If you consider yourself tech-savvy and like keeping up on social trends, then you are likely very familiar with Snapchat, the latest social network to take the world – especially the elusive millennial demographic – by storm. If, by chance, you’re unfamiliar, at its core, Snapchat is a social network that allows users to either send text, picture and video messages to one another that “expire” after a set amount of time, or post them to their “story,” which allows anybody that follows him or her to view that message for the next 24 hours.
While Snapchat originally started as a tool for users – again, mostly millennials – to communicate with their peers, many major brands and organizations’ marketing teams have started using the platform to deepen engagement with their consumers and audience. Naturally, this application also extends to live events and experiences, and event organizers are now finding innovative ways to integrate the social network into their event marketing strategies before, during and after events. This has only increased, and will continue to do so, as the product masters behind the platform have rolled out new features like “Our Story,” which allows you to watch and submit videos of live events that are then curated and shared with the masses.
Looking for some ideas to get started with Snapchat for your events? Take a look at these six tips and see which of them may be key for increasing your event’s digital footprint.
1. Generate buzz leading up to your event with 1:1 snaps and story posts
In addition to the communication channels you’ve been using to get in touch with your potential and confirmed attendees like email, Facebook, Twitter and others, Snapchat offers another valuable way to spread the word about your upcoming event and get people excited about it. Especially in the case of 1:1 messages, these will come off as more personal and deliberate since each recipient has to be individually selected (though that’s something we hope Snapchat changes in the future). However, even your stories may be perceived as more personal and human than other types of messaging, as they are more casual in nature and should also be tailored to a smaller, more specific audience.
Not sure what to send? Think about things that will pique curiosity and interest in what your event has to offer. Showcase your event venue as it stands now, so that people can compare it to how you’ve transformed the space once they step through the doors. Grab video clips of your colleagues, speakers or sponsors (if they’re local) talking about your event and why they’re excited. Take pictures of any incoming shipments of swag items. The possibilities are endless!
2. Design an on-demand geofilter for your event
Now that on-demand geofilters are available to the general public, it’s a great idea to design a few of these filters for events of all shapes and sizes. Doing this will provide you with additional branding opportunities and visibility, as your attendees will overlay their snaps with these to show their followers and peers that they were at your event. They’ll also be able to save their snaps to their phone, so in some cases you may even see that your guests have posted their saved snaps to Instagram and other social networks for an even greater reach.
These geofilters will be available to all of your guests that are present at your event based on their physical location; you’ll map out the specific area in which you’d like the filter to appear, and for how long, after you’ve designed your filter. If you’re looking for more information about creating an on-demand geofilter on Snapchat for your next event, check out our blog post that covers this here.
3. Run a contest or sweepstakes leading up to your event
If you’re trying to increase participation or ticket sales for your event, you may consider running a Snapchat contest to get people more engaged with your brand. By cross promoting the contest on other forms of social media, you’ll be able to get a higher ROI on your contest in terms of impressions and mentions, and will hopefully gain some additional followers across the board as well. We thought that this blog post had some good ideas on how you can make a Snapchat contest work for your initiatives.
You could also do something along these lines at your event to keep guests on their toes. For example, you could snap a picture of a giveaway or special swag item strategically placed somewhere in your venue with a text blurb letting people know that the first one to discover the prize gets to keep it.
4. Give your audience a glimpse into what’s going on behind closed doors
Snapchat is a great platform to give your audience a glimpse into what’s going on behind closed doors, especially compared to other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Stemming from our first tip in this post, there’s a lot that you can do while you’re setting up for your event. If you can spare the bandwidth, have somebody snap your set-up process and venue as it transforms into your event space. Show teammates working together, your check-in stations, the sets as they’re coming together, any bars or food stations, and any other aspect of your event that translates well to camera that will get your attendees jazzed up in the 24 hours leading up to showtime.
5. Continue marketing your event day-of as things are happening live
As any event marketer knows, many of your supporters may not be able to make it to your event in-person, despite their desires to do so or best intentions. However, this doesn’t mean that they should be left out of the festivities! Have someone on your staff snap pictures and videos of your event from the time the venue doors open, to when they come to a close. From your awesome speakers, to your swag bags, to your divine lunch spread, to candids of attendees interacting at your post-event networking happy hour and beyond, you’ll want to give your story followers a reason to remember this event from afar to increase the chances that they’ll attend next year.
6. Take advantage of Live Stories for major live events
If you’re organizing a major event like a music festival, sporting event, an upcoming conference or another similar event, then you’ll want to encourage your attendees to use the Live Story, also referred to as Our Story, feature. This differs from a traditional story, which focuses on an individual user, as it allows participants within a specific mapped out area to submit their own videos from the event to create a more comprehensive picture of what’s going on from multiple vantage points.
Snapchat typically picks up on large-scale events like the ones we mentioned here, but if you don’t think your event will be picked up on its own and still want to try to get a Live Story created for it, you can try to get in touch with them using this form.
Event pros, are you using Snapchat to market your events and experiences? Tell us how it's going in the comments or on Twitter @eventfarm.