Social media has revolutionized the way in which event planners promote their events. No longer are you forced to hand out fliers. Rather, you can use social media networks like Instagram to spread the word about an upcoming event.

Plan Your Content Strategy

You must first plan a content strategy to promote your event using Instagram. Unfortunately, this is where many event planning — and marketers for that matter — mess up. Instagram isn’t like most other social media networks. Users will typically only stop and read content after seeing an image that captures their attention. Therefore, you should focus your Instagram content around eye-catching images that are relevant to your target audience.

Use #Hashtags

When uploading photos to your Instagram account, include a few #hashtags so people can find them more easily. #Hashtags allow users to find content via the search function. If you search for a specific keyword, all posts containing that keyword as a #hashtag will appear. Check out our previous blog post here for more tips on how to choose an effective #hashtag.

But Don’t Overdo it

While Instagram supports up to 30 #hashtags for each piece of content, you shouldn’t necessarily include this many. Too many #hashtags will confuse users, so stick with just 3-4 for each photo or video.

Post Content Before, During and After the Event

Don’t wait until the day of the event to post content on Instagram. Rather, you should post content before, during and after the event. Perhaps you can upload photos of the venue, keynote speakers and staff members before the event. When the event finally rolls around, snap as many photos as you can, uploading them to your Instagram account. Keep in mind that you can also upload videos to Instagram, so don’t limit your marketing efforts strictly to photos.

Encourage User-Generated Content

Another helpful tip for optimizing your Instagram marketing efforts is to encourage user-generated content. Ask attendees to take their own photos during the event and upload those photos to their Instagram account. You can even provide them with your event’s universal #hashtag.

Host a Contest

If you really want to boost your Instagram presence, try hosting a contest. A simple yet effective contest involves the “regramming” of a photo. You upload a photo to your account and ask others to regram it to their account, along with a specific #hashtag, for a chance to win a prize. After the contest is over, you can choose a random user to reward with a prize.