content marketing

Leveraging your Event with Social Media by Jordan Hefler

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | How to Create a Branded Experience On and Offline | Jordan Hefler

Hi hey hello! This morning I got to give a presentation at the Baton Rouge Events Association about how you can use social media to leverage a branded experience for your event- or any event you’re a part of as an entrepreneur or business owner. I think the presentation went pretty well so I decided to share some of that info with y’all too, cuz why not?!

In a digital and social age, it's more important than ever to properly utilize social media to help plan, market, and execute your event to your target audience. You can use social media to create a branded, engaging, and successful experience for your guests- before, during, and after your event.

There are two ways you can approach these methods- planning your own event vs. leveraging an event you’re involved with.

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

It might sound pretty elementary, but you can totally use social media to help plan, brand, market, execute, cross promote, and leverage your event (and for free! It’s free advertising!)

These methods can be applied for weddings, corporate meetings, conferences, parties, business launches, concerts, festivals, fundraisers, galas, art shows, or even your own kid’s birthday party!

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

SO. How many of y’all have ever gotten on social media to get ideas about how to plan your event? If you thought “no” then you’re wrong because you’re on a blog learning about it right now so HA!!!!

Anyways…searching Pinterest or Instagram to get ideas for what you want your event to be like is super useful. It can help you answer these questions-

  • What is your event? Are there experiential factors you can create at the event that will make the attendees want to post while they are there? (photo booth, curated area, social media wall, etc.) What about your product, service, or venue is “instagrammable?” Social media is just the ancient art of “word of mouth” just online- What will make people want to share and tell their friends?

People love murals, props, neon signs, mylar balloons, signage, cute table details, etc. People WANT to post pictures of themselves or things that they are doing. They want to be seen! AND they want to use special hashtags with their posts- but just make sure you think of something easy for everyone to spell otherwise you won’t be able to find the photos later!

If you’re searching for ideas on Pinterest, there’s no reason why you can’t use photos of your own execution of the idea and re-share it on Pinterest to help the next person who’s searching. It’s a big cycle y’all!

If you’re searching for ideas on Pinterest, there’s no reason why you can’t use photos of your own execution of the idea and re-share it on Pinterest to help the next person who’s searching. It’s a big cycle y’all!

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

Y’all know I am a little nerdy about branding. I mean I have a whole online workshop about it. But I think it’s one of the most important (if not the most important!) aspects to marketing anything successfully! Just like having consistent branding in your business, I am a firm believer that your event should have a brand of its own. Think of the best parties you’ve ever been to- they probably had a pretty baller theme, am I right?

  • What is the vibe of the event? Is there an aesthetic, theme, or persona for the event both on and offline? (Colors, tone of voice, logo, design assets, etc.)

  • Once you have identified your brand, it becomes easier to share/take images that fit that mold. Make your marketing strategy intentional with a branded look!

If you still need help identifying a brand, get inspired with my FREE branding worksheet here!

An example of using consistent branding on and offline- while also utilizing branded hashtags and cross promotion tagging.

An example of using consistent branding on and offline- while also utilizing branded hashtags and cross promotion tagging.

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

Now that you’ve identified what the theme/brand/aesthetic/vibe is going to be, you can use social media to promote those branded assets in a rhythmic way up until the event.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

  • You can do wayy more than just saying “get your tickets!” or “see you there!” You don’t have to be so salesy when marketing your event- you basically want to brainwash them into knowing what the post is about without even having to read it (that means you branded it well!)

  • Use social media to promote multiple different aspects of your event or service. For instance, you can spotlight different sponsors or vendors involved, you can spotlight the location, you can spotlight some behind the scenes action of planning the event, you can post about how you came up with the idea, you can post pretty photos that just generally align with the branding even if they’re irrelevant…there are tons of angles you can go at this from!

  • Repost user generated content (UGC) with their permission to help gather content as well as spread the word to new audiences. An example of this is when a conference asked if they could repost one of my photos of an orange New Orleans building with a blue sky- I realized their branding was blue and orange and the event was happening in New Orleans. I immediately thought that was genius because I was then aware of the event and even intrigued to find out more info- now I’ve been attending it for 3 years all because they asked if they could repost a photo of mine! I’d say that’s successful marketing.

  • Using affiliates or sponsored posts with influencers- this is a great way to reach new audiences!

  • Take your prospective attendees behind the scenes of the planning process (Use IG stories/snapchat etc.) Use this to build up anticipation!

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

Alright so your event is here...now it’s time to execute all this hard work! This is when you are realllllly going to want to take lots of photos and have someone running the social media platforms to film stories, document, etc. to let everyone at home know what they’re missing out on. You can literally hire someone to do this, OR you can do it yourself. Just make sure you don’t forget- sometimes when you’re the one running the show you don’t have time and you’re going to definitely want this content for later!

If you’re taking the photos yourself and you don’t know where to start, I’d suggest enrolling in my Mastering iPhoneography workshop series online. It’ll teach you how to create DIY content with your phone!

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people post photos and don’t credit! As a photographer, this could be a make or break situation for me potentially getting hired for another gig- tagging other vendors and crediting them on social media is a huge way to cross promote each other and make it a mutually beneficial experience.

