This is a guest post by Mike Bronfin, product marketing manager at Instagram.
People turn to Instagram every day to discover local businesses and experiences — and they want to share what they discover with their friends.
On Instagram, where 200M Instagrammers visit business profiles every day, events have a prime opportunity to grow their audience in a few simple steps:
- Post content on Instagram that grabs users’ attention
- Make it easy for users to learn more and buy tickets
- Encourage Instagrammers to post at your event, using tags to drive more people to check out your content and your events
For events, this natural cycle of discovering and sharing creates a “flywheel” of event discovery. In my role as a product marketer at Instagram, I help events and businesses capitalise on this momentum.
But before event creators can use this discovery cycle to sell more tickets, they need to push it into motion. It’s your job to engage event-goers on Instagram and inspire them to do their part. Here’s how.
First, engage Instagrammers to grow your audience
Instagrammers are inspired by visual content taken at local businesses and experiences in their communities. In fact, a third of the most-viewed Stories on Instagram come from businesses. Good news: events have a natural edge here because live experiences are so inherently photogenic.
The first step to setting the event discovery flywheel in motion is to grow your audience on Instagram by posting engrossing content — and lots of it. Bring your event to life online with photos, live and recorded videos, and Instagram Stories that give your followers and potential followers a colourful glimpse at the action.
Both during your event and in the months and weeks leading up to it, your posts should build excitement and hint at the unique experience your event promises. Two-thirds of business profile visitors are from non-followers, so engaging posts will help turn these viewers into followers. When your Instagram content is authentic and interesting, your Instagram efforts gain momentum and your follower base naturally grows.
Then, turn those followers into ticket buyers
Once people follow your event are engage with your content, they’ll want to experience your event for themselves. But interest doesn’t immediately turn into ticket sales.
To turn Instagram attention into actual event registration, you need to make sure the ticket buying process is as easy as possible for Instagrammers on their phones. Here are a few best practices:
- Use your URL in your Instagram profile to link directly to your ticketing or registration page. Don’t make users navigate from your event website homepage to try to find where they can buy tickets.
- Optimise your payment process to display and work well on mobile since that’s where Instagram viewers come from.
It’s a simple formula: Post engaging content, frequently. Build your followers steadily. And then design your Instagram profile so it’s easy for them to buy tickets or sign up for your event.
But to truly gain grassroots momentum on Instagram, you need more than likes and comments and tags. You need your followers to share their own content.
Finally, encourage Instagram users to share their experience
Eventbrite research shows that four out of five millennials enjoy seeing other people’s unique experiences on social media. Instagrammers are no exception. One person’s post from a festival, for instance, might inspire five friends to learn more and start following that festival’s Instagram account.
In general, Instagrammers want to share about your event. In fact, 48% of millennials say they attend live events specifically so they have content to share on social channels. And when they share their experiences at your event, it repowers discovery for others. This is the flywheel effect — it creates its own momentum.
That said, there are proactive steps you can and should take to engage your Instagram following. Consider investing in:
- Instagram contests that invite users to post their pictures from your event and tag you (and a few friends) for a prize
- Agreements with partners like sponsors, vendors, speakers, and influencers to post about your event, using marketing assets you provide
- Photogenic scenes at your event that Instagrammers can’t help themselves from capturing and posting
- Custom hashtags Instagrammers can use when posting about your event
Be creative and bold (but always make sure you’re following Instagram contest and posting rules). The more you can get your followers talking about you online, the faster the flywheel spins — growing your following and attendance without taking up more of your team’s time.
To read more about how to power your event on Instagram, read the free ebook: Facebook and Instagram Reveal How Users Discover Events.