Word of mouth is consistently hailed as the No.1 way to increase sales. Neilsen reports that 84% of people are likely to listen to the recommendations of their friends and family, and 70% would follow online opinions. Put it simply, people trust people more than brands!
So how do we tap into this? In this blog post we’ll be investigating some of the key ways to harness social media to turn our customers from attendees to ambassadors.
6: Appeal to Groups by Appealing to Individuals
Chances are, if a group of friends all decide at once to visit your event or attraction, there was one ringleader who has painstakingly organised the outing. That ringleader is our champion and we should do what we can to make their life easier!
Try using services such as Groupon to package multiple tickets with discounts built in. This both encourages our champion to find the qualifying number of friends to make use of the deal, and simplifies the booking process by condensing it into a single transaction.
5: Offer Referral Discounts
Giving our customers a direct financial incentive can be a great way to effectively market to the decision makers within our groups. Offering a fraction of the admission cost as a referral bonus for example means our champions are rewarded for loyalty and advocacy, with the potential to even earn a profit for attending!
A great advantage to this method is that as named referees begin to repeat, we can start to identify our key influencers, and even target them with special offers for future events.
4: Social Media Giveaways
There’s a reason why Facebook and twitter are constantly full of “like & share” posts, they generally work! “Like and share to win a free iPad” will go down in history as one of the most overused phrases of the 2010’s.
Beware however of the common pitfall of gaining a large following and never engaging; 79% of people say their primary reason for liking a Facebook page is to get discounts, but few of these will actually purchase anything.
The smart way to hold competitions is to create a tantalising experience which is closely aligned with your existing events. For example, try creating an exclusive VIP experience for your competition winners with special perks and a free bottle of Prosecco!
3: Create an Online Identity and Own it
While it’s unlikely that a tweet will make someone drop what they’re doing and come to your event, hashtags on Twitter are a great way to tie together a compelling story from multiple sources of what your event is about.
Start early, share your preparation process, encourage your guests to share their experiences and engage with them. If each tweet is a thread, by the end of your event you should have a rich tapestry to drive recognition and future attendance.
2: Go live!
Live streaming is the most recent trend in social media and drives some of the highest engagement of any medium. Facebook’s execution of this is fantastic, as comments and likes appear in real-time, delivering a unique snapshot of public opinion.
Twitter too, now comes standard with a live-streaming service. The allure of a live show is something first recognised with Big Brother years ago, and has scarcely dulled. Take extra precaution with your production values and this could be a great shared experience to draw a new crowd!
1: Get Creative
The No.1 consideration when attempting to gain traction in social media is to do something unique! Create a spectacle that people will want to share and you could find yourself in the centre of an exponential maelstrom of engagement.
No amount of incentive can compete with a genuine human need to share something brilliant, so try to keep in mind that our first objective is not to bribe our guests into call-to-actions, but to inspire them to say they were there.