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Instagram for events: how we increased Instagram followers by over 400%

Don’t avoid Instagram for events because you’re fooled by the overused filters – Insta is more than just a pretty face. It has 1 billion users and the second-highest engagement rate after Facebook, but users’ engagement with brands is 10 times higher on the photo-sharing site. (click to tweet).
In other words, using Instagram for events is a no-brainer. It’s also very marketer friendly. So much so that when we recently took over a client’s Instagram account we were able to grow their following, engage with their target audience, and build buzz in advance of their conference – which nearly sold out.
So why aren’t you on Instagram yet?

Why should you be on Instagram?

For starters, your competitors are probably already on it: an estimated 71% of American businesses use Instagram.

Users are nearly at gender parity, with the largest contingent of users aged between 18 and 34. If that includes your target market, you can find and engage them effectively through hashtags, location tagging, and user tagging.

But before you do, you’re going to need images – a lot of them. They can be staged, spontaneous, selfies, digital graphics, flat lays – even a meme, depending on your audience. But they must also be attractive, eye-catching, or tell a story: a photo that’s simply in focus just isn’t going to cut it.

Takeaway: Your audience is likely on Instagram, but it’s because they’re looking to be dazzled. Don’t disappoint!

How to get followers on Instagram for events?

This powerful platform can be used before, during, and after your event.

Before the event:

  • Create a unique event #hashtag
  • Include your event website or registration link in your biography section
  • Tag or feature your location, clients, partners, and speakers, who are likely also on Instagram
  • Give your audience some behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of your event
  • Share photos you may have of similar past events

During the event:

  • Those special touches, beautiful visuals and ‘wow’ moments you worked so hard to plan and create onsite? You can now show them off to the world!
  • Post often while onsite
  • Use video
  • Encourage attendees to take their own photos by creating a photogenic scene at your event: a breathtaking view, a step-and-repeat wall, or by providing fun photo accessories.

After the event:

  • Share your positive reviews
  • Share your attendees’ photos – after you request their permission, of course

Takeaway: Instagram for events revolves around generating FOMO, the “fear of missing out” on your fabulous conference.

How do I build an audience?

How much time do you have?

We can’t give away all our secrets, but we can share some tricks of the trade:

  • Be entertaining
  • Be inspiring
  • Be visually exciting
  • Be fun – just like your event!
  • Provide value
  • Post frequently; that means multiple times a week
  • Participate: follow others, exchange likes, ask a question, or leave a comment
  • Use the Stories feature
  • Broadcast live video
  • Work with influencers
  • Host a contest
  • Launch paid ads
  • Use the Giant Square app

Some users snap away at whatever might appeal to their audience, while others stay very structured, sticking to a strict colour theme or always using the same filter. There’s no right or wrong, as long as your event is presented in the best possible way.

Takeaway: Every time you post, think “what value am I bringing to my followers?” The more you show people what you’re passionate about, the more likely you will be able to convert from Instagram.

We’re on Instagram too, give us a follow!

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