6 Tips for Building out a Branded Event Instagram and Spreading Your Reach (+3 Brands to Steal Inspiration From)
Events are all about the experience.
And what would that experience be if there wasn’t a way to share it? It doesn’t take an expert to understand exactly how social media can enhance every type of event.
From festivals and concerts to sporting events and conferences, social media is the best way to amplify your message and expand your reach.
With so many things already on your plate during the event planning process, you’re probably wondering where to begin. There are so many popular platforms out there with all different use cases, so it can be difficult to determine which choice is right for your event. Sure, you can try your hand with all of them to see what sticks, or I can let you in on a little secret.
Start with Instagram. Instagram is your best option if you’re looking to garner a lot of engagement and share your brand and upcoming event through content that impresses your target audience. Remember, it’s all about the experience!
This article will walk you through the top five tips for building out a successful Instagram account for your event, plus spark your imagination by sharing three amazing brands who have done it right.
(Note: While all this advice is focused on traditional events, this post is also an excellent guide for publicizing virtual and online events you want your brand associated with.)
5 top tips for creating a branded Instagram that reaches your target audience
Whether this is for your first-annual event or you’ve been hosting for years and just now getting around to building a branded Instagram account, these tips are for you. These top five tips will not only help your profile get off the ground, but they will ensure that you hit the ground running.
Consider using a social media suite to help, and learn how to brand your event with a catchy hashtag, choose the right content to post, and engage your audience from the start. Let’s dive in.
Tip 1: Craft a creative #hashtag
First things first; brand your event with a hashtag. Choose something that’s easy to say, catchy, and completely unique to your event. It should feel natural for you to use it at the end of every post.
Once you have the perfect hashtag, promote it! You should attach it to every single post you make, place it in all of your social media bios, and you should even put it on all of your event collateral. Think of your event website, banners, posters, promotion, communication that you’re sending out to your attendees, and more! Get the hashtag out there so people start using it.
On the day of your event, make sure that your hashtag is clearly visible for everyone to use. If you have the opportunity to make an announcement at the start of the event, consider calling out all of your social media handles with the hashtag to encourage participation. As your attendees start using it, you’ll start seeing an influx of photos and videos that you’ll be able to track through your online reputation management tool. Not only is this a great way to get your event in front of a new audience, but you’ll be able to sift through all of the photos and repurpose it later as great user-generated content for your social posts. You can then use this content later on - for example, in your email banners on email marketing platforms like Opensense! Just remember to ask the owner first!
Tip 2: Post highlights from last year to build hype and establish your presence
The next step is to build hype. If this isn’t a first-time event, you should use a few highlight reels from last year. Your goal here is to introduce this year’s event and get people excited about it, so make sure the content is shareable.
Dynamic photos and videos are the best way to do it. You want to convey the value and what attendees should expect from your event, so be as strategic as possible. If this is a first-time event and you don’t have anything from last year to share, then get creative with it. Share hype videos to get people curious about what’s to come. Don’t give too much away yet, that content should be shared later.
The more shareable your video is the better. It just takes a handful of excited people to share it with their followers to cause a ripple effect. Your videos and photos will soon be viewed by a large number of people who are new to your brand and event. If your content does its job, then you just secured a brand new group of people who are likely to attend your event.
Tip 3: Host contests and giveaways
A fun way to get your Instagram followed by more people and for your event to reach a larger audience is to use contests and giveaways.
Incentivize your soon-to-be-attendees to follow your account, like your posts, and share with friends by entering them in to win something.You can offer free tickets, backstage passes, VIP meet and greets, or whatever works best for your event! Don’t have enough followers yet? Consider implementing an SMS marketing campaign to let your users know about this new account.
You can even host day-of-event contests with your hashtag. Announce to your audience that if they use the event hashtag throughout the day, they’ll be entered in to win something. More hashtag use equals greater reach.
Tip 4: Turn your speakers, performers, and notable guests into promoters.
Now that your content strategy has a great foundation, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Whether your event will have keynote speakers, musicians, actors, or just high profile attendees, these people are the key to the success of your event. They will become the best promotion you’ll have.
Not only should they post about your event on their own Instagram accounts that likely have hundreds of thousands of followers, but you can utilize their fame for great content. Quotes, performance photos, video snippets speaking about the event, and more are all great content builders that guarantee shares and popularity.
Tip 5: Give Your Team Banners, Snippets, And Other Shareable Content
From your highlight reels, ad banners, email banners, promo copy, and graphics, create some easy to share and snackable content. Distribute it to your team and ask them to share in advance of the event. Even better, make it automatic by adding this content to your programmatic banner ads, social media advertising (on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn and, of course, Instagram) and to your email signatures and email banners. This will maximize your reach and exposure without stressing out your team.
Tip 6: Share sneak peek and behind the scenes content
Last but definitely not least, share fun sneak peeks and behind the scene content with your new followers. Think of this as the cherry on top of your pre-event content strategy. You’ve already created hype, garnered attention with celebrity posts, and now it’s time to seal the deal. If your followers are on the fence of whether they’ll attend your event or not, this content should help change their minds.
3 amazing brands to steal inspiration from
Now that you know the best ways to build out your event’s Instagram, it’s time to gain some inspiration from those who do it best. There’s no one right way to do it, so remind yourself that this event Instagram should serve your attendees, so make sure it’s catered to them.
What was their favorite aspect of last year’s event? What are their most frequently asked questions? What makes them excited? Know the answers to these questions so you can better connect with them. This will make all the difference leading up to your event. Remember, it’s all about the experience.
1. HubSpot’s INBOUND
INBOUND did a fantastic job by connecting with a former attendee who was really missing last year’s event playlist. INBOUND took to Instagram to not only engage with its followers by asking them their favorite music that makes them feel most productive, but they also sparked fond memories of last year’s event to get them thinking about the possibilities of this year’s conference.
Leading up to the big event as well as right after it’s over for the year, the music festival posts concerts and highlight reels that guarantee engagement. Who wouldn’t want to relive their favorite memories? Plus, these videos are highly shareable and relevant at all times.
3. Chicago Marathon
Not only does the Chicago Marathon invoke great emotions in their posts, but they build hype and excitement for the next race. Each post creates a sense of longing and belonging that translates into a great sense of community that does wonders for building followers.
Build it and they will come
But only if you build it right. Starting a new Instagram account can be intimidating. The lack of initial followers, engagement, and reach is not easy to work with. Put your best foot forward and follow these five tips to help you get your new Instagram account off the ground and expand your reach quickly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can try some social media advertising to get your feet off the ground. These foolproof ideas will build a great foundation for you and guarantee that your event will be a great success!