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 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.

Analytics Don’t Have to be Scary: What to Measure for Social Media

So, you’ve got great graphics, interesting content and even some fun videos, but your posts aren’t performing as well as you expected. What gives, and where do you go from here?

Analytics can be scary for beginners. With so many numbers and terms, how do you know what’s important? Using analytics to drive better social media performance can take some time to get right, but when you do, it can make a huge difference!

The most important thing to remember is that, just like the rest of your marketing strategies, everything you do on social media should tie back to your company’s audiences and goals. Take some time to figure out just what it is that you want from your social media pages – is it brand recognition, sales or maybe to provide important information to customers? Then, you can use analytics to assess how close you are to meeting your goals.

Audience

Audience size does matter, and often it’s the first thing that people see when they click on your profile. While there is much more to social media than your follower count, having a sizeable and targeted audience is the easiest way to make sure your posts are reaching the right the people. Although it might seem easier to quickly build your audience through family, friends or other filler accounts, your goal should always be to shoot for quality and not just quantity. That means gaining followers that are likely to appreciate and engage with your content, and ultimately support your business both on and offline.

When investing in a high-quality audience, look for analytics that tell more of the story than just follower count. Who are your followers? Facebook Insights, Instagram Insights and Twitter Analytics all allow you to view simple demographics for your followers. Check out your demographics tab to make sure your followers are in line with your company or event’s preferred audiences. If not, try running targeted ads, using growth tactics to target specific groups, or even switching up your content strategy to attract the right people.

Post Reach

When it comes to social media, “reach” refers to the number of people who viewed your post. It used to be a sure thing when you posted something that your followers would see it. Now, thanks to tricky algorithms, it isn’t quite that simple! Watch your reach to see how many people are paying attention to your content. On popular sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, reach typically works like a snowball effect. The more people that view, like and positively engage with your post, the more people your post will reach. More people reached can mean more followers and ultimately more customers!

Engagement

If you take a photo and nobody likes it, was it ever really posted?  Likes, reactions, comments, clicks, shares, ect… all count as engagement. High engagement is a sign that your audience feels connected with your content. It can be hard to predict which posts will get the most engagement or even “go viral,” but by looking at previous patterns of success, you can get a better idea of what your audience is interested in. Which kinds of posts are your followers most likely to engage with? What text did you use? What kind of content did you feature? See if you can link periods of high engagement and growth to specific posts or events. You can also calculate your engagement rate or percentage to get a better idea of which posts are doing best. Use this knowledge in the future to help build a more successful content strategy.

6 Steps for Making Your Website ADA Compliant

ADA compliance is one of the most important pieces to a website in 2018. As marketers, event planners and coordinators, it’s important to make sure that EVERYONE is able to access all of the awesome things we create – both in person and online. However, accessibility isn’t just the right thing to do, it also affects your business. Over 7,500 businesses have faced ADA-related litigation, and this number is growing. Luckily, so is our understanding of what we need to do to provide great online experiences for everyone alike!

What does it mean and why do we need it?

ADA compliance is about making your website accessible to EVERYONE. In theory, this sounds simple, but in practice it can be a bit confusing. That’s why it’s best to get started with compliance before your website is even built. Here at Saffire, we keep ADA Compliance in mind from the very beginning.

Why? Think about this: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have a disability. Since the internet is used for all kinds of important things these days, like registering for services or paying bills online, it’s important that every member of our society has the same access to things they need. Plus, it makes it much easier for them to find information about your organization!

Here are the first six steps to making your website ADA compliant:

  1. Write Better Link Text

Each link should make sense when read by itself. Provide context and avoid using phrases like “click here” or “continue.” Instead, say things like “read the article” or “tickets here.” Avoid long URLs, and if an image is the only thing within a link, make sure it has ALT text! Which brings us to…

 

  1. Use ALT Tags for Images

Add meaningful ALT tags to important images. That means images like logos (especially if they lead to your homepage), images that are links, images used as placeholders for text, or any other image that adds context to a page. The ALT tag gives context to people who can’t see the image, so make sure it makes sense! How can you tell if you have good ALT tags? Describe the image and get specific! What is happening in the photo? Who or what is in it? Where are they? Don’t repeat phrases you’ve already used in the text or caption, and don’t begin with phrases like “image of” or “in this image.” Take time to learn how to place and write good ALT tags. They’re important!

