3 steps to drive social media hype around your PR event
PR stunts and branded live events used to just be about capturing the attention of the media. Not anymore.
With social media turning the whole world into a potential publisher, it has become more important than ever to get your audience talking on social media.
But with so many brands clamouring for the public’s attention and consumers becoming more discerning about what they share, what can brands do to ensure their PR event is a social media success?
- Create unmissable stories
Like a great story, promoting your launch event through social media is all about creating a compelling narrative.
Start strong with mysterious teaser posts that generate curiosity and speculation before the big announcement.
Next, follow up with Facebook event listings, influencer partnerships and geo-targeted social media advertising to maximise reach in the local area, then use behind-the-scenes content and countdown stickers in Instagram Stories to build anticipation.
When the big day rolls around, use social media to forge a stronger connection with those attending and create major FOMO for everyone else.
Leverage ephemeral formats like Instagram Stories to slowly build a narrative throughout the event, from candid shots of celebrity guests in the makeup chair right through to animated crowd scenes or surprise reveals. Mix stills and short video snippets to keep interests piqued, and use polls, emoji sliders and questions to build audience interaction.
To boost exposure for your story, make sure you use location and event tags for the chance to be featured in wider-interest public stories. Likewise, tagging attendees featured in photos and resharing user-generated content is a great way to make attendees feel valued and show the rest of the community what they’re missing.
When the day is done, wrap-up compilation videos or albums featuring fan content are perfect for encouraging attendees to reminisce and tag friends, leaving your audience wanting more and paving the way for your next big event.
- Get live & kicking
Nothing creates a sense of urgency like live video.
Broadcasting live from an event not only makes those who couldn’t attend feel part of the action, broadening reach, it also generates six times as much engagement as the average pre-recorded video.
That’s not to say that you should definitely throw caution to the wind and promise your client a stellar live-stream though, as live streaming isn’t without risks. First off, question how much control you have over what could appear on screen during your broadcast, and what might be overheard. If you’re dealing with the unpredictable general public, celebrities who love to cause controversy, or factors like uncertain sound quality, pre-recording might still be the best option. In fact, there are still ways to reap many of the benefits of live-streaming, like using Facebook Premiere to allow live engagement on a pre-scheduled video.
Beyond controlling content, you also need to take a look at your technical setup before promising to go live. For large-scale public events, it can be tricky to guarantee sufficient upload speeds to deliver a quality live broadcast. Yes, there are tools you can employ – such as multi-network SIM cards – to improve coverage, but when thousands of people are trying to upload photos from a single event at once, things have a tendency to get a little slow. This leaves you with a choice; either plan ahead to ensure you have a unique wired internet connection and won’t have to compete for bandwidth, or embrace flexibility and have a backup plan in mind if live video isn’t an option on the day.
- Make it shareworthy
Gone are the days where a simple hashtag at a routine sampling event is enough to drive hundreds of branded photo shares. Today’s consumers are savvy to brand tactics and conscious of their online persona, carefully curating their Instagram feed rather than posting anything and everything.
Not only that, but if they do decide to snap your product, they’re much more likely to share it somewhere you can’t see it, as an estimated 87% of sharing activity happens via ‘dark social’ channels like private WhatsApp conversations or Messenger group chats.
So are branded shares a thing of the past? No, but brands have to work harder to earn them.
Think about using visually stunning props at your events that attendees will actively want to share, keeping branding to a simple hashtag or logo that accentuates the design rather than overpowering it. Why not try swapping a boring backdrop for a beautiful flower wall or giant graffiti mural, adding relatable quotes that people will love to pose beside or loading tables with photogenic free cocktails and colourful cupcakes?
Beyond the physical world, also think about ways to enhance sharing through the social media platforms themselves. Snapchat event filters can be a great way to spread the word about your branded event, but only if you remember to think about why someone would want to include one. Filters that slap huge, jarring branding across the screen and obscure the action won’t get used, so maximise exposure by thinking about visual designs or slogans that would enhance the user’s photo, keeping logos sleek and subtle.
Need help putting on a show?
With years of experience in event management, the Brazen team can help with events in all shapes and sizes, including social media activation through our dedicated social media team and content creation through our Brazen Live production team.
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