In Part 1 we outline how organic (non-paid) social media help you sell more tickets.
1. Post consistently on social media to build brand awareness
2. Mix up your content strategy to keep people interested
3. Curate your Instagram feed to make the event look unmissable
4. Run competitions to greatly improve your organic reach
5. 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 the minimum you want 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. It’s all about quality over quantity.
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, especially during the pandemic. Traditional working hours have been thrown out the window in favour of a more flexible approach. Besides, social media feeds haven’t been chronological for a number of years.
As we mentioned in last week’s deep dive into the IG algorithm, your position in the feed depends on how often an individual interacts with your page/event. Having a strong, consistent content strategy is therefore 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. In the age of COVID-19 consumers a little more sensitive. It’s best not to push the ‘hard sell’ too early in the sales cycle, as fans as hesitant to book anything too far in advance.
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 Cinnabar:
This makes the link more appealing and increases clicks.
For Noisily, photos from the 2019 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. This is especially important in 2021, as fans want to be aware of your health & safety guidelines and cancellation policies before they book.
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]”
The rules around chatbots on Facebook have drastically changed in recent times. The platform now enforces a ’24-hour reply’ rule. This means you can only send promotional material to users within 24 hours of them interacting with your chatbot.
The alternative is to use paid ‘Sponsored Messages‘. Although this is frustrating, it doesn’t mean you should write off this channel. Chatbots bypass the incessant noise of the feed, straight into the user’s inbox. This is the same reason email marketing is still so effective 2021.
In Part 2, we’ll be outlining how to use Paid Social (Social Media Advertising) to reach new audiences and sell even more tickets!