• Camilla Gould

10 Steps to Social-Proof Your Next Event

Updated: Dec 10, 2018

The world of wine is bolstered with events. Whether you are a producer showcasing your wines at a tasting or an importer inviting prospective clients there are sure to be more than a handful of events marked out in your calendar each year. These events are a fantastic opportunity to connect with potential clients, partners and like-minded individuals, as well as showcasing a creative, engaging side of your business. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure that your event is promoted to as many people as possible, and social media is one of the best and cheapest ways to do so. Below, we outline ten key steps to take to ensure that your event gets people talking for all the right reasons.

First thing’s first, get yourself a hashtag. This hashtag should include as much information about your event as possible whilst remaining snappy and unique. Double check that your hashtag hasn’t been used before to ensure you aren’t overlapping with a competitor, as well as adding the ability to quickly search through social channels for any interaction.

Your hashtag should be used in all of your promotional posts on social media, and if possible, include this on offline media as well. Think about where this could fit on your tasting booklets, promotional posters, email marketing and on banners at the event itself. Making sure that your hashtag is visible will let attendees know that you are active on social media and will encourage them to share photos and videos from your event on the day, maximising the reach and visibility of your event.

Ahead of your event, look to add information about the tasting to your profile in tasteful and creative ways. Why not add your event hashtag to your cover images on Facebook and Twitter, or in your bios with a short description of the event. Not only will this be a cohesive branding exercise, but it will be a regular reminder to your followers of what’s coming up, prompting them to buy tickets and confirm their attendance.

With up to 500 million people using Facebook Events every month, you’ll want to get in on the action. Not only can you create a standalone Facebook Event linked to your business profile, but you can sell tickets directly on the platform, making it easier than ever for people to buy tickets on the go and engage with your profiles at the same time.

As with all of your social media content, creating regular posts in the run up to your event is fundamental in drumming up excitement and encouraging ticket sales. Using a content calendar to plan your content two weeks’ in advance gives you the chance to strategically place these teaser posts amongst your regular, non-event related content. In the month running up to your event, ensure that at least one to two posts every week are directed specifically at promoting your event. Make these posts as fun and engaging as possible, giving away teasers of the producers who will be attending and any other key highlights, such as masterclasses or noteworthy catering.

Tasting events are unique in that they often are open to members of the wine trade, something which means that many members of the public, and indeed the very people who enjoy drinking your wines so much, are unable to partake in the fun. Introducing a regular giveaway element to your events can be a fantastic way to gain new followers, increase conversation around the event - particularly during the build-up - as well as giving back to your fans. Get creative with your prizes, whether this be running a giveaway for a free ticket to the event, a VIP experience, bottles of your wines or even a trip to your vineyard. When creating the mechanic for your giveaway, be sure to remember to bear your goals for this in mind, whether these be follower growth or clicks to website, and create the mechanic to support them.

You may have considered working with influencers on a gifting basis in exchange for a review of your wines, but why not invite them to your tasting events? This type of collaboration can be particularly useful when it comes to increasing the reach of your event to key audiences, by promoting the event ahead of time, as well as sharing content throughout the event itself. You could even take the relationship one step further and arrange for an ‘Instagram Takeover’, whereby the influencer posts from your brand Instagram account for the duration of the event, in turn encouraging their fan base to tune in for behind the scenes action.

If you have been using social media for a while, you will have quickly realised the importance of paid for social advertising. It really is a pay-to-play game online which means that organic relying on organic (non-sponsored) posts alone to spread your message will be demonstrably less effective than boosting your posts with some pounds. If you want to reach more of your existing audience, and indeed entirely new audiences, make sure to allocate a budget (even it is only small) to ensure that your event does not go by unnoticed. Launch your first ad when your tickets go on sale, and continue to promote periodical reminders including promotions and key announcements at intervals in the lead up to your event for maximum success.

Ever heard of a Snapchat Geo Filter? Instagram Live? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even Snapchat offer a host of special features that can be used to showcase your events in more unconventional and eye catching ways.

Do you have a masterclass at your event? Why not live stream part of it via Instagram or Facebook to give your fans an insight into the day itself. Take your followers on a tour of your event via creative Instagram stories, making to sure to show a range of media types including standalone images, videos, boomerangs and filters to keep things varied and avoid repetitive content.

Instagram stories offer a range of stickers and features to encourage interactions, such as Q&As and polls. By having a clear idea of how you want to use these features ahead of the big day, you are less likely to forget in the hustle and bustle of things.

Now that you’ve spent time, creativity (and perhaps, money) in the hopes of making your tasting a huge success online, it’s time to showcase all of your hard work. To do this, use Instagram Stories as your prominent platform of choice for regular updates, remembering to include your hashtag in each story, and making the most of the editing tools to add a themed look to your posts. Try to think about how your story will look to users. Having a vague idea of how you’d like to present your event throughout the day will ensure that you show a varied, engaging range of images and videos, whilst leaving wriggle room for ad-hoc, spontaneous stories Don’t forget to share any stories that you have been tagged in, and round up the day with a carousel post in your Instagram feed featuring the best shots from throughout the day.

When using Facebook and Twitter to promote your event on the day, post fewer, high quality and informative updates, including alerting people to key times and specific highlights. Don’t forget to use your hashtag and tag in any key influencers of brands attending, increasing the reach and authority of your posts.

Sharing is caring. As well as making sure that you are keeping your followers updated throughout the day, don’t forget to keep an eye on any activity from attendees, retweeting posts from your event - search your hashtag every so often and check your mentions throughout the day so that you don’t miss any key activity.

Finally, allocate a team member to be in charge of all of your outgoing content. Having too many people doing this separately can disrupt the flow of your content.

By the time that your event is over, you will hopefully have a good gauge as to exactly how successful it was based on the number of attendees, ticket sales and feedback, but it’s key to not ignore the numbers when it comes to Social Media. As you would create a monthly report, be sure to use each platform’s analytics in order to track the reach and engagements of the build up of your event as well as the day itself. Reporting is not only an important step in understanding the amount of people you’ve reached, but it will give you vital insights into the type of content which performed well, and that which didn’t. This means that for future events, you will be better prepared for future events, as well as having a benchmark from which to measure future successes.

If you would like support with your upcoming events, get in touch to see how we can help!

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