 

  1. Think About the Page Structure

People use your page design as a guide to find information on your website, so build your pages in ways that make sense. Utilize headers, bullets, blockquotes, and other ways of organizing your information. Always start your page with an H1 tag and follow the hierarchy for the rest of the headers (H1 > H2 > H3 > H4, etc.)

 

  1. Test Your Colors

Did you know that color blindness affects 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women? Together, that makes up more than 25 million people with color blindness in the U.S. alone. To make sure that color blind people can still understand everything on your website, it’s important that color is not the only tool used to organize information. Test your site using a free tool like the webAIM contrast checker to make sure your web pages are up to par.

 

  1. Caption and Transcribe All Videos

Every video or audio piece must have both captions and a transcript to be ADA compliant. Luckily, many tools like YouTube and Facebook now allow users to add captions to videos. Don’t forget to include a separate area to describe what is happening in the video, and always make sure that the video is accessible by mouse, keyboard and screen readers!

 

  1. Test Your Site

The best way to know for sure if your site is accessible? Test, test, test! There a few free tools online that can help you test the accessibility of each page within your site. Our favorite is WAVE. It can get a little pricey to check your whole website at once but testing sites like PowerMapper can help you get there.

 

Remember, accessibility is the law, but that’s not the only reason it’s important! Accessibility affects millions of people. Meeting compliance standards is a sure way to provide the best user experience for everyone.

Facebook Ads Manager, Simplified

For years, Facebook has had two ways to manage ads (both Power Editor and Ads Manager). But now they have finally merged the two platforms! We are so pumped about this update and wanted to share the news with you, so you can be ahead of the game in learning the new system! Last month, Facebook began rolling out this change with a different advertising interface, but more streamlined to make it easier than ever to manage Facebook Ads.

Over the past couple years, the lines have blurred between what you could do in Power Editor and Ads Manager. It seemed like you could do most things in Ads Manager that you were able to do in Power Editor. However, there were still limitations in Ads Manager, which meant you had to switch back and forth between the two platforms to make certain edits. Facebook also kept making changes to the two platforms constantly. As you know, one thing that has made Facebook Ads difficult in the past is that every time you go to create an ad, the platform looks different and harder to navigate.

Hopefully with this new update, those days are over! According to Facebook, “this redesigned interface provides advertisers the tools they need to manage their business on Facebook successfully, no matter how complex, or simple, those needs may be. By combining Ads Manager and Power Editor we are simplifying Facebook’s ad buying ecosystem. This simplification reduces the tools advertisers need to learn and allows us to focus our resources on maintaining and improving a single interface”. You can see the full press release and a detailed overview of all the changes HERE.

Want to really sink your teeth into learning the new Ads Manager? Facebook rolled out their free training and certification program, Blueprint, a few years ago and you can get a “Digital Badge” as a Facebook Certified Planning Professional and a Facebook Certified Buying Professional. To get started on your certification, click HERE.

We hope you are looking forward to a new, simplified way to managing your Facebook Ads! We sure are!

 

Facebook Videos Made Easy

The mere thought of creating and starring in a marketing video can be terrifying! Well, guess what? Times are changing! You no longer have to star in a video to have perfectly curated video clips! Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? That’s right – that mean’s there’s no pressure fur us as marketers to stand in front of the camera!  Not only that, but native videos on Facebook have 10 times higher reach compared to YouTube links you might share in your Facebook post! We are going to focus on what YOU CAN DO TODAY to get a native Facebook video planned, created and posted.

The best part is that you don’t even need any video editing software! It’s as simple as choosing some of your photos, sticking some text on them, building the video on Facebook and adding some music to it!

