Social Media and Experiential Marketing

Leveraging social media during experiential marketing campaigns

Social Media Marketing

Some would say that social media the lifeblood of millennial culture. The thinking is along the lines of, if it isn’t online, it didn’t happen. It’s why so many marketers are turning the advertising dollars to social media and influencers, there’s ROI when done right. But social media’s audience reach goes far beyond, you can find many generations across various social networks.

Think about how some top celebrities have engineered their rise by leveraging social media and their followers. More followers mean more engagement. More engagement means more followers. More of both means more eyes for advertisers and better name, no brand, recognition.

So how does this relate to experiential marketing? When designing an experiential marketing campaign, considering how to successfully integrate social media is paramount to increase brand awareness and reach. The three major aspects to a social media campaign in conjunction with your experiential marketing event that you need to consider are pre, during, and post event. Making sure that you have considered your audience, the format of your event, and the platforms that suit you best, then creating a strategic social media plan will ensure your brand reach is top notch.  

Reef Agency, is the expert in developing social media friendly brand activations that drive event attendance, inspire FOMO, and keep the momentum going, long after the event has ended. Let’s put our heads together on your next experiential marketing event to ensure your brand get noticed, big time.

Building Buzz for Event and Activations with Social Media

In order to drive event attendance, you need to build hype around your event and one of the main ways to do this is by connecting with influencers in your market and strategically getting the word out there. It can be hard to get yourself in front of your target people if you haven’t created a solid plan to do so.

Pre Event Social Media Coverage

A few different ways you can ensure you get your brand and event in front of the right audience is by utilizing social media platforms and the tools they provide for you. Think about the lauded Frye Festival, it became the most hyped, FOMO based event of the year simply because one day at the exact same time hundreds of Instagram Influencers posted an orange screen to their pages. How can your brand create a strategy to create hype before an event?

You even need to consider social elements you’ve pushed aside. Have you created a Facebook event yet? You may not think that you need a Facebook event to draw attention, but Facebook is a place that curates events near you that your friends are interested in or that your expressed interests align with. By creating a Facebook event for your experiential marketing event, you are creating interest and hype and you have put your event in the social calendar of your followers and their friends.

Creating a pre-event strategy is just as important as how you will utilize socials media during the event. Sharing sneak peeks and speaker or influencer lineups long before your event creates hype.

Using Influencers in Experiential Marketing Campaigns

Align your brand with social media influencers who have a great following and an audience that is in your target market. Your brand will become more well known and associated with someone that your consumers can relate to. This is an incredibly effective way of expanding your reach because these influencers already have a dedicated base who follow them. Think of how the influencer market has taken over Instagram and YouTube. Influencers have gained followings by presenting an image that others want to attain, hello FOMO. They share the products, clothes, and other lifestyle amenities that fit their aesthetic and their followers buy into this exchange of product and information.

Instagram Wall Ideas for Events Rose Picnic

Getting ROI out of Social Media at Events

If Instagram is King then designing an event or activation that fully leverages social media needs to be an integral part of your experiential campaign. The big question is, how do you do that? This is where we come in. Reef’s team of experiential marketers are experts in creating event concepts that are social media friendly and offer branded photo opportunities for attendees. Integrating social media into your event can be done in so many different and out of the box ways but how to actually make your an idea a reality, is our expertise.

Social Photo Walls Ideas for Events

How to get buzz on social media during an event

Creating a social media friendly event is easy to do if you keep social media at the forefront of your planning process. Making your event visually appealing and photo-worthy helps to create an environment that is intoxicating and encourages social sharing. Also incorporating the following into your social media plans will ensure you get the online hype you’ve always wanted: sharing speakers content with quotes and video plus behind the scenes photos and videos.

Why a Branded Photo Opportunity Works

A branded social photo opportunity allows you to create an opportunity that engages your visitors and encourages social sharing but keeps your brand top of mind. Your brand is literally what makes your product memorable. This element of branding consistency makes sure that while your event photos are making their way around the web, your brand is also getting in front of new audiences, expanding your reach.

Building Social Experiences with your Brand

You are not only creating a static event for those who are attending, but you are also creating an experience for all those who are going to see your event online. How do you create the most impactful and immersive online experience? You come to us with your out of the box idea and let us do a deep dive into your social strategy. We put together a plan to create a social experience that will benefit you and your brand.  

Align your offers and freebies with a Hashtag

A way to build event FOMO is by offering exclusives to your attendees. Adding in an element of exclusivity elevates the calibre of your event and encourages attendance because people want to be able to say that they have something few others have. You can also capitalize on this idea by pushing giveaways, pre-sales, and coupon codes prior to your event to encourage event attendance as well. Always connect these back to a branded hashtag and that branded photo opportunity that you’ve created.

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Social Amplification and Sharing

There are so many different social media platforms, so the key is to choose a few different platforms that you know you can actively promote across. It is way better to promote across fewer platforms and do it well than to do a poor job over more platforms. People want their content to be engaged with, so hop on the bandwagon and engage with your visitors content. Repost, like, comment, and tag your visitors. You are not only expanding the reach of their event focused content but you are also ensuring that their followers are seeing your content as well.

A Case Study: Social media and experiential marketing

If you’re looking for a more concrete example of how a brand can use social media to build awareness and ultimately ROI, check out our portfolio page and our work with Cabana Pool Bar. For this activation, our team worked on a golden ticket concept. We scoured the streets of Toronto in branded clothing that was Instaworthy and offered Cabana’s target audiences tickets to opening weekend. We built hype across social media as ticket holders shared their excitement at getting access to Toronto’s hottest summer club. Every time they shared their ticket haul we created FOMO and got a free advertisement to all their collective followers for the club. With a little creativity and an understanding of your audience, you can take your experiential marketing campaign to stratospheric heights on social media.

The Final Word: Social Media Strategies for Experiential Campaigns

Use what social media has to offer, like live streaming, hashtags, and location tags to bring all of the content that is being disseminated around the web under one super hyped up umbrella.  Social amplification helps to ensure that the hype you worked so hard to create withstands the test of time. At Reef, we are the experts in creating social media strategies and can help you ensure that you are weaving socials into your event in a way that is not only beneficial for your brand immediately during the event but will also help you to create a stronghold in your marketing.

Want to up the quality of experiential campaigns during this year’s busy marketing season? Connect with the team of experts at Reef Agency. Let’s talk about your strategy.


Hire Reef for your next Experiential Marketing Campaign