Spring Cleaning: How to Freshen Up Your Social Media this Season

For some of us, spring weather means one thing: spring cleaning! Many of us rush to clean out our homes, our offices or our closets, but don’t think about what spring cleaning can do for our business. As event marketers, we know how important social media can be for selling tickets. For us, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning.

 

These chores are quick, but they will make your new profiles feel (to quote Ms. Marie Kondo) like a “spark of joy.”

 

Throw away old images

 

If your pages are filled with old logos, grainy header images or improperly sized photos – it’s time to throw them all away. Bad profile photos are a quick route to a sloppy and unprofessional feeling page. Luckily, this small change can make a huge difference in the way people view your profile. Take this time to make sure all of your profiles feature the same perfectly-sized logo, and that your images are nice, crisp and up to date. While you’re at it, look over your About sections and business descriptions. Make sure the text is current and consistent across all of your platforms.

 

If you haven’t changed your cover photos in over a year, it’s time to give your profiles a mini makeover. Cover photos are an opportunity to wow your audience with eye-catching photos and create a striking first impression. Even if your cover photo looks snazzy already, it’s a good idea to add a new photo every-so-often to give your page a fresh clean feel. Frequenting fans will notice.

 

Organize your fans and followers

 

Do you know who you follow on social media and who follows you? It’s important to make sure that you are following business partners, clients and important industry leaders. Not only does this ensure that you are up-to-date on industry news, it gives you another opportunity to engage with key connections.

 

Start with your list of partners and clients. Are you following the key players? Are they following you? If not, make sure to hit the follow button and start connecting. It’s not a bad idea to like a few recent posts if a page you are connected with is not following you back. Just don’t get too gung-ho. Spamming their page or appearing stalkerish is a no-no.

 

Then take a look at your general followers list. Are there any irrelevant or inactive accounts that you should unfollow? Anyone just outright inappropriate?

 

Now is also a good time to look at your demographics page. See if the demographic data is similar to that of your average customer. If not, now is a good time to tweak your content strategy to create relevant content and attract the audience that you want.

 

Dust off your strategies and goals

 

It can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of why you’re doing things in the first place. Everyone knows that posting on social media is important, but busy companies often forget to decide why. There are many ways social media can tie back to your organization’s overall mission. Is your intent simply to connect with customers? Provide customer service? Educate your clients? Maybe your goal is strictly to sell tickets online. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to select one (or a few). Then, create monthly or quarterly goals to serve as your guiding light.

 

A successful social media strategy will help your company connect with more customers, create brand loyalty – and yes, even sell more tickets! Focus on your organization’s overall goals. A social media strategy can help you begin to see a real impact with your efforts.

 

 

Focus your attention on de-cluttering your account this spring and make sure all your information is up to date.  Then get busy sharing your fresh new content with your audience. We bet you’ll be happy you joined us for spring cleaning!

 

This article previously appeared in IFEA’s ie Magazine.

3 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Facebook Posts

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a trillion times: engagement on your Facebook posts is important. However, all engagement is not created equal. Lately, Facebook has been showing special treatment to posts with lots of comments by catapulting them to the top of our newsfeeds and awarding “Top Fan” and “Valued Commenter” badges.

 

It makes sense. There’s something special about posts that get people talking.  While posts with a lot of likes perform well in the algorithm, stats show that posts with tons of comments get 4x more clicks!

 

That’s why encouraging comments is the top way to increase your visibility and customer engagement. Just make sure you’re not trying to game the system by using “engagement-bait” posts that Facebook counts as spam. (For example: “Tag 3 of your friends who would agree with this post!” or “Comment “YES” if you really love candy apples!”)

 

So, what should you do to create meaningful conversations in your comment sections?

 

Try These 3 Tips to Get More Comments on Your Facebook Posts:

 

  1. Engage with and Reply to your Followers

 FabFitFun replying to Facebook comments

 

Responding to your followers is an easy trick that so many organizations forget to do! Too many people spend time planning, creating and posting content then drop the ball when it comes to the fun part – engaging with and responding to fans! It is still social media, after all.

