Using Instagram to Cover Events

Instagram is the most popular visual social media platform out there today. Whether you’re hosting a small festival, a conference, or live entertainment, Instagram is easily the best platform for covering your event.

If you’re in charge of organizing an event, chances are your to-do list is already pretty long even without social media promotion tasks. Promoting your event on social media is incredibly important for making sure as many people as possible show up to the event.

Not sure how to promote and share your event on Instagram? Don’t worry – we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s a handy checklist of everything you need to do on Instagram before, during, and after the event.

Before the Event

Ideally, you should start this part of the checklist at least two weeks before your event. That way, your followers will have some time to rearrange their schedules so they can attend.

Promote the event on all your networks.
You’re probably going to do this anyway, but a little reminder never hurt. Invite your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and Pinterest pals to join you on Instagram for the event. This is also a great way to cross-promote your Instagram account.

Create attractive graphics that include the date, time, and location of the event.
Mailing event invites is so 1990s. You should create an Instagram invite post instead. Make sure all promotional images are high-quality and cropped square. Don’t forget to share the invite on your other social media networks as well.

Create a custom hashtag and encourage attendees to use it.
If you’re covering an event on Instagram, you need a custom hashtag for it. This will make it easy to find and share user-generated content after the vent. Consider putting up a sign at your venue that encourages Instagram users at your event to add your custom hashtag to their posts.

Host a contest.
Here at Instamacro, we love our Instagram contests. That’s because contests are one of the best ways to maximize engagement, gain new followers, and create shareable, user-generated content.

How you host the contest is up to you. You might decide to give away free tickets to the event, offer discounts on your services, or give your products away for free to the person who shares the best photo or video using your custom hashtag.

Consider hiring a professional photographer and/or videographer, if you haven’t already.
Smartphone cameras have come a long way in terms of quality since they were first introduced. Even so, nothing compares to a professional camera, especially when it comes to sound quality.

If you’re not exactly camera savvy, hire someone to do the work for you. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take video or photos on your own phone or device as well.)

Upgrade to an Instagram for Business account, if you haven’t already.
You’ll need Instagram analytics and post scheduling for your event. If you haven’t already upgraded to an Instagram for Business account, make sure you do before the big day. Not sure how? We’ve got a guide on that, too.

During the Event

After all that planning, the day has finally come! We know you’re excited, and probably a little stressed too, but don’t neglect this part of the checklist on event day.

Broadcast on live video.
Keep those cameras rolling! Live video on Instagram is considered exclusive content, and you’ll want to take advantage of that for your event. Don’t stream the entire event, though – otherwise, your followers will just watch it at home instead of coming out to join you.

Promote the event while it’s happening.
If any of your followers forgot about the event, upload a last-minute post to remind them that it’s happening. We all get busy and things slip our minds, so make sure those last-minute stragglers show up by posting a quick reminder.

Show your appreciation for the attendees.
You wouldn’t have been able to host your event without the loyalty and patronage of your customers, so make sure you show some appreciation for them on Instagram. If you’re hosting live entertainment or a similar event, snap a quick picture of the audience, upload it to Instagram, and add a caption thanking everyone for coming out.

After the Event

Party time’s over, and now it’s time to clean up and go back to the daily grind. Hopefully you had a lot of fun and your event went according to plan. But you’ve still got just a few more tasks to tick off your list. Here’s what you should do after the event to increase your customer reputation and encourage your followers to join you for your next event.

Upload a video that includes all the highlights of the event.
This is why it’s a good idea to hire a professional. They can create a gorgeous video for you, so you have less to worry about. Remember to share your video to Instagram the day after the event to get your followers hyped about the next one!

Promote your next event.
If this is a recurring event, make sure you encourage your followers to come out next time to make it bigger and better. Even if it’s not a recurring event, don’t be afraid to promote your next event anyway. Your followers like to see what you’re up to and what’s coming up next.

Share user-generated content from the event.
So you encouraged your followers to use your custom hashtag at the event. Search that hashtag, choose your favorite photos and videos, and repost them to your own account.

Remember, when choosing user-generated content to share on your own page, ensure all photos and videos are at least decent quality and aren’t vulgar or offensive. Always ask permission from the original poster (OP) before sharing any content to your own page, and remember to credit the OP in your own post.

Organizing events takes a lot of work, especially in the age of social media. Even so, social media is an invaluable tool for encouraging your customers and followers to come to your event. You might also gain some new followers and customers along the way.

From all of us here at Instamacro, good luck with your event, and happy promoting!