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10 Things The Movies Taught Me About Using Social Media In Event Marketing

  • Written by Ryan James Dee, Interactions
  • Published in Demanding Views

Ryan Dee UPDATEDWhether you’re a movie buff or a casual movie-goer, a common experience we all have is watching movies that inevitably teach us a thing or two about life. It’s a good rule of thumb never to leave a kid Home Alone over the holidays, greed is good if you’re on Wall Street and Goonies never say die. But as marketers, we can also take away some valuable lessons – I know I have! By watching some of my favorite films, I’ve uncovered some social media best practices to support and enhance your experiential marketing efforts. And the nominees are...

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?

What do you want to get out of engaging your audience through social media? Do you want to gain followers, gather feedback, drive event attendance or increase sales? Perhaps some combination of the above or maybe something completely different? Whatever your objectives are, be clear about them. This will help you stay focused on what you want to achieve and how to achieve it versus meandering aimlessly. Also, think about how this fits into larger campaigns so social media content feels purposeful and connected to your brand.

Dude, where’s my car?

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It is not enough to say, “I want to be on social media.” You need to know where you want to be. Ask yourself, what platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) does my audience prefer? Yes, many audiences use all of them, but people use the platforms for different reasons. And there is always a go-to platform that they engage with more than the others.

You talking to me?

Similar to the tip before, it isn’t enough to know your audience’s location, you must know their values too. Observe your customer to get an understanding of how they engage on the platform(s) you’re thinking of using. Get specific with your messaging and test it. If relevant, target communities via sponsored posts that are tailored and sent to specific zip codes. If you try to use a “one size fits all” approach, your audience will notice and may even retaliate online. You don’t want that.

Show me the money.

Okay, you don’t have to bribe your audience to show up at your event or interact with you on social media, but you do need to entice them with a reason to do either. On social media, it could be a contest, poll (people love polls) or exclusive content. In order to drive attendance at the event, try targeted offers for the first people who show up and highlight why the event is worth their while.

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Utilize influencers. Find out who your audience respects and listens to, and become friends. Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing segments of brand activation today. Unfortunately, in this new “gold rush” there are a lot of people getting it wrong from choosing the wrong influencers to poor execution overall. The brand/influencer relationship needs to make sense for both sides in order for it to work. And above all, the engagement must be authentic.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

So now you have the right audience and they’re engaged and excited — talk to them! This is social media. Be social, answer questions, participate in the dialogue, appreciate compliments, and address complaints. Whatever your response, you must be as timely as possible. If you choose not to speak up, the audience will do the speaking for you.

Hello, gorgeous.

Visual communication is the norm, not the exception, and your social media posts need to reflect this reality. Feature graphics, and better yet, video as much as possible. In fact, according to a recent statistic, 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. So, give the people what they want. Again, make sure the visual content is relevant to your audience and not superfluous. Fortunately, some of the greatest video content is shot on smartphones. While it’s great to have Spielberg-esque production value, you don’t have to go there. In fact, depending on your audience, it might be better to have raw, authentic footage.

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Go live with your event via Facebook Live or Instagram. Show your audience behind-the-scenes preparation and the event in real time. This is a perfect way to engage with audience members who couldn’t attend the event but are still highly interested in what’s going on. Plus, it gives you great additional content to feature later on.

I will look for you, I will find you.

Keep track of your audience with custom hashtags, downloadable content or special offers. Not only will this show you who specifically is engaging with your brand, it also provides metrics to show how your tactics and content performed.

I’ll never let go, Jack.

Now that you’ve done all that work finding your audience and keeping them engaged throughout the event, you need to stay in touch and never let them go. Continue to monitor— and participate in — conversations on social, post recap content from the event (e.g., candid shots, video testimonials from attendees, throwback posts) and notify your audience of upcoming events so they don’t miss out.


Ryan James Dee is Creative Director at Interactions. He leads the ideation and development of consumer experience marketing campaigns for clients across grocery, CPG, foodservice, automotive and adult beverage. Always on the lookout for the next big thing, his appetite for pop culture, trend spotting and entertainment is insatiable.