How the MICE industry can use this case to attract the right customer
Attendance might be disappointing when you organize your first event, without a marketing budget, and no influencer agency to help you out. But thanks to social media influencers, we drew a massive crowd. It’s all about how you approach them, and how networks spread the word.
In late August 2016, at the height of the PokémonGO hype, we organized a city-wide event where over 6.000 players showed up (not counting passersby). We will use this case to demonstrate the impact of Social Media Influencing (SMI), and how different approaches can work together for maximum impact. Our Facebook event reached 383.000 people thanks to 2-sided approach:
- The Large Push: having a popular influencer share the event on their social network
- Many Small Steps: creating shareable content that spreads among potential guests
The Large Push
the power of a big network
Searching for the right Social Media Influencer can be difficult, but finding one is very rewarding. Look for Instagram or Twitter personas with many followers, but don’t ignore the reach of Facebook groups around certain areas of interest. Those are a goldmine for sparking interest towards your event.
We reached out to the ‘Pokémon GO Belgium’ group, which has a like and follower count of more than 25.000 people. We knew spamming the group by writing posts on their Facebook wall would not go over well. Instead, we sent a personal message, arranged a Skype talk, after which they agreed to put a pinned post about our event at the top their Facebook page.
Take another look at the graph above and you can see the reach of the page and the attendee level skyrocketing after this Facebook post.
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Many Small Steps
the power of many networks
Personal outreach to every potential visitor is next to impossible, which is why we focused on shareable content, releasing it in short bursts to keep interest among a growing audience. Content will spread organically through personal networks and generates a lot of word-of-mouth if it’s deemed relevant or noteworthy enough by your target audience.
Before creating any content, we sent a questionnaire to the first batch of people who signalled they would like to attend the event, to learn which types of content they would appreciate. We also asked about their expectations for the event, so we could live up to them.
For example, the results showed that 70% of those questioned were already very familiar with Pokémon Go. Because the majority were childhood fans who used the app daily, we could ignore how-to’s and instead generate specific content and inside jokes. We geared our tie-in promotions towards 20-year old reliving their childhood, rather than young families (who displayed a lack of interest).
Social media influencing
the power that's inside
It is very unlikely our event would have been as successful without the effects of social media influencing. By using a combination of complementary approaches, creating content for a specific audience, and having that content shared via the right networks, we attracted a record number of attendees. We certainly weren’t the only ones organizing a Pokémon Go themed event in 2016, but thanks to SMI we definitely rank among the very best (like no one ever was).