6.000 event visitors using influencer marketing

Jun 07, 2017 by Mariska Kesteloo in  MICE
word of mice social network sharing smi

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
graph smi social media reach progress facebook event attendants

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.

social media facebook page community like follow count
25K followers on the Pokémon Go Belgium Facebook group

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.

facebook event top influencer post engagement pokegent
big influencer post on their Facebook Page

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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.

smi influencer shareable content facebook gallery
This type of content generates a lot of comments and shares

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).

shareable content

more examples

We catered to the needs of our audience and released Pokémon themed content, describing events that would take place during the day.

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).

smi social media influencer marketing facebook comment
We believe this visitor's comment says it all



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Dennis Lippens

Marketing & Web Dev

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