If you’re an event planner and you take a photo of the food spread, tag the caterer AND the venue AND maybe the band playing AND the florist and yaddi yadda. It’s not only polite- it’ll make them see it and probably do the same, which would therefore get your social media platforms in front of other audiences. Here are a few more cross promotion strategies:

Here are some examples of accounts successfully cross promoting with other accounts.

Here are some examples of accounts successfully cross promoting with other accounts.

  • Tag your location with the geo-tags (mixing this up every post is a good way to reach new audiences- city vs. venue, etc.)

  • Respond to comments! This is a PUBLIC way to show your personality. Other people will be reading the comments you respond back with, so use this as an opportunity to really get your name in front of them.

  • Reaching new audiences: engaging with those other people who have liked the other account’s image (IE you and caterer post the same photo and tagged each other- go like everyone’s photos of who liked the caterer’s photo.)

Here’s an example of posting an image with the specific event’s geo-tag, then searching that geo-tag to interact with other posts made at the same location. This is a great way to reach a targeted audience- AKA people who have also attended that event. By engaging with their images, there’s a good probability they’ll click your account and see relevant posts from the event and maybe hire you/follow you/become aware of you/engage with you online.

Here’s an example of posting an image with the specific event’s geo-tag, then searching that geo-tag to interact with other posts made at the same location. This is a great way to reach a targeted audience- AKA people who have also attended that event. By engaging with their images, there’s a good probability they’ll click your account and see relevant posts from the event and maybe hire you/follow you/become aware of you/engage with you online.

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | Jordan Hefler

Sooo the event came and went and it was successful. Don’t let the conversation stop when the event is over! Analyze posts that were made from guests with the hashtag, check the location geo-tag and like everyone’s images who came, comment and message back to people. Use those images/stories others posted to share into your own feed as user generated content to promote it again for next time!

  • Leverage it even further by making a blog post about the event with behind the scenes insight/tips from the whole process with the images you got, and put all of those images on Pinterest. SHARE your experiences, don’t be stingy- this is what people are searching for on Pinterest (you got your ideas from these types of posts, remember?!) In the end, people who are searching for that topic will see you as the authority on the subject and therefore engage with your content or maybe even hire you for their next need. Did I hack your mind yet because that’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post as we speak!

If you’re looking to dive even deeper into these subjects, consider enrolling in my Do What You Want Workshops! Click below for more info.

Leveraging your Event with Social Media | How to Create a Branded Experience On and Offline | Jordan Hefler

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories by Jordan Hefler

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories | Jordan Hefler

It's no secret that Instagram Stories have pretty much taken over the social media world. I use IG stories more than Snapchat now and my engagement online has gone up SO MUCH just from posting things daily on there. It's a great way to show your personality and other aspects of your life and business without having to commit to it living permanently on your IG feed, which is usually more of a curated space.

A lot has changed since IG stories launched, and with it have come creative workarounds to create content. Here are 3 apps I'm using to spice up my IG stories lately:

Unfold

My favorite app of the moment is Unfold, a "pic-stitch" sort of app that lets you create individual card graphics to upload to your IG story. In this app you can add pictures, videos, and (depending on if you pay to upgrade your packs within the app) old school film frames. 

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories | Jordan Hefler

I love this app because I can put content within the pre-cut out frames and have more white space to type text within the IG app. It's fun to be able to add photos and videos within the same graphic and then bring it into IG to add GIF stickers, text, locations, and hashtags!

A Color Story

I've talked about A Color Story before because it truly is one of my favorite editing apps in general, but something I think that makes A Color Story different from other editing apps is that you can also edit short videos. If I think a video might benefit from being edited in my stylized way I typically edit my photos, I'll bring it into A Color Story and brighten it up, add light leaks or color fogs, and adjust the curves before adding it to my IG story. I try to edit my photos and videos before adding them to my IG story just to enforce brand consistency, but sometimes that defeats the whole purpose of the "behind the scenes" nature of IG stories in the first place, so it will depend on what I'm trying to communicate.

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories | Jordan Hefler

Pro tip: Use the features within IG stories like the Stop Motion feature or Boomerangs to create your content within the IG stories app, then click the arrow at the bottom left to save the video to your camera roll before you post it. Bring that fun video file into A Color Story to edit the aesthetic then re-upload it into your IG story! IG story features are almost like a little video creation studio if you use them that way (you can also upload these videos you save onto your permanent feed if you're looking to switch things up!)

Cut Story

This app is something I haven't had to use very much, but I can see how it would be really helpful to people who do lots of long videos or want to replicate their YouTube content on their stories. This app basically lets you upload your video file into it and it will cut it up into the maximum amount of time IG stories allows for you.

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories | Jordan Hefler

For example, if you have a minute long video and you bring it into Cut Story, it'll chop it up into a few IG compatible story video files so you can upload them all into your story one by one and have it play seamlessly. Unless you pay to upgrade the app it will show the "Cut Story" logo at the bottom of your video, but it's cheap to upgrade it and remove that!

What apps do you like to use that makes your IG stories more engaging? I'd love to know!

3 Apps to Spice Up Your Instagram Stories | Jordan Hefler