Can you imagine any kind of event, from industry trade shows to big sales and launch parties, taking place without social media promotion and coverage? Of course not. And although social media is vital from promoting events as part of a bigger brand narrative, this doesn’t pertain to business and marketing events only. Social media has become inseparable from people’s personal lives and no significant gathering will go unnoticed on our favourite platforms. Among all these platforms and their features, Instagram Stories has a very special place when it comes to event hosting.
Why Instagram Stories?
Along with the feature’s incredible popularity and inherent ability to spark the audience’s attention, Stories are especially attractive because of their engaging and nonchalant character. This makes the feature a vital tool for event promotion, as it can be utilized by organizers to spread the word and build momentum.
Another major advantage is that Instagram is owned by Facebook so when you share a Story on Insta, you can choose to immediately share it on Facebook Stories as well to engage the portion of your audience that isn’t on Instagram. That’s two birds with one stone!
Here’s how organizers can put Instagram Stories to use to promote an event and get their audiences on board.
Use Stories to get your audience excited about the upcoming event. If you have a promotional video, make sure to feature it and invite your audience to see more on your website, permanent posts, or any other available channel. Film yourself talking directly to your audience to share your excitement and tell them what you’ve got in store for attendees.
If you want to get creative, invite some mystery into your promotional efforts to tickle your audience’s imagination. This will depend on the type of event you’re hosting, but the idea is to show your audience a tiny bit of what they can expect and get them guessing on what you’ve prepared for them.
For example, if your event is going to feature guest speakers/performers or special attendees, you can feature a blurred picture of them, drop hints, and invite your audience to play a guessing game. This is a good opportunity to add some pizazz and increase engagement using interactive stickers such as Questions, Polls, and Quiz.
Speaking of stickers, the Countdown sticker especially comes to mind when event hosting is a topic. Start a countdown to build up hype a couple of days or even weeks prior to the event. But how do you make the countdown enticing? You’ll do the opposite of building anticipation and bore people if you just count the days down one by one.
The best advice is to provide value through your countdown content and try to make each day of the countdown anticipate the next one in a more comprehensive way. To do this successfully, you’ll need to think through your Stories content in advance and determine beforehand what you’ll post each day. It’s enough to do something as simple as featuring a fun fact, cool story, or a relevant tip each day of the countdown. Just think what it is that will be of interest to your audience and keep them engaged with your promotion.
This is where our bulk scheduling tool comes in handy. When you decide on a countdown strategy, you can create all the Stories at once to ensure they’re strung together. Then schedule them for auto-posting and you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered for each day of the countdown.
Spreading the word
Get your audience involved to help spread the word, build excitement, and get more people to participate in your event. A cool thing you can try is to combine the countdown concept with contests to encourage user-generated content. Organize a small-scale giveaway for each day and ask your audience to share your event promotion posts in their Stories, then draw a random winner for the prize. It doesn’t have to be something big – just the effort of giving away a few things over a couple of days is a great way to invite childlike enthusiasm among your followers. It will certainly build an atmosphere of giving and positivity around your upcoming event.
If you prefer, you can do one major giveaway instead of a couple of small-scales ones – just make sure the prize is something really worth participating if you want to get as many people as possible on board.
You’ll very likely establish an event FAQ list during the organizing process, featuring basic information such as where the event is taking place (remember, this can be a digital location as well as a physical one), who’s welcome to attend, what’s the cost of attending (if any), etc. Additionally, you might find people messaging you with specific questions and concerns regarding the event. Make sure you collect all these questions, add them to your existing FAQ list, and then feature them in your Stories. You can do this in whichever format you’d like: create a template, use the Questions sticker, make text-only Stories, etc. The Storrito editor has a neat array of features you can use for these types of promotional posts if you’d like to simplify the creation process and prepare Stories on desktop PC.
Make sure to utilize hashtags
This is extremely important both for Instagram Stories and permanent posts. Create one event-specific hashtag which you’ll feature in your countdown and all the event-related Stories. When necessary, you can utilize invisible hashtags so that you still feature them but they don’t mess up your composition.
Your followers will also use this hashtag when they participate in the contests. A specific hashtag is not only vital to spreading the word and building momentum prior to the event, but it will also help you keep the story alive during an after the event because the attendees will gladly feature it in all their posts regarding the event.
The great thing about Stories is that the feature encourages so much freedom and room for creativity because you get to decide how complex the concept behind each slide will be. Most of the time, simplicity is the best option.
Written by Angelina Harper.