In Part 1 we outline how organic (non-paid) social media help you sell more tickets. (5 min read)
• Post consistently on social media to build brand awareness
• Mix up your content strategy to keep people interested
• Curate your Instagram feed to make the event look unmissable
• Run competitions to greatly improve your organic reach
• Use your chatbot as an additional sales tool
1. Post consistently
Regular posting reminds your audience of your existence – they have terrible short-term memory.
This is especially important if you only hold one or two events a year, such as a festival.
It’s about building brand awareness – you want your event to be the first that springs to mind when consumers are deciding what to attend.
At a minimum you’ll want to aim for 3 posts a week across your social channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
At a maximum we recommend no more than 2 or 3 posts per day – you don’t want to overwhelm your audience and prompt them to unfollow.
The best time to post is usually between 12PM – 2PM (lunch time) or 6PM – 8PM (after work) but this isn’t as important as it used to be.
Social media feeds haven’t been chronological for a number of years.
Your position in the feed depends on how often an individual interacts with your page/event – having a good content strategy is key.
2. Mix up the content
Keep your audience engaged by providing several types of content. This can range from interviews with artists and footage from previous events, to blog posts and news articles.
Just keep it relevant.
Posting appealing content attracts new followers. Over time you’ll discover which types of content resonate with your audience the most – these should form the core of your social media strategy.
Naturally, you’ll want to promote the event itself – that’s the ultimate goal after all!
You should be creating a sense of urgency in your sales communications:
Hard sales messages like this are perfectly acceptable as long as they aren’t too frequent. No one likes being ‘sold to’ on a daily basis – it will only cause people to unfollow.
A more subtle way of driving ticket sales is by placing bit.ly links to tickets in your posts.
Change the default end of a bit.ly link, like we do for ByDay ByNight:
This makes the link more appealing and increases clicks.
For Noisily, photos from last year’s festival form the backbone of our social media strategy, supplemented by Noise Pieces (blog posts), announcements and fun competitions:
3. Create FOMO with your Instagram feed
If your events look amazing on social media, then consumers will want to be a part of that experience and avoid the dreaded FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
As we discussed in ‘E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues‘, Instagram is used by consumers as a tool to discover new products and services – including events.
The first thing consumers see when opening your Instagram profile is your feed – in a 3×4 grid format.
This is your first chance at impressing, so it is critical that this grid is visually appealing.
Varied content isn’t as important on Instagram.
Instead you should be posting beautiful photos from previous events, press shots of artists, professionally-created event flyers.
Instagram doesn’t allow for links in feed posts, so don’t forget to put a link to tickets in your bio!
Displaying ‘Stories Highlights’ at the top of your feed is a simple way of showcasing key features of your event, such as line-ups, FAQs and more.
By presenting key information in a clear and accessible manner, you simplify the customer journey – which leads to more ticket sales.
If you’re verified or have more than 10,000 followers, you unlock the ability to put ‘swipe up’ links in Instagram Stories.
It’s a useful tool to have at your disposal as it’s an additional way to drive traffic to the ticket page.
4. Run competitions
Competitions are an excellent, cost-effective way of engaging your audience and spreading awareness of your event.
A simple ‘like/comment/share-to-win’ competition can greatly boost your organic reach. Make sure the prize is compelling enough to entice people to enter – offer more than just a free ticket.
The greater the prize, the higher chance of people entering.
For Facebook we often use “Share & tag 3 friends to enter”. Shares are more likely to appear on other people’s feeds than likes.
People do not typically share posts on Instagram (unless it’s Stories), so you may want to focus on tagging and page likes instead:
Tagging 3 friends is the standard for social media competitions – requiring too many will deter entries.
In addition to the bonus reach comments generate, they can be used to grow your chatbot audience.
5. Use your chatbot
Chatbots simple terms, can act as a social media equivalent to mailing lists.
With this chatbot audience, you have a list of prospects that are clearly interested in your event.
After the competition has finished, you can send an automated chat message saying
“thanks for entering! You didn’t win, but you can still buy tickets here [link to your ticket page]”
As long as they don’t unsubscribe, you can continue to send them updates about your event, line-up announcements and more.
Even without a competition, chatbots (such as ManyChat) unlock Facebook Messenger as another channel that can drive traffic to your tickets:
The initial set-up requires some effort, but the amount of time saved in the long run makes it worthwhile.
In Part 2, we’ll be outlining how to use Paid Social (Social Media Advertising) to reach new audiences and sell even more tickets!