- Event Promotion Tips
Essential Tips for Festival Promotion on Social Media
By Ryan Moss
- 08 Jan 2024
- 1 min read
“You’re just posting things on social media. How hard can that be?” is a quote we’ve heard a lot.
Of course, it’s wide of the mark. Creating social media content takes planning, time, effort and precision. Without inspiration, this can be tricky, leading to content that doesn’t resonate with your follower base.
That’s before you consider the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms. So, to help you out this festival season, we’ve put together this guide, taking you through the concept of planning and generating ideas for your festival’s social media content.
Plan, plan and plan some more
“Fail to plan, plan to fail”. You’ve heard it, we’ve heard it, and perhaps the whole population has heard it. It’s a time-old cliche. However, we reckon there is some weight behind the adage.
At this stage of using social media to promote your festival, the most important thing to consider is what you want from it. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok can help you with many things: ticket sales, site visits, engagements and brand awareness, and ideally, you’ll be aiming for all of them. However, focusing on one or two will make your message clearer. A clearer message means more conversions, and you don’t need us to tell you what happens when you achieve more conversions.
Maybe you have a high-ranking website that gets a lot of traffic, and your ticket sales come from the Skiddle ticket widget embedded on your site.
So, a focus on building brand awareness, gaining engagement and site visits could be a good starting point. Or, maybe you’ve got a medium to large social media following relative to the size of your brand that feels dormant. Your promotional content isn’t reaching your target audience. The focus here, then, would be on engagement. You want to get people viewing your content, interacting with it and buying tickets off the back of it.
If you’ve been promoting your festival for a while or you’re a newcomer to an existing team, look back to look forward. Analyse what worked, what didn’t, think about the brand identity of the festival and use these things to help your strategy.
These thoughts will make up the early stages of your planning. As you go along, you can refine your plan, eventually creating a well-rounded social media strategy for your festival.
Do some brand analysis
Brand analysis might conjure up images of stuffy, corporate boardroom meetings, but don’t be fooled: it’s helpful to think about and will make it much easier to achieve your goals.
There’s no need to overcomplicate it, either. Just think about what you perceive your brand image to be, what you think your attendees perceive it to be, what you’d like people to perceive it as and whether you think you’re achieving it.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you’ve got the basic outline. Then, you can think about how your social media goals complement what you think your brand image is. That’s going to help you once you begin to create content.
Think about SMART
No, we don’t mean the CBBC art show from the 90s and 2000s; but we did enjoy that very much. SMART is an analysis tool used in lots of different industries to ensure that objectives are achievable in a certain time frame and it stands for
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Achievable
- R – Relevant
- T – Time Bound
Let’s use the example from earlier in the article about an event brand with a high-ranking and high-traffic website that sells tickets from the widget on their website. The SMART objectives could look as follows.
- Specific – Building brand awareness, gaining engagement and site visits to ensure ticket sales.
- Measurable – Use click-throughs to determine who is going to the website and engagement rate to measure whether people are interacting with the content.
- Achievable – click-throughs and engagement rates close or slightly higher than the average.
- Relevant – Social media content that is in line with the brand identity and how you think people perceive the brand.
- Time Bound – Social media posts close to the weekly average over a time period long enough before the date of the festival.
Can you see how everything links together? You’ve thought about what you want from your social media output, thought about how your brand is perceived and how you perceive it, put these two things together and come up with some clear targets and aims for your festival campaign.
Steal these strategies for brand awareness
If you’re still with us, we appreciate you. Here’s your cue to make a drink or grab a snack, as we’re going to dive into some examples of techniques you can use based on the goals of our previous scenarios.
Interact with your audience
What’s the one thing we’re taught to do from an early age?
Create a weekly series of social posts asking your audience questions related to festivals, live music, gigs, club nights and more. Keep it basic and light, but make it interesting. You want to strike the balance so that people don’t scroll past it.
Utilise brand storytelling
Brand storytelling can help, too. If you’ve been running your festival for a while, you can dive into the history, put your team on camera, talk about growth and why you run events.
Here, the key is to think about what makes your festival unique. Maybe you’re going to book an act you’re excited about, you’re expanding your festival, or you have a history of championing acts and scenes that others don’t.
The length of your brand storytelling piece is up to you and will depend on your resources. You might have to look externally if you haven’t got a digital content expert on your team.
Entertain your audience
At this point, tagging your friends, family or significant other in a funny Instagram Reel or TikTok post is a genuine form of communication. It’s like You’ve Been Framed for the digital age, and we’ve each become our own versions of Harry Hill.
So, why not get in on the action? Don’t worry: we aren’t asking you to create full-blown comedy scripts; your team has enough on its plate. However, capitalising off the back of a TikTok trend can be a way of making your audience laugh.
If you’ve got a funny, social media whizz on your team though, get them involved!
You can be a little crafty here, too. Lots of people use entertaining content to announce new tours and releases. It means you can entertain and promote in one go, so keep that in mind.
Try these techniques to drive traffic to your website
The brand awareness techniques will hopefully make people aware of your festival, with the engagement coming from the quality and volume of your posts. Next up? Getting people from socials to your website.
Pre-sale announcements, line-up details, headliner unveilings and ticket announcements all come under the banner of promotional posts.
How you set these up is down to you, but ensure that you make it clear to people to visit the link in your bio after they’ve seen the asset.
Ensure your link in the bio has everything for potential attendees to make a purchase, and ensure that it’s as easy as possible to find them once they click the link. Often, you’ll see bio links with loads of things to click, and it becomes too much work. Keep everything streamlined and easy to find.
Utilise Instagram Stories
Instagram’s Stories feature allows you to place a clickable link in your story post and customise the text. Here, you can post some promotional content with the link to your website.
Whichever method you choose, ensure that your Call To Action (CTA) is worded straightforwardly. A CTA is a piece of text which encourages people to take action, so you want to be clear and concise to encourage clickthrough’s.
Set up a Broadcast Channel
One of Instagram’s latest features is Broadcast Channels, which lets you interact directly with fans of your event brand.
With Broadcast Channels, you can share the links to your tickets directly with the group. It could be that you share the ticket link before you make a social post, giving the post some exclusivity.
How does this all come together?
You’ve planned and executed social media content from beginning to end. Brand analysis can help you figure out how you can create social media content that aligns with your wider goals, while SMART can help you make sense of the ideas.
With the ideas we’ve suggested, you’ve got a mix of short, medium and long-form content that can be posted over a long-term basis. This is important, the people who follow your event brand’s social media will have different interests, so catering to them is crucial.