While Instagram has been around for a while, many industries are still trying to figure out how to make the insanely popular social media platform work for them. Festivals are no different. There’s tons of engagement to be had on Instagram. Whether you run a food festival, a beer festival, or a music/art festival it’s highly visual which makes perfect sense for a photo-based platform. However, we see that most events will post a ton during their event but nothing before or after.
There are a number of ways you can use Instagram for your festival or event. Some brands host contests to increase engagement while others use technology like Eventstagram to stream fan photos on giant screens during the event. But there are some festivals that are really hitting the nail on the head when it comes to Instagram marketing. Here are five of our favorites.
1. Bonnaroo (@bonnaroo)
Bonnaroo posts all year long. That’s reason number one they’re better at the insta than you. Not only that but there’s variety to their posts while still maintaining brand and experience. They post fan images, Throwback Thursday (#TBT), and beautiful images with quotes that resonate with “Life on The Farm.” But the thing that really landed them on this list was their “12 Days of Rooclue” campaign.
During the 12 days following the campaign announcement, the folks at Bonnaroo posted images that hinted at performers that would be on the lineup. The comment section filled with guesses and the excitement built. One would think it would be pretty challenging for a festival that takes place in June to engage fans in December. Not only did they engage fans in the dead of winter right before the holidays but it got them really excited about their January lineup announcement. Genius if you ask me. And fun!
2. TomorrowWorld (@tomorrowworld)
I’ll just go ahead and say this, the TomorrowWorld instagram doesn’t do anything I consider to be remarkable. But here’s why they’re still winning: They post daily; all year long. Frankly, a festival that is as highly visual as TomorrowWorld doesn’t really need to do anything over the top to catch their audience’s attention. The festival is filled with lights, art, performers, costumes, scenery etc. The key thing here is they send their audience a daily reminder of the beauty and experience that is TomorrowWorld, never letting them forget. It also means they have a captive audience when they make announcements throughout the year like the launch of the after movie or the end of pre-sales.
3. Austin City Limits (@aclfestival)
ACL does a great job of posting year round (are you seeing the pattern yet?) but the reason they’re on my list is how they post during the event itself. They posted a variety of content but didn’t try to do too much and everything had the same look and feel. They primarily posted shots of artist sets, ACL fashion (dubbed ACL, we like your style), tips for the festival, and useful information. It shows you don’t need to go overboard, just be relevant and human.
4. Hangout Music Festival (@hangoutfest)
Hangout is a fairly young festival that takes place on the beaches of Gulf Shores. Also consistent posters, they’ve done some pretty great campaigns that are not only clever but have garnered a great deal of engagement. During the holidays they hosted a “Back to the Beach” photo contest where they called upon their followers to post festival photos using the hashtags #Back2TheBeach and #HangoutFest. The winning image was used as their “holiday card” post.
Another great campaign they executed was the Find It Keep It Scavenger Hunt. Participants had to find hidden Hangout Music Festival merchandise and tickets in one of several pre-selected cities. Once they found a piece of merchandise and tickets, they had to post a photo on Instagram with #hangoutfest and #finditkeepit. Clues as to the location of the hidden objects were posted on Hangout’s instagram and winners photos were regrammed. Talk about excitement.
Happy Holidays! Post your favorite photo from a past festival using#Back2TheBeach and #HangoutFest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram before 11:59 p.m. on December 14. We'll pick one winning photo to use an official Hangout holiday card, plus we'll send you a poster signed by bands from the 2014 festival! Photo By @brooke_bburg on Instagram
5. The Toronto Silent Film Festival (@tsff2014)
Man, I love this one. So TSSF is the only one on my list that still made it even though they don’t post consistently. They got incredibly creative with Instagram AND it made sense with their brand. They basically made a silent movie out of Instagram posts and it requires you turn your phone sideways. That’s all I’m going to say about it. It speaks for itself. Just go look.
There you have it. Did we miss anyone? What are you doing on instagram to promote your event year round? You can answer all my probing questions in the comment section below.