  1. Create a Storyboard: Since this is a quick and easy exercise, we will keep the storyboard creation short and simple. First, you will need to decide what you want to showcase in your video. Then, decide how many images you would like to showcase in your video (you can choose between 3 – 10 images). Then, if you want the graphics to deliver a message, write out what you want each image to say. Remember, all images will be on the screen for the same duration, so keep the text SHORT and impactful. You can choose between 0.5 and 5 seconds per image. Finally, decide what kind of feel you want the video to have (upbeat, chill, funny, country/western, etc.).
  2. Select your Background Music: Based on what kind of feel you want your video to have, now is the time to select your music! Don’t worry, you don’t need a guitar! In December of 2017, Facebook rolled out Sound Collection, which is a collection of royalty free and high-quality audio tracks and sound effects. The only limit here is that these audio files can only be used on Facebook and Instagram. Sound Collection allows you to search and filter songs by genres, moods, lengths, vocal type and sound effects by categories and lengths. Check out the variety of options here.
  3. Add Some Text: Saffire recommends using a simple, free photo editing tool like Canva.com. You can quickly and easily put together stunning graphics with your message on them. Check out Canva’s How-To Guide here.
  4. Create your slideshow in Facebook! Once logged into Facebook, click on “Write a Post” and select the camera icon. From the drop-down menu, click on “Create a Slideshow”. A pop-up window will appear. This is where you can upload your own images, chose your music, image duration and transition options of the slides. When you are happy with your slideshow, you can select “Create Slideshow” in the bottom right corner of the page. In a matter of two minutes, you will have a video slideshow on your page. Ta-da!Facebook also gives you the option to boost the post so that your video slideshow will be seen by even more of your target audience! If you have any other questions about the process you can follow this easy step-by-step guide here.

The Saffire Marketing team wanted to show you just how easy and quick you can create a video, so we put together a slideshow video of our own! We only used Canva and made this in less than an hour. Check it out below!

FBSlideshowVideo

Making an effective social media video does not have to be a daunting task. Facebook’s slideshow video generator is the easiest way to make an eye-catching video that will resonate with your audience!

 

 

Seven Tips to up your Ratings Online!

The internet can just be a cruel place sometimes. It doesn’t take long for people to realize that they need to sensor what they post on their personal social media accounts and work hard on their personal reputation. What is surprising is that some marketing and PR teams are not as concerned about what is being posted about the organizations that they represent. With every incident being recorded and shared across social media, a brand’s reputation can be tarnished very quickly. Just ask United Airlines! You should always have a PR plan in place to deal with whatever might be thrown your way. In today’s digital world where photos, social media and news stories are everlasting, upholding your reputation online is more important than ever. Remember that without a positive reputation, no brand can truly flourish.

How exactly does a consumer judge your reputation?

Think about when you plan a trip out of town, or even pick a new event to attend, do you make the decision yourself? Most of us talk these ideas overwith friends and family. If they respond positively you are more likely to pull the trigger and buy your tickets or book your travel! If they don’t, you will seek out another option, many times a competitor of yours. This thought process is how people are determining your online reputation. They are looking for recommendations, online reviews, ratings and feedback. The opinions of people that are not associated with your brand have a much greater impact on your future customers than your branded marketing efforts.

According to a 2015 Connected Consumer Survey, nearly 80% of people report that the internet is the first place they look when they need information, and over 50% are using search engines to look up brands. While you would prefer to control what potential customers see about your brand online, search engines allow them to access a variety of other information that you don’t control including reviews, non-branded social media posts, consumer photos and more.

Do you know where you are being rated?

Some review sites require you to create a business page with them while others are created by the people leaving the reviews. The top 3 review sites that you should be on is yelp.com, tripadvisor.com, and google+. Make sure to create a page for your business so that you can monitor your online presence as well as post photos, hours, website links, and more. Receiving positive reviews can not only get you free advertising on these platforms, but it also gives credibility to your brand.

