Update 08/01/2017: This piece has been updated to include more ways to use Snapchat for event marketing.
Smartphones have evolved over the years to the point that they are indispensable to our everyday lives.
With smartphones you can order food in a matter of minutes and have it tracked and delivered to your house, you can check your email, record videos, and keep up to date with friends on social media. You can even use your smartphone as a flashlight.
Smartphone apps such as Snapchat allow people to share their exciting moments, goofy thoughts, and daily life stories with each other by picture and video. As an event manager, this app (and other social media marketing software) can be beneficial not only for building excitement for your upcoming events but also for broadcasting live events.
Luckily, Snapchat is a simple app that doesn’t require hours of tailoring to make your presence known to your audience. You simply build up your followers by advertising on your other social media platforms, and then send targeted videos and pictures directly to them. In fact, younger generations are actually opting for Snapchat and leaving other social platforms such as Facebook, so capturing them now will future-proof your audience!
301 million daily active users can’t be wrong.
Here is how you can use Snapchat for your events.
How Snapchat works
First off, Snapchat is a unique social media platform. It doesn’t use timelines, and unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is entirely mobile. Snapchat is an image and video messenger app that sends temporary messages between users.
It’s actually really simple to use. You create your own username, add friends just like you would with any other social media platform, and then begin taking pictures and videos to send. These pictures or videos will last only seconds for your recipients, so make sure they are good!
Marketing before your event
Think Snapchat is just a silly app for millennials with no concept of personal privacy? Well, perhaps you’re half right, as my generation can barely spell privacy, let alone embrace the concept on social media. However, in terms of the app itself being “silly,” the reality is you should take it just as seriously as any other event management software.
In fact, the 2016 election cycle saw the rise of political Snapchat campaigns, with Sen. Rand Paul being the very first presidential candidate to release a presidential campaign ad on the app.
Many other candidates have followed suit.
Using Snapchat for event marketing, you can reach a whole new set of millennials, a demographic which is harder and harder to reach through conventional marketing in television and print. Sending your Snapchat info to your young followers can give you that extra boost in reach that you’re looking for, especially if paired with similar outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Leading up to your next event, you can use Snapchat to update your young followers with the “story” feature.
The story feature allows you to create a series of videos and images that show the progress of the preparation for your event, the teams working on certain aspects of the event and why those will be activities attendees will not want to miss, or even ads for your event.
If you don’t want to rely on your own layman’s knowledge of Snapchat, there are services offered by Snapchat influencers and experts that can help you plan and strategize your Snapchat campaign.
The key is to build excitement for your upcoming event. Just remember, your stories only last 24 hours before you have to upload a new one onto the app.
Marketing during your event
So the big day has come and your event is a success. Unfortunately, many of your followers and supporters were not able to make it for whatever reason. Should they be completely left out of the festivities? Of course not! You want to get them excited for your next event by showing them exactly what they’re missing.
Using your Snapchat story, you can document all the biggest happenings at your event, from your stellar speakers to the amazing food that everyone is plowing through. You want to show your followers what they will experience if they attend your next big event.
Your attendees are also a crucial component to marketing your event using the “Our Story” feature on the app. By using location technology called “geofencing,” only those at your event can contribute to your story. Encouraging attendees to broadcast their experience of your event also relieves some of the burden from your staff of constantly creating content for your non-attending followers.
However, it’s not enough to just invite contributors to your event Snapchat story—you have to provide ways for them to make their Snapchat stories creative and enticing.
Geofilters are the perfect way to give a creative outlet for your story contributors. Geofilters are specific image filters your Snapchat event followers will use to set their snaps apart as a part of your event. Your filters can have your logo or other event-branded text or images layered over your snaps to make them unique.
Via spingo: Snapchat geofilters
In order to add creative design options to your event specific geofencing, follow this guide from SpinGo to create a Snapchat geofilter. Snapchat’s pricing for geofilters depends on the size of the event and usage. They charge $20 for every 1,000 views for advertisements, so that gives you some idea of their typical price range.
Encourage your users to contribute through contests for the best snaps or some kind of treasure hunt for specific items that they have to snap to win a prize.
With Snapchat and all other social media, most moments can be turned into a marketing opportunity, only now your marketing will have a more “humanized” approach with handheld video telling the exact story you want to tell.
Gathering feedback after your event
Although feedback may be easier to quantify through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, whose posts don’t disappear after a single view like Snapchat’s, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to gather feedback from Snapchat. Sending out requests for Snapchat reviews and feedback about your event can’t hurt and will provide a more personal touch to the information you receive. Perhaps ask for attendees to take screenshots of their favorite snaps to send in as feedback. It also gives a way for attendees to be involved after the event is over.
As for your marketing, it simply never ends. Now that you have plenty of material from your last event, you can continue to advertise to your followers about your organization and your subsequent events.
Luckily, Snapchat is a very simple app that doesn’t require hours of tailoring to make your presence known to your followers and potential followers. You simply build up your followers by advertising on your other social media platforms, and then send targeted videos and pictures directly to them. In fact, younger generations are actually opting for Snapchat and leaving other social platforms such as Facebook, so capturing them now will future-proof your audience!
Other social media options for events
First off, have you used Snapchat to market your event? What worked best for you? Was there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Secondly, there are other social media outlets you can use to promote your event and engage your attendees. The event management blog on Capterra has plenty of social media guides to make sure you make the most of your online presence:
- How to Use Facebook for Event Planning
- How to Use Twitter for Events
- How to Promote Your Event on Instagram
- Top 5 Free Tools to Live Stream Your Event Online
- The Top 5 Event Professional Social Media Mistakes You Should Avoid
Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.