With Beckie Smith, Flying Geese Consultant

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These top 5 tips for optimising your festival social media strategy will help you get ahead with your planning around the festival, and get the most out of using organic social media to create awareness of both the festival organisation and the events.

Invest in getting organised

Taking the time ahead of the festival to gather the social media handles of the performers, speakers and artists as well as the people who promote them and popping them in a spreadsheet will save so much time when it comes to writing posts that reference the right people later down the line. Also, create and build some non-themed posts that you can pop in at any time to break up the sales content. They’re valuable to have in the ‘bank’ of posts.  *See below for a free downloadable schedule template to get you started. 

Join and use Facebook groups

Facebook Groups are communities of people who are already interested in you and your events but they just don’t know about them yet! We join Facebook groups, mention other groups in posts, share our posts to their pages and of course help them out in return by sharing and engaging with their content. This could include Whats On groups, interest groups (like literary groups), local groups, history groups, etc.

Give sales a leg up

If your events are ticketed separately it is natural that some will sell faster than others. If some events aren’t selling as fast as you’d like, try changing the image or photo – we’ve found that sometimes that’s all that’s needed!  These variations on colour or images or graphics can be created ahead of busy periods and kept in an asset folder to pop in whenever needed.  Keep an eye out on your analytics to see how these changes are performing as well as monitoring ticket sales.

Celebrate your community

Events and festivals have so many people involved in them – not only is it lovely to celebrate their achievements and career progressions such as publication days and award nominations but it provides easily generated content around sales posts and increases awareness of your brand.

Give and take

Sharing openings, exhibitions, festivals and news from local or related organisations can pay dividends when raising the profile of your festival or event.  Not only is it easy and nice to help others out it helps get your brand seen and known in front of a variant audience too.  Chances are that those organisations will do the same back but there’s no harm in asking either.  This can be asked in advance and not just an expectation.  “Would you like us to share your event on our pages and would you mind doing the same for us too?”  Messaging such as “friend of ours our putting on this event” is a nice way to include them.

Overall, it’s a great way to reach new people, help out other arts or charitable organisations and break up your social channels by talking about other events.

*Download this template as a guide for planning your monthly social media content and organising your social media handles. If you build a similar guide in Google Sheets other people in you team can work on it too.