  • Promote the good and fix the bad. Capitalize on the positive reviews and use the negative ones to improve upon what you’re doing. Constructive criticism is not always easy to receive, but these reviews are a direct reflection of how people see you. Take negative reviews as a wakeup call and appreciate how it may be enabling you to improve.
  • Make sure all your positive reviews are seen. Yelp uses an algorithm to hide reviews that appear fake. Unfortunately, many real reviews get stuck in this filter. To avoid this, you can ask your reviewers to make their profile seem more legitimate. They could add a profile picture or check into local places near you.
  • Don’t ignore negative reviews. This is going to happen. It is impossible to meet everyone’s wishes. It’s important to acknowledge what wrong doing has been done or to clarify anything that may not be correct. Approach these reviews in a diplomatic fashion. Lastly, invite the reviewers to give you a chance to improve their experience in the future.
  • Fight fire with fire. In some, very rare instances you can respond to negative reviews with humor. We don’t advise that you respond immediately after reading the post, but to wait until you have cooled off and can efficiently add some humor to your review. This will not only show other customers that you are paying attention to their opinions but that you also have a sense of humor. A great example of a brand responding with humor is the video, Visit Lubbock Mean Tweets https://youtu.be/8i0bHJBnxBo
  • Keep them coming back for more. Share how you have improved your services based on the customer feedback. Show your customers how your brand welcomes their opinions and encourages repeat visits.
  • Amplify your reach. Get engaging content in front of your audience to help drive traffic and positive reviews. Running a few $5 per day Facebook ads, for example, can allow you to significantly increase your followers and can help improve your rating on Facebook. When someone is a fan, they are usually less likely to leave a negative review. Be sure and post your content on all your social media platforms.
  • Improve your reputation by exceeding expectation offline. Don’t let all the time spent on perfecting your online image go to waste by not performing in person. Insure that your employees are practicing what you preach online.

The secret to keeping up with your online reputation is to stay true to who you are as a brand. Customer service should be your number one concern. Provide an excellent experience from start to finish. Stay engaged with your customers and you will see your rating begin to creep up closer to a 5-star average! Do you have a tactic that you use to increase your rating? Let us know in the comments below!

Contests to Increase Social Engagement!

While contests have been around for centuries, they have recently taken on a new life with the evolution of social media. Contests are not the answer to every marketing challenge, but you should consider making them a part of your social media plans. Whether your event, venue or destination is big or small, contests can help drive engagement at a minimal cost.

Contests aren’t always successful and don’t always magically drive engagement. The most successful contests are usually very simple, while the contests that fail are usually too complicated for the participants to understand and engage.

So, what is the key to keeping your audience engaged? Simplicity! Ease! Fun!

The most effective way to keep your contest simple is setting an easily manageable objective. What results are you shooting for? What do you want to gain from the post? Be sure to think it through logically by following these steps:

  • Set Goals: What are you trying to achieve? For example, do you want to gain more likes, comments, views on your video, or acquire new email addresses?
  • Consider your Audience: Who are you targeting? It is important to hone in on who your demographic is for the post. Are you trying to reach men or women, kids, teenagers or maybe basketball fans? It will be easier to generate your contest once you have narrowed down on who you want your message to reach.
  • Determine the Contest Time Frame: For small contests where your only objective is to receive likes and comments, we suggest that you run daily contests. For a more complex contest that you want to acquire more personal information or a lengthy submission, we advise that you run the contest for a longer period.
  • Create a Prize Package: Everyone wants to win, especially when they can win multiple prizes in one giveaway! The bigger the prize, the more information you can require from participants. Plan a budget on how much the prize will cost your venue, event, or destination.
  • Execute – Plan the Fulfillment: Know how you can deliver the prize and how to execute the entire plan. Do you need to mail the prize to the winner? Do they need to pick it up?
  • Prizes: To have a great contest, you need to provide prizes. Everyone loves to win things. What is it that you can afford to give away? It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it does need to be relevant to your venue, event, or destination. You can work with local partners in giving away hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, concert tickets, etc.

Here are 5 simple ideas to get you inspired for your next event!

Contest #1 – Likes and Follows

Facebook likes and follows are simple and easy contests to execute with hundreds of options and ideas:

  • Help us get to 12,000 fans! When we get there, we’ll give away FREE _____ (concert ticket, 2-night hotel stay, etc.)! SHARE this status for your chance to win!
  • Be sure and ALWAYS use compelling images.

Contest #2 – Caption This

Caption This Contests are always a hit! From our experience, caption contests generate more responses than any other contest. Find photos from your past event or images from around your destination. Make sure they are fun, a little goofy and generally aesthetically appealing. Fan favorites are usually animal photos. (explain what this is a little more. Maybe give an example?)

