Using Instagram Stories to Promote Your Event
We’re well into 2019 at this point, and if you’re not using a thoughtful social strategy to promote your events, you’re more than a little behind! On the bright side, it’s never too late to learn the ropes of social media, and the features these platforms offer are improving all the time.
Instagram has accumulated 1 billion users worldwide as of June 2018 (The Verge, 2018), and while Facebook gives users the opportunity to publish events, Instagram is rapidly proving to be a golden opportunity in event promotion as well.
In 2016, Instagram added the Stories feature which allows users to post a series of slides and 15-second videos which remain on their profile for 24 hours. In their Q4 report announcement, Facebook announced that Instagram Stories now have 500 million daily users, which is approaching three times as many users as Snapchat.
The Stories feature appears at the top of your Instagram homepage and is also accessible by tapping a user’s picture on their profile. This tool is a great way to promote events and showcase your work as an event manager. Below we detail some of our tips and tricks for using Instagram Stories effectively:
Types of Stories
Coming up with a concept for your Story is the first step in the process. To do this, consider what your goal is. Are you trying to share details of the event to attendees? Showcase behind-the-scenes footage to create excitement before the event? Or just trying to sell tickets?
One of the best ways to create effective and eye-catching Stories is by paying attention to how others use them. Follow your competitors, industry peers, and brands to get a sense of how they’re using the Stories to promote their brand.
Personalised Templates & Fonts
Creating Stories within the Instagram app is great but it’s limiting when it comes to the fonts, features, and layouts available. Luckily there are many external apps that let you create unique templates for your Stories. Some of our favorites are Canva, Spark Post, and Videoshop. Certain apps like Spark Post also allow you to add a branded logo to your story which might be of use to you!
The most important part of the design aspect is creating a Story with a cohesive aesthetic – think about using similar colors throughout each slide and limiting the number of different fonts throughout the story (simple is better).
Once your Story slides are created and you’re ready to post, swipe up on your Instagram Story screen (accessible by tapping your profile photo in your home page or profile) to access your photos and templates.
Increase the reach of your Stories by tagging your sponsors, venue, and any other relevant profiles by selecting the @mention sticker after tapping the middle icon in the top right of your Story. This opens up the Sticker dashboard. The Sticker menu also allows you to geotag your location, add relevant hashtags, and even create a live countdown to your event.
Call To Action
Depending on the purpose of your Story, a call to action might be necessary, for instance if you’re trying to drive viewers to buy tickets. If your account has more than 10K followers, you will have the option of adding URL links to a story slide in the top right of your Instagram story. Here you can link to the website where viewers can purchase tickets.
If your account doesn’t have that option, let your viewers know that they can purchase tickets at the link in your bio (just make sure the correct link is there waiting for them).
A newer Instagram feature that’s an offshoot of Stories is the option to add Stories permanently to Story Highlights. These exist in your profile underneath your bio. Here you can create themed Highlights such as ‘BTS’ content, ‘Upcoming Events’, ‘Event Highlights’, or anything else you’d like to showcase permanently on your Instagram. Again, we recommend looking to other accounts in the events space to see how they’re using Highlights for inspiration.
Looking for other ways to build out your event’s social strategy? Click to read up on the other ways you can use social media to promote your event.