 

A study of more than 1,200 Facebook users found that personalized responses are more satisfying to the receiver than a simple Like. Think about it, who wants to talk to someone who never talks back? On top of that, you miss the opportunity to start conversations, create positive memories with your customers and possibly resolve customer service problems.

 

The juicy part is that Facebook wants you to reply to your followers, so they view your comments and your followers’ comments as equally important. That means if you reply to each and every comment on your post, you double your comment count and your opportunity to move up in the algorithm.

 

 

  1. Ask authentic questions

Oreo

 

Asking questions just works. Don’t get us wrong – asking spammy questions with no rhyme or reason is always a no-no, but asking real, genuine questions almost always gets great responses. Try asking your followers for recommendations or advice: “What is your favorite food to eat at the festival?” or “Which topping would you prefer, chocolate or bananas?”

 

The best thing about this tactic is not only that it encourages comments, but it also gives insight into the personalities and preferences of your customers.

 

  1. Create Interactive Posts

Wix

 

Another great way to get people to interact with your posts is to craft posts that are fun and engaging. To do this, play games with your followers by asking them to engage in fun ways with your content. Remember to make it entertaining and easy! Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

 

  • Caption This
  • Fill in the blank
  • Would you rather
  • Poll
  • Guessing game

 

What type of tips have helped you get more comments? Stop by our Facebook page and drop a comment under this article!

How to Actually Sell Tickets with Email Marketing in 2019

Email marketing has been around pretty much since the internet was born. Social media and search engine ads have stolen some of its shine in recent years, but we still believe in the power of good ol’ email! Why? It’s (almost) free, it’s accessible and everybody on the internet has one! With so many people using ad blockers and scrolling through their social feeds at the speed of light, email is also the perfect way to capture someone’s attention. Here’s the top ways to keep up with email trends that actually sell tickets in 2019:

 

  1. Personalization and Segmentation

Millennials have spoken, and they want custom content. We’re talking about diving a little deeper than your standard email {!Contact.FirstName}.  Huge digital companies like Amazon, Coca-Cola and the Austin City Limits Festival have changed the way we market by placing personalization at the center of their strategies. Think about how you react when an ad pops up in your inbox or newsfeed for something that you’ve already been lusting after for days. We’d bet your typical scroll reflex slows down and you’re much more likely to give it a click.

Next time you send out a marketing email, ask yourself if you’ve included these relevant contacts: Customers who have purchased tickets for the same or similar events, customers who have purchased merchandise, customers with abandoned carts, customers who have shown interest in the event on your website.

More importantly, think about who you SHOULDN’T include. Instead of sending every email to one giant list, segment your lists based on what each person is truly interested in. In other words, don’t waste your time sending kids story time emails to the rowdy 21+ crowd. While it may seem like you’re increasing your odds by increasing your reach, what you’re really doing is making it more likely for someone to opt-out, or worse, stop engaging with your event altogether.

 

  1. Clear and Compelling Call to Action

If you want your reader to buy anything, you’ve got to create engaging calls to action that compel your readers to follow through right away. Once a reader clicks away – that’s it. You’ve pretty much lost them, at least for now.

Many people see the call to action as a one-line sentence or link at the end of your email (Buy Tickets, Sign Up, Follow Us). While that’s an important piece to the puzzle, remember that the rest of your email is important, too. No one ever buys something without a compelling “why.”  What is it about your event that makes it a good use of their time? The delicious food? Great photo ops? A spectacular line up? Focus on one element and tell a really good story. Then hook them at the end. Storytelling is the best way to help people really connect with your brand, instead of just feeling like you’re trying to sell them something.

 

  1. It’s All About the Follow-Up

Here’s the great thing about selling online: you can essentially chase down a potential customer without looking like a total creep. It’s easy for people to get distracted online. Sometimes what people need is just another nudge (or 4) to lead them in the right direction.  Moz found that you can bring your conversion rate to up to 41%, compared to a 1-2% average by simply remarketing to customers who appear interested, but just haven’t bought yet.

