the specific event hashtag. Be sure to make use of your volunteer management tool to send reminders and provide them with a checklist that details what NOT to forget in their posts.
For more in-depth help on managing your volunteers like a pro, look at our ebook!
Share Volunteer Training Sessions
To go with your volunteer-related hashtag, take photos of volunteer training to build excitement among followers who may be interested in joining the team for your next event.
DURING THE EVENT
Take advantage of Instagram Stories with photos and videos from the beginning to the end of the event, including live testimonials from attendees during the event!
Don't get spammy - you don't need to post every five minutes - post at regular intervals throughout the day, for example, every couple of hours. Remember, you can put several photos and videos in one post, so it's easy to categorize your moments and share a lot without blowing up your followers' feeds.
Go Behind the Scenes
Your Instagram Story can include behind-the-scenes footage about your experience preparing the event. People enjoy seeing what it takes to make the event a success. They feel like they're in on a secret, like you trust them, which builds loyalty. Your volunteers can share posts like this, too.
AFTER THE EVENT
Share Attendee Posts
Give your attendees some recognition by sharing and commenting on their posts. Show your appreciation for their attendance and participation. If you have successfully used and spread the word for your personalized event hashtag, you should be able to find these posts easily!
Share Press Coverage
If applicable, share links to any news coverage of your event.
Ask for Feedback
This is how you get better next time! Ask your attendees to share their experiences. Chances are, much of this feedback will be positive, which will help create a buzz around the event; any constructive criticism can help you improve.
If your attendees share their positive experience with you, share that with your followers! As of 2016, Instagram was the most popular social platform after Facebook, and more than half of its users check it at least once a day. Use it to your advantage to help promote your event and your volunteer program!
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