For so long, branding and marketing were so often thought of as 'business terms', but there are so many other things that can be enhanced by a clear brand, message, theme, and/or target audience! Small startups, individuals planning events or doing personal branding, and non-profit organizations can all benefit from having a social media presence and cohesive promotion of their brand and events.
This was certainly the case for Nishmah, a wonderful non-profit organization in St. Louis that inspires, engages, and supports Jewish women. As part of the local Jewish Community Center, Nishmah had access to a marketing department that helps them with their website and promotional materials, a great benefit. However, for individual events and programs, they sometimes struggled to define clear branding, incorporate it into aspects of programming, and connect with a social media presence.
For instance, their largest program of 2017 was called Shushan Nights, a Purim-palooza so-to-speak! The marketing department helped them come up with a beautiful gold and purple invitation that complemented their 'Arabian nights' theme. Nishmah then looked to We're All Ears to help bridge the gap between the initial promotion and the on-site event. We suggested increasing social media use and even trying new social media outlets to reach wider audiences and build exposure and excitement around the event.
While many of Nishmah's events throughout the year are smaller speaker series and salons, Shushan Nights was set to be their largest event of the year, held at a large venue, with a target audience that aimed to be multi-generational, multi-denominational, and welcome Nishmah members new and old. For this reason, it was essential to incorporate social media in ways Nishmah typically may not for their more intimate events.
FACEBOOK: We suggested creating a Facebook event, using the same theme, colors, and branding as seen on the invitation, to encourage current participants and committee members to share the event and invite friends who might be interested, whether they had been previously involved in Nishmah or not. The Facebook event builds excitement prior to the big day, allows participants to feel more comfortable by seeing who is going, and provides the organization with an idea of attendees as the day draws near.
SNAPCHAT: While typically Nishmah's main audience is women in their 30s-60s, this event in particular encouraged multi-generational participation- women were encouraged to come with their mothers and their daughters, ages 13+. How do girls this age interact with an event and spread the word to their friends? Even Facebook wouldn't do the trick. Teens today primarily use Snapchat. We're All Ears designed a Snapchat Geofilter to match the theme of the event. The filter can be customized to a date, time, and location. We set the parameters for the full day of the event so that even those doing set-up could build buzz on social media.
Keep in mind: While many regular Snapchat users will discover your geofilter as they naturally use the app and scroll through the options, for greater use, consider posting a sign that alerts attendees to check Snapchat for this exciting filter. This way, those who may not have thought to log on during the event can be aware as well!
This poster was the perfect way to alert attendees to the event's Snapchat geofilter. Elements and colors were pulled from both the initial invitation and the geofilter, and even for those who didn't know what a geofilter was could grasp the concept by seeing an example. A catchy headline encouraged 'selfies' while aligning with Nishmah's values and voice with the message 'love your self[ie]'!
ASSESSMENT: One of the best parts of social media is that it's free! And along with these free networks and features come amazing free tools for measuring insights and metrics. Snapchat is no exception. The app itself and personal use is free, but fees are associated with creating geofilters for events and businesses. The price is determined by the length of time the filter runs for and the size of the geographic area. After your geofilter's run, log back into the Snapchat account used to access helpful information and find out if your geofilter was worth the investment.
For Nishmah, the breakdown of these metrics told us that the geofilter was seen 74 times on the day of the event. Of those 74 who saw it as they scrolled through their filter options, 69 of them chose to use the filter on their photo. That's a 93% rate of use! What could factor into such a high rate? For starters, an appealing eye-grabbing design plus a very targeted audience at a (nearly) private venue. In a more public space, a geofilter might be seen by more people but used by a smaller group to whom it applies. In Nishmah's case, almost everyone who saw it was likely attending their event, Shushan Nights, and therefore chose to use it as opposed to choosing an alternative geofilter. Most amazingly, from those 69 posts came 1,638 views. This is valuable exposure, especially to a younger audience, for an event only attended by about 200 people.
Facebook events and Snapchat geofilters are simple but powerful tools before, during, and after an event. Though we often think of social media as an outlet for millennials, the reality is social media users span generations. The key is to understand your target audience. Snapchat may be primarily used by kids and teens, followed by young adults, but their viral sharing could mean exposure and brand awareness to entirely new audiences and even current ones. Facebook events are easily shareable in a way no printed or emailed invitation could be. Social media incorporation into an event or marketing campaign should not be an after thought but rather an essential component of any successful event. With the right branding, design, and audience, you might be just a click away from your goals!
Do you need help incorporating social media into your next event? Would you like a custom geofilter designed, uploaded, and assessed? We're All Ears!