Zoe Jenkins is a Social Executive in OMD Word Sydney, navigating the world of social influence and emerging communications platforms.
When you do get a bunch of people in one place experiencing and enjoying your brand, you engage with them on a deeper level and one that is a lot harder to do solely through a screen. Integrating social should not be an afterthought though – if you’ve spent all this time, money and energy creating these incredible experiences, surely you want them to be shared and live on past the day you pack everything up.
1. Use a Facebook event page and promote it
It may seem like the first thing anyone would do when throwing a party but for reasons below, they’re one of my favourite tools! Once people have pressed attending, they’ll be notified every time you post. I’m not saying go overboard, but it’s a great way to keep the audience excited, create an exclusive community and deliver useful information that (because they’ve chosen to be there) you know they are interested in. Once it’s ready to go, promote it to the right audience, use copy that persuades them to RSVP and retarget to friends of attendees.
2. Have a strategic plan
Think about your objective at each stage of the experiential campaign period and choose the right formats and targeting for each stage. Find your interested audience by seeding out a launch video and target people who have engaged with a purchase ticket post later, or run different creative variants of a ticketing post and let Facebook optimise towards the one that’s garnering the most conversions.
During the event, encourage sharing by using consistent hashtags and having outstanding aesthetics. If the whole space isn’t ‘Instagrammable,’ make sure you have that one key spot that is, or the ‘surprise and delight’ moment that will have people reaching for their phones. This is also the perfect place to try a Facebook live as Facebook actually rewards you for using this format by placing the content higher in the feed. Keep in mind whatever you decide to stream needs to add value to those who aren’t there and make sure to give enough warning so your audience can tune in. Think behind-the-scenes content (as people are naturally curious about this), Q&A’s with influential people or live demonstrations on how to use your products.
And when it’s all over…?
3. Use the activation as a backdrop to create evergreen content
There’s nothing worse than looking back at an experience and wishing you had taken that photo of that thing you’ll probably never see again. Well, the same goes here. Before the activation goes live, make a detailed plan of everything you want to create and scale down later. If you have created a space that screams your brand, use it as a backdrop for content that can live on afterwards; content that doesn’t need the experience to make sense in a year’s time.
There you have it – experiential marketing can be extremely powerful, but having a solid social strategy will take it to new heights.