One of the main goals of taking your brand offline is to create a dialogue online.
Brand experiences take an integrated approach to customer engagement by allowing people to physically experience and interact with a brand, while simultaneously stoking awareness in the digital space. In today's world, the use of social media for brand experiences is pivotal to achieving a successful online discourse.
Here are some of the key elements to generating conversations before, during and after your event.
Hashtags are one of the best ways to invite people to join the conversation.
1. Choose a hashtag
Audience participation is an underpinning element to engagement, and hashtags are one of the best ways to invite people to join the conversation. As well as boosting interaction they are a succinct method of filtering and categorising social posts, so you can see what people are saying. At their best, hashtags can build anticipation leading up to an event, drive brand engagement and continue to attract traffic after the event is over.
One hashtag representing your event can be used across multiple social media sites, connecting people on their preferred channel. The ideal hashtag is short, simple, memorable and closely tied to the event – using the name of the event is often effective, as people will use it to check in when they attend.
To encourage the use of your hashtag, you can include it on all marketing collateral, your website and even on event tickets. Make sure it is clearly visible at the event to maximise social engagement.
2. Be shareable
To win in the Instagram age, everything needs to be shamelessly visual. The more interactive and visually striking your event is, the more likely it is to spark interest on social media. In the build up to your event, you can create catchy visuals – think creative graphics, photos or videos – and share them to gain exposure and promote engagement.
At the event itself, make sure people have as many photo opportunities as possible. A 3D version of your hashtag, creative backdrops or photo frames can all encourage people to snap and share.
Of course, one thing you'll need to remember to receive maximum shares: have quality internet available.
Livestreaming your event is a savvy way to connect with a wider audience as it can reach people who may not have been able to physically attend. With a live stream, you can speak with people around the globe.
Plus, live video trends in peoples feeds/notifications, so streaming the event or posting video updates is one of the most effective ways to create buzz online.
Users are more active on Snapchat than any other social media, Business Insider reports, which goes to show the effectiveness of short and snappy clips. Most social media channels now offer some form of live streaming, so use it to your advantage. The in-the-moment feel of video drives engagement and encourages participation in the form of comments or likes, inspiring a digital dialogue even when they aren't attending the event.
4. Follow up
Post-event updates account for only 18 per cent of social media posts for events, according to a report by Buffer App, but despite the small volume, there is still ample opportunity for engagement. The two main areas that will get people talking online are press coverage and feedback forums.
Upload all of the photos and videos you gathered from the event and encourage people to tag themselves. Then, make the most of the online conversation you have stimulated so far and reach out to attendees, both virtual and physical, to thank them for their interest and ask for feedback. Collecting survey results, and comments both positive and negative adds a further layer of engagement and can be constructive for future events.
Want to start conversations about your brand both on and offline? Reach out to our team at Orange Productions and we'll help you deliver innovative brand experiences that will have everyone talking.