How to Promote Your Event on Instagram

Originally published by the Capterra Event Management Blog

“…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear.”
–Dr. Lynell Burmark, PhD.

Instagram is a fantastic platform to tell any story through images. While you are marketing and plastering your event all over the usual social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), one that is sometimes overlooked is the social app that embraces the power of pictures. Every little bit of social media exposure helps and Instagram is a powerful visual tool for your event when used correctly.

So, unless you are a 20-something millennial with tons of hash tagging and filtering experience (i.e. you can tell us the difference between ‘X-Pro II’ and ‘Valencia’), this guide will help you get a grip on the world of Instagram and push your event to social media stardom!

But why Instagram?

via Esther Vargas

If just the idea of having pretty pictures of your event doesn’t convince you to put any effort into Instagram marketing, there are numbers to back up why you should. According to Pew Research 53% of Internet using young adults (18–29 yrs.) use Instagram, with half of those users logging on daily. In fact, the survey showed that 21% of all adults in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is still growing.

Visual communication itself is one of the top technology trends. Just like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is free and it would be foolish to pass up free publicity and marketing opportunities in a growing visual app market.

Spreading the word about your event

Just like a trailer builds excitement for an upcoming blockbuster, your Instagram event marketing effort should be an insight into what is to come. Not only does Instagram allow photos, but also short, 15 second videos as well.

The great thing about Instagram is the social experience of sharing moments through visuals, but not all of them have to come from you! Holding contests with your followers for Instagram photos or videos regarding your event is prime user-generated content for sharing and marketing your event to the Insta-world.

Contests are an easy way to score content for your Instagram and build buzz surrounding your upcoming event. In order to promote their new blog during New York Fashion Week, New York Magazine sent out a fleet of vehicles with their new blog logo on the side to escort V.I.P. attendees to the events. Attendees were encouraged to upload a picture of the shuttles to Instagram using the hashtag #thecutshuttle and anyone who did so was automatically entered to win major prizes such as tickets to other fashion events.

via BizBash

User-generated content is perfect for showing possible attendees just how much they would be missing if they didn’t attend your big event.

Just like Twitter, Instagram thrives off of using hashtags to clearly define your social media campaign, but it works a little differently. Twitter sees about a 17% drop in engagement for a tweet after using two hashtags, whereas Instagram engagement takes off with the use of many hashtags without a clearly defined saturation point.

via BufferSocial

So you should rest assured that you will only do yourself more favors by adding several relevant hashtags to your event marketing posts.

Instagramming the event

Congratulations! Your event marketing campaign was a success and people are showing up in droves to your event, but this doesn’t spell the end of your Instagram campaign possibilities. In fact, it should be only beginning at this point!

Your event is yet another chance to build a larger portfolio of user-generated content that can be used to market future events and other aspects of your company or organization. But why does anyone post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or post their pictures on Instagram?

According to CoSchedule, there are many aspects that drive the psychology of social media sharing. For instance, many people share for self-fulfillment while others share information in order to define themselves to their peers. Simply put, people share on social media to show who they are and what makes them happy.

You can take advantage of these desires at your event by, first off, creating incentives for attendees, just like what was done with New York Magazine, to share their moments at your event on Instagram, but also by giving them recognition for doing so. Creating a live Instagram feed that is broadcast on a large screen or projector using software solutions such as Eventstag and InstaFeed Live is perfect for displaying attendee posts and giving recognition for posting about your event.

via Instafeed Live

When all’s said and done, the numbers are the most important aspect in figuring out what worked and what didn’t work in using Instagram before and after your event. You want to find out which photo or video was well received or got the most engagement? Tools such as Seen Insight and Simply Measured are perfect for measuring the successes in your event Instagram campaign.

With plenty of data on your successful content and additional user-generated content, you are set with the material you need to work into your next event!


Have you ever used Instagram for your events? What worked for you? What didn’t? Share your tips and tricks with us below!

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