Now, we’re not advocating for spamming people’s inboxes. Instead, what we’re talking about is using a well-timed, well-planned campaign to keep people thinking about your upcoming event. An email campaign for an upcoming festival might look something like this:

Email 1: Event announcement

Email 2: Early bird sale offer

Email 3: Line up announcement

Email 4: Second sale announcement

Email 5: Reminder: Two weeks left to buy tickets

Don’t forget to create an email for people who have abandoned their cart or who have high click & open rates but haven’t bought a ticket yet. It’s likely these people are interested, they may just need an additional nudge. You don’t have to follow up solely through email, either! Use retargeting to reach people who have recently purchased or engaged with your brand on their newsfeeds, Google search and using plain ol’ website banners.

 

  1. Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Sales are the oldest trick in the book for a good reason: they work. This one’s old school, but we still believe that a good sale or giveaway is one of the best ways to sell tickets. Just make sure that the offer is valuable for both you and the client.

 

Email marketing is still one of the best tools to connect with your audience and sell tickets, but it will only work if you are creating relevant content and humanizing your brand.

 

 

How to Instantly Reply to Your Messages Using Instagram Quick Replies (With screenshots)

If you use social media to sell tickets or merch (and you should!), you know how easy it can be for your inbox to start exploding with DMs.  Don’t get me wrong – a busy inbox is a good sign, but when you find yourself answering the same question over and over again, it doesn’t take long to realize that your time is even more valuable. To fix this problem, Instagram rolled out the Quick Replies feature to cut down on the time it takes to respond to direct messages.

(To take advantage of the feature, make sure you are using an Instagram Business Account.)

What is Instagram Quick Replies?

Quick Replies make it easy to respond your Instagram messages in just a few taps. The feature is similar to Facebook’s Instant Replies, except the saved messages don’t send automatically. Quick Replies comes in handy when customers are most likely to start conversations, like when tickets go up for sale, an event is right around the corner or when a giveaway occurs. It can be a lifesaver when it comes to staying engaged with your followers!

How to use Instagram Quick Replies

 

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile page and select your direct messages in the top right corner.
  2. Select a message.
  3. Tap the plus button in the bottom menu.
  4. Click on the quick reply button (a conversation bubble with three dots).
  5. Select “New Quick Reply.”
  6. Type your message, then click save.
  7. To use your message, type your shortcode or tap the quick reply icon to select your message. Then click send.
  8. You did it!

 

Say goodbye to hours spent replying to direct messages and answering the same questions over and over again. Quick Replies makes it easier than ever to quickly respond to direct messages – and as event planners know, in the middle of event season, every second counts!

How to Create your 2019 Content Calendar (Plus a Free Template!)

Here at Saffire, our content calendar is our best friend! In fact, we just completed mapping out our calendar for the whole year. Whew! A content calendar is a plan, either for a few months or an entire year, of what you’re going to publish and where you’re going to publish it to further your organization’s goals. It is a complete roadmap of your outbound marketing efforts.

 

It took lots of time and planning to build our calendar, but we knew it would be worth it. Why? Because content calendars are the best possible tool to keep you organized all year long!

 

Most importantly, creating a content calendar forces you to put thought and creativity into your content instead of throwing it together at the last moment. (We’ve all been there!)

 

Imagine that you work at a festival known for its spectacular corndogs. Little did you know, today is National Corndog Day. You go on Facebook to see hundreds of festivals around the country posting their photos for #NationalCorndogDay. You search through your photo library but don’t see any great corndog photos available to post.

 

Instead, you miss out on the chance to gain some buzz and create some free promotion for you and your vendors.

 

A content calendar can help you make sure that you always have the perfect post for moments like this. Plus, you’ll never miss another National Corndog Day again.

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few tips for getting started!

 

 

  1. 1. Identify your content

Before you start mapping out your content calendar, begin making a list of the topics you should cover. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

 

 

Who are your audiences and what do they want to see? Your audiences can include groups like: current and past customers, potential customers, vendors, board members, staff, etc. We recommend choosing 2 or 3 groups and creating content designed to keep them engaged.

 

 

What important dates, milestones or promotions does your organization have coming up this year? Ticket sales, box office times and promotion dates are obvious inclusions on your content calendar, but what about other interesting milestones? Anniversaries and holidays can make for lighthearted and engaging content! Make sure to check the National Day Calendar for other social media holidays related to your business. You can find it at www.nationaldaycalendar.com.

