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Social media

Nearly every event is marketed on social media. The advantages of social media include its low costs, its social nature, the possibility to tailor messages according to target groups, and its speed. The most important factor is the social nature of communication in social media. It provides an efficient channel for publishing announcements and notifications, but the true power of social media lies in the fact that it allows direct communication with the very people who are interested in your event. At it’s most simple form, communication can simply mean answering messages and asking questions, but it can also entail polls, competitions and initiatives, in which case the participants and followers play an important role.

We recommend nominating a social media manager for your event, who will be responsible for regular communication with the audience. Regularity is key. It is a good idea to draft a realistic social media plan and establish the frequency of communication on each channel.

Depending on the channel, we would recommend publishing updates once a week throughout the year, and at a frequency of about once a day for the time immediately before the event. There are, however, major differences in the recommended frequency of publishing updates between different channels: while it is OK to publish updates on the same theme several times a day to Twitter, doing the same would be too much on Facebook.

Make sure that you update your channels regularly because an inactive social media account gives a bad impression of the event. If the social media manager will be away on holiday, for example, they can schedule updates that will be published automatically during their absence. A good option is to also have a backup person who can cover for the social media manager in case questions are asked via social media, if there is a need for moderation in the discussions, or if there’s an unexpected event (serious threats to safety, a performer falls ill/dies, etc.).

Cornerstones of a successful social media campaign:

  • Regular updates;
  • Inviting the audience to engage in dialogue;
  • Images, videos and other active content;
  • Fast responses;
  • Tailored content to different channels and target audiences;
  • Selection of channels that work best for your target audience;
  • Occasional special promotions such as competitions, polls and campaigns;
  • VIP content for followers (such as behind-the-scenes and making-of publications).

Social media channels change constantly, and the social media manager of the event should keep an eye on the changes so as to be able to react accordingly. At the time of writing this guidance, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter were among the most popular social media channels, but this may already have changed by the time you are reading this.

Hot topic: your event on social media

The challenges that event marketing teams face are partly different from those related to the marketing of other products and services.

The advantages of marketing events on social media:

  • The event in itself is interesting, whereas a “more boring” product may require putting some flesh on the bones of its story to make it more attractive. An event, on the other hand, is “the flesh on the bones” that attracts interest in itself. People are interested in events – make use of it in the marketing!
  • The performers often create a lot of sales appeal for the event. Promote your event with the help of photos and videos of or interviews with the performers. Agree on the ways the performers advertise the event. Create compelling opportunities for the performers to take photos and shoot videos backstage, on stage and in the field. Make sure that there is at least one “wow” moment along the performer’s path that makes them want to share a photo. Remind the performer of the hashtag, social media channels and name of your event and of Tampere.
  • The event industry is interesting in itself; therefore, sneak peeks and making-of clips of how you are organising the event attract the interest of the general public. Explain how the event is being created and introduce the people behind it in your social media channels.
  • People tend to share updates that concern events. Provide an excellent spot for a selfie, encourage guests to share photos and updates, reward those who share frequently with tickets or merchandise, and promote the event name and hashtags on social media.
  • Collaboration with social media influencers that focus on tourism and travel, music, sports and lifestyle content is always a good idea. While many of the influencers will have to consider each proposal for collaboration carefully, an event that they are naturally interested in is high on their list.
  • Let your audience have their say: The most effective way of engaging your audience in social media is letting them influence a feature of your event. Let your imagination run wild – sometimes the audience may get to participate in the selection of topics and performers of an event, the schedule, the choice of an external service provider (such as pizza vs burger restaurant) or the decoration of the VIP area.

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