One could say that people in the event industry have always been social, and that this is in the nature of their job. Establishing connections face-to-face, though, differs from online networking.  Digital channels of communication have brought forth some fundamental changes and the surge of social media has demonstrated this like no other trend before. These networks became global publishing platforms, offering unparalleled networking opportunities and great tools for generating and sharing content.

A vast visual universe

The Instagram is the king of the online visual realm. The meteoric growth launched it in the center of social media galaxy, and various other networks started to gravitate towards it. But, using it to get the word out and boost the attendance takes some planning and ingenuity.  The overwhelming amount of content that is being posted every day makes it hard to cut through the noise and grab people’s attention. That being said, Instagram can make the difference between dazzling success and failure of an event.

While some organizers seek to inspire and educate, others are keener on increasing sales and registrations. Regardless, it is important to realize that the role of social networks like Instagram goes far beyond the mere promotion of an event before it starts.  People who visit certain type of events tend to follow related accounts regularly. So, your campaign should not stay in hibernation for the most of the year. A weekly update should do the trick and it is also advisable to assign one person to do the posting, which ensures continuity.

Most event managers use Instagram with the intent to get people talking about the event in advance and raise the awareness about it. If things go well, attendees will also use social media to share their impressions during the occasion, and also after it to give impressions and feedback. This is invaluable because organizers may identify what things have stolen the show and what aspects need improvement. And after the curtain falls, do the follow up by thanking everybody for attendance.

Human, after all

If the speakers and presenters will be in the spotlight at the very event, then they should get an appropriate exposure in the campaign. They are the main reason why people will flock to the event, which is why your campaign should emphasize their expertise and authority. Also, make an effort to create a custom, compelling graphic they can use, and let them share the content across the social media landscape.  With these steps, you are putting a human face on your campaign and avoid it getting stale.

Furthermore, note that hashtags are crucial on Instagram because they direct the traffic your way and help you connect with attendees. The platform allows you to use up to 30 hashtags, so take full advantage of this feature. Mind that by using unique ones, you can reach a targeted audience and create buzz.  To amplify it further, you can give away some tickets. Hold a contest where participants are supposed to submit their own event-related photos. Cool prizes will attract numerous eager competitors, and increase the visibility of the upcoming event. 

Even with all these steps, the success of the campaign is not guaranteed. So, put other digital tools to good use and integrate them with the Instagram. For example, if your website is powered by WordPress, using a WP event ticketing plugin allows you deliver tickets efficiently. Customers can also connect their social media accounts accounts to the appropriate events and be notified of any change or update. Therefore, marketers and event managers can mobilize registered attendees to provide word-of-mouth promotion and invite their friends to take part too. These activities are much more efficient in generating RSVP’s and have a better response rate than regular invitations.

Back to the future

Whether you are an individual trying to promote a specific event or a business of small or medium size, the number of followers is what essentially affects the success of your Instagram marketing campaign. There are several ways of building large following on Instagram and they are all more or less effective.

For example, aforementioned hashtags. By proper deployment of relevant and popular hashtags, you are bound to attract attention of prospective customers. Furthermore, believe it or not, Instagram users respond to image filters. Thus, it is important to do research regarding which filters are popular and which ones are not,  and use the knowledge to attain followers. Posting at the right time is one of the most important factors to keep an eye on. If you think about it, it is only logical to create posts during the time of the day when most users are active. According to the study conducted by Huffington post regarding the timeframe of publishing content on your Instagram profile, the most optimal period is between 2 AM and 5 PM. Also, generating users by utilising other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter is a must. If you already have a substantial following on those networks, why not invite them over to check up on your Instagram profile. What would social networks be without connecting people? So don’t just wait for people to follow you, reach out, follow others, comment and like their posts. that way people will take action and return the favor by following back.

Last, but not least, you can always opt for buying followers. The greater the number of followers you have, the more new ones will follow. It is a fact that social media profiles with an already large following attract new users.

To make the most out of the immense potential of Instagram, manage the account throughout the year and interact with the followers on a regular basis. It has never been easier to transfer viewers into the enthralling world of images and pull some viral marketing off. This, however, is impossible without a smart campaign that rallies your attendees and stimulates their engagement. Wow your clients with a consistent and appealing Instagram activity. With the appropriate campaign plan and execution, it is possible to create a wide, engaged audience that will look forward to your future events.

Bio: Marcus Jensen is an IT professional. He is an Editor-in-Chief of Technivorz blog, and writes about technology, business and marketing.