No matter what kind of event you’re hosting, social media will likely play a huge part in your event promotion strategy. Of course, there are thousands of ways you can follow to make your events shine on every social media platform. But today we want to put special attention to social media sharing by YOUR GUESTS. You might not have thought about it, but turning your guests into advocates can be crucial for your social media strategy.
According to Alison Smith Jenks, you have three audiences – your live audience, your virtual audience, and your viral audience. Let’s be honest: we all would love to reach that viral audience, making your event a success among social media users. But actually achieving that “viral” status isn’t that simple. You need to encourage the members of the two other audiences to share your event on social media and engage with your event content. In the end, this is what sparkles an “I should have been there” feeling in your viral audience.
Now the question is, how do you engage your live and virtual audiences in a way that allows you to sit back and watch as they share the events you’re hosting?
Here are some tips for you to encourage guests to promote your events on social media.
1. Discount tickets for social media sharing
When choosing Passage as your ticketing software, you can offer your guests social media discounts when purchasing their tickets. During the checkout, guests will have the chance to get a percentage or dollar amount discount if they share your event on their social media pages.
Unlike other event ticketing companies, Passage gives you the power to offer immediate discounts, which creates an incentive for guests to easily share events right away. Super easy!
2. Make sure your venue has free WiFi access
This might seem pretty obvious. But how are your guests supposed to share live videos and images of your event if they don’t have access to WiFi?!
Think about it. People like to upload content to their Instagram stories, Facebook, or even Snapchat. If your event rocks, they’ll definitely post some event content to show their followers where they are and what they are doing. But this won’t be possible, or at least will be difficult, without an internet connection.
3. Create an Event Hashtag
Event hashtags are super important for guests to recognize your event and use it within their own event content. But before anything else, you need to make sure your # is known by every attendee! So before, during, and even after the event, you should stamp your # on your website, promo materials, emails, mobile app, newsletters, and social networks. Event hashtags can be essential for your event promotion strategy.
Mark Sylvester emphasizes the importance of these game-changers and advises to ensure your event hashtags are relevant, unique, and easy to spell and pronounce. Make them memorable so everyone remembers them. Try to build a sense of belonging behind the #, so every one of your attendees will feel compelled to use it. Remember: your guests are the ones who will make that hashtag go viral.
4. Make your Event photo-friendly
We all love to share nice pictures and videos on social media. Your guests are not an exception. If you want them to create event content and share it with their followers, you need to take into consideration the look and feel of your venue. Today, aesthetics are everything!
There are 3 tips we recommend following:
- Hire an event photographer: Having a professional that knows how to create good event photos and videos is KEY. You’ll get great event content to share on your social media pages afterward. But most importantly, once you post them on Instagram or Facebook, guests will love to search for the images in which they appear and share them with their friends.
- Designate a cool space for guests to take their own photos: it can be a piece of art, a huge entrance sign with the name of your event, or whatever you want! You can encourage your guests to take memorable pics in those places and share them on social media. If you want people to promote events, this one is a MUST.
- Include a Photo Booth: A great way to encourage guests to share events on social media is by letting them take cool pictures with their friends in a Photo Booth. You can let them take the pictures for free if they share them on social media with your event hashtag or by tagging your event page.
5. Let guests participate in the Event’s decor
We know this might sound kinda odd. But have you thought about making your guests participate in the venue’s decoration?
Here’s one idea: a mural! Imagine each guest making their contribution by painting a big wall, or just putting their signature or name into it. It can be a super fun ancillary activity. If you’re hosting a music festival, guests can take a break, paint, have some fresh drinks, and go back to dancing!
Besides being a cool activity to share on social media, you’ll be making them feel part of your event, so they’ll probably create some event content for Instagram posts and reels, or TikTok videos.
6. Grant access to Early Birds Tickets
Another amazing way to encourage guests to share events on social media is by letting them have access to early bird tickets IF they follow the instructions of a certain post or Instagram story.
For example, you could host a small social media competition in which users have to post a picture of them at your last year’s event (with your event hashtag), and the one with more likes or shares gets access to early birds.
Or you could even increase your social media engagement by making tolls on your Instagram stories about facts related to your event. The ones who get more questions right, win!
7. Instagram Giveaways
Like tip #6, you could also organize giveaways on your Instagram posts. These can be “Win an extra ticket”, “Meet-and-greets”, or any other type of giveaway related to your event.
Giveaways are one of the easiest ways to encourage attendees to share events on their social media pages. You just need to make a giveaway post, add the instructions, and users will tag their friends in the comments and share the post.
8. Create a TikTok challenge
TikTok might not be originally part of your social media strategy. But if you want to go viral, you should totally consider it.
You can create a TikTok challenge related to your event concept. If you’re hosting a music festival, you can dare people to dance with their friends. If your next event is a food catering festival or fair, you should dare attendees to share their coolest recipes. Be creative!
But, how can you make sure guests will participate? Well, they need an incentive! Consider giving a prize on the day of your event to the TikTok posts with more likes or shares.
9. Rock your Instagram stories
GIFs can be a cool way to personalize your event’s Instagram stories. Like event hashtags, personalized GIFs can help users recognize your event. Once you create them, encourage your guests to use them on their own Instagram stories.
Countdown stickers are another great tool for your stories. The Countdown can be about how many days are left till the event or when the lineup is going to be revealed. Users can save that sticker and share it on their own Instagram story to show how excited they are to attend.
Many brands are now creating their own Instagram filters for stories, so users can use them and share them with their friends. So why not create one tailored to your event’s theme? It can be a unique way to promote your events.
Learn more about Instagram stories here.
10. Create Snapchat Filters for Events
Another amazing way to encourage people to share events is through Snapchat Filters. This social media platform allows you to create filters or “geofilters” for your event that are linked to certain locations.
Depending on your event’s needs or wants, you can choose between an On-demand geofilter (which cover smaller areas and hence, are cheaper) or a Sponsored geofilter (expensive since they cover larger areas).
How do these work? Well, when a user (in this case a guest) is near the geographical area linked to your geofilter, the filter you created will easily appear in their app. This means that your guests can overlay your event geofilter on their own Snapchat videos or images and share it with their friends and family.
Don’t miss the chance to add Snapchat to your social media strategy.
11. Repost your guests’ event content
People LOVE when “official” accounts repost their content. By following the tips above, you can be sure that many guests will probably tag your event page and use your event hashtag while sharing live videos and photos on their Instagram stories. You should definitely repost them on your event’s social media pages!
This can bring a lot of benefits for you. First, reposting will make your guests feel special, which will encourage them to keep creating more event content. Second, your virtual audience will grow since your guests’ followers will see that content and will probably visit your social media pages. It’s free event promotion! And last but not least, all those reposts will be social proof that your event was a total success.
12. Engage with your audience
Similar to what is mentioned above, you should also engage with your guests’ event content besides reposting it, by giving likes, making comments, participating in conversations, and hearing what they have to say about your event. Your event will have a much more dynamic and active presence on social media when you engage with your audience.
By giving your audience the control to talk, tweet, and post, you are essentially empowering them. People enjoy feeling like they are in control and that they have a voice. Especially Millennials and Gen Zs. They can be the first ones to write a harsh review or give you a not-so-generous rating. This demographic fully understands its buying power and its members will do whatever it takes to make sure their voices are heard. Connect with this audience, and they will reciprocate ten-fold (mostly in the form of sharing your content).
Now that you have these 12 tips, encouraging your guests to share events on social media shouldn’t be that hard.
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