 

What kinds of assets do you have available? Who and what do you have available to help create unique content? Maybe you have a full creative team or maybe you’re using a simpler editing tool like Canva. Maybe you have a photographer or maybe you use Shutterstock. What about a videographer or even just partners that can contribute to your blog? Either way, take note of all people and tools available. This will determine what types of content you can post throughout the year.

 

  1. Decide when and where to publish

 

As little as a decade ago, there were only a few options for publishing. Today, however, there are dozens of options at our fingertips! Take a moment to take inventory of all the channels that your organization offers, and decide which content is best to post where. We bet that your organization already utilizes some of these channels: social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.…), video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo, newsletters, e-blasts, an online blog, your website and advertisements.

Next, decide how often to post. You could try to publish a new blog every day, but if you don’t have the resources necessary that could get tricky.  Be realistic about what you and your teammates can handle. Then be consistent.

 

  1. Create your calendar

 

There are many different ways to create your perfect content calendar! Here at Saffire, we recommend using a good ol’ spreadsheet. You can find our downloadable template at www.Saffire.com/Calendar.

Make sure to include important information like: date, post type, author, prize winners, publication channels etc. We love keeping ours in an organized Google Sheet that can be updated by all of our marketing teammates.

Once you have it perfected, get posting!

 

Remember, the best thing about your content calendar is that it’s flexible! See what works best for you and your team then add or remove things as you go! Once you get it perfected, we bet your content calendar will be your best friend too! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year. Next year, edit the template you create this year. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to manage your marketing presence!

 

This article previously appeared in IFEA’s ie Magazine.

4 Top Social Media Trends For 2019

It’s almost 2019, and (along with some fun surprises from Saffire!) that means a whole new year to connect with your friends on social media. Social media is constantly changing, but new features and ways to engage with your followers make it an exciting time to connect.

Here are our top social media trends to try next year.

  1. Use Stories

2018 was the year of the “story,” and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. This year, the feature blew-up on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and is even being integrated on YouTube and LinkedIn. Gone are the days when posts were seen as highlights of the past. In 2019, it is all about in-the-moment content. With some 400 million daily Instagram Story users, it is clear that audiences expect to have a more intimate relationship with brands than ever before. This is especially true for Millennial and Gen-Z consumers, who rate authentic relationships and FOMO as key influences for engagement and brand loyalty. For brands, this means constantly keeping fans involved – and stories are a great way to get started.

  1. Try Marketing Through Messaging

Rumor has it that the internet has not slept since it was born in 1983. Nowadays, consumers are constantly on the go with their devices in hand. People have come to expect almost instant responses when sending comments and private messages online. Because of this, organizations are learning that they must keep up with the demand from their customers. Facebook has also been adding new features to its Messenger app and rewarding business pages for maintaining high message response rates. It is clear that the social media giant sees messaging as a key tool in 2019, and Facebook isn’t the only one who feels that way. Studies show that more than 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp and other messaging apps each month.

3.Engage with Micro-Influencers

Anyone with an Instagram page knows that influencers have quickly become this generation’s celebrities. While working with powerful well-known influencers can get you big results, it can also be costly. That’s why many brands are now choosing to work with smaller social media users called “micro-influencers.” While they may not be celebrities, studies show micro-influencers still have great influence over their audiences – think of it as word-of-mouth marketing for the internet age. They key is to find relevant and trustworthy accounts to partner with. The best part? Unlike celebrity influencers like Kim Kardashian, who are known to charge up to $500,000 a post, 83% of micro-influences charge under $250. Try searching for accounts using hashtags related to your organization. Keep a lookout for profiles with high engagement and eye-catching posts.

4.Set up Shoppable Posts

Every marketer has been faced with the question – “how will social media directly contribute to the bottom line?” In 2018, Facebook and Instagram finally answered our question with shoppable posts, allowing users to buy their favorite products without ever leaving the app. Shoppable posts on Instagram and Catalogs on Facebook are a great way to help customers discover and purchase your merch. The key, however, is to remember to distinguish your post from other e-commerce by keeping it fun and interactive. It is still social media, after all.

 

Social media is all about creating a stronger relationship with your customers. In 2019 remember to build genuine relationships, put your customers first and have fun! That’s the magic recipe to a successful and profitable year on social!