Contest #3 – Photo Comments

Generating interaction among your fans is a great way to build community. Posting a colorful photo will catch their attention in their News Feed. Here are a couple of easy examples:

  • FOOD! Everyone loves food. Post a photo of a unique food item.
  • KIDS! Post a photo of a young kid having fun at your event or destination.
  • HISTORY! Post an image of a historical building or spot.

Then have them post a photo in the comments with their favorite food, in front of a landmark, etc.

Contest #4 – Instagram

Instagram has become the social media platform of choice for many Millennials and Gen Zs (people born between 1980 and 2012). When engaging with this age group, make sure your prizes are things they would want to win and are “trendy”! Don’t be afraid to use hashtags.

  • Double tap and win: Post photos on Instagram. “Double tap this photo and follow us on Instagram to automatically be entered to win a prize pack. Winner announced Monday.
  • Tag three friends to win: “We’re giving away ____ (ride tickets, a hotel stay, gate admission, etc)!! Tag 3 friends to win. #Giveaway #Tag3 #Fun #Friends

Contest #5 – Re-Tweets

Twitter contests are super easy to execute and don’t take a lot of time. Here are few examples:

  • Re-Tweet: We’re giving away a 2-night getaway at our seaside hotel. Retweet to win #VayCay #Fun #GetAway
  • Creative Answer: Explain in 140 characters or less why you deserve to win free tickets to our event. Make sure you tag us to be eligible #TheEvent

 

So, there you have it, a few simple ways to get more social engagement. If you haven’t run a contest yet, give it a shot and let us know how it goes!

“Instant” Marketing Success with User Generated Content

Crockpots and Saffire go together like Velveeta and Ro-Tel. We couldn’t serve up our World Famous Saffire Queso without that handy appliance. Recently, the Saffire Team has noticed a new crockpot in town that was making waves throughout our social media feeds. After doing a little more research, we found that we stumbled upon a raging marketing success story that our Saffire friends and family can implement in their own marketing efforts.

The Instant Pot has taken the world by storm and is even number one on the Amazon best sellers list. Ever heard of it? Even though Instant Pot has never been advertised on TV or print, we are sure that many of you have seen it on social media or heard about it at a holiday party. Millions learned of this electric pressure cooker/Crockpot/rice cooker combo because of the power of word of mouth
marketing and user generated content. Instant Pot has been in business since 2010, but it wasn’t until late last year that they started flying off the shelves and piling up on front porches. Instant Pot was savvy enough to know that social media is a crucial component to reaching out to their customers. So, they sent 200 bloggers and cookbook authors the Instant Pot to try it out for themselves. This strategy not only helped get their name out to the public but they also received tons of FREE product placement on many of the blogger’s and author’s websites, blogs, and social media pages. By using these social influencers, they were able to become a household name, go viral and sell over 250,000 units on Amazon Prime day, all without having to pay for expensive print and TV ads.WOM - 2

So, you are now thinking that’s great for Instant Pot, but that will never work for my event, venue, or destination. Don’t be silly! User generated content is easier to integrate into your marketing plans than you think. It is also a more organic way of reaching your customers. Many consumers today will trust a third party much more than they trust content from brands.

 

THE SOCIAL INFLUENCER

Your first step is to identify your audience and influencers.  Find an influencer that will accurately represent the messages you want your audience to see. This could be a famous Instagram teenager, travel or column writers, or even a local news or DJ personality. Once you have established your influencer, events, venues and destinations can work together on providing that person with a unique experience of attending events, staying in trendy hotels and eating at local restaurants, all while broadcasting out their experiences to their followers.

It is also important to let your social influencers have creative control and be engaged in the planning process. These influencers did not just coincidentally gain thousands (or even millions) of followers. They built their large and engaged followers base by knowing what their audience wanted. They are experts on what is appealing to their followers. By giving the creative license to your influencers they will be able to introduce your event, venue, or destination authentically.

Finally, you need to be consistent and live up to this newly generated hype. There is not a one size fits all plan to building brand reputation. Your community involvement needs to focus on long-term benefits rather than quick marketing attempts.

It’s easy to understand why so many companies are taking advantage of user generated content marketing. Don’t let this simple & affordable opportunity to reach out to your audience pass you by. You will be surprised at the additional business word of mouth marketing will generate for your event, venue, or destination this year.