This past April marked the second year for the Crawfish Festival of New Braunfels. About 8 thousand people attended “CrawfestNB” that was both fun and entertaining. That figure is pretty impressive for an event not as commonly known or established as Wurstfest. So this asks the question, how does a little idea or gathering slowly become a part of a town’s traditions in just a small amount of time? The marketing world has changed over the years and with it, delivery methods have evolved. Let’s look at how to use online marketing and social media to successfully promote events online!
For annual events or festivals, creating a business page on Facebook can help generate buzz early on. At least 6 months prior to your event start by providing pictures, dates, deadlines, and entertainment announcements as they are happening. Any update, small or large, helps engage fans all along the way. Last year, the businesses that had the best engagement on Facebook had one thing in common – they had their pages up and running before their doors were even open. As the event planner you have excitement as things come together, so share that excitement with your fans!
As with any business, it is important to have a good mix of traditional “word of mouth” marketing and modern digitial marketing techniques. Even though New Braunfels is a rapidly growing town, local organizers and their team of volunteers helped word travel fast and far about CrawfestNB. So, how did we reach the thousands of people not directly connected to the event? By joining the crowd on social media. As fast as word of mouth travels in a small town, you can bet it will travel at hyper speed on Facebook!
CrawfestNB expanded their social media presence to Twitter and Instagram in their second year – which allowed them to reach a younger demographic and have access to user generated content using #crawfestnb. In addition to social media, we found it very important to have an informative website with info, schedules, and applications. This past year, we pre-sold almost 500 tickets on our website. From a planning perspective, online ticketing helped in numerous ways. In conclusion, if you use the right planning and marketing strategies your event can be hugely successfull even in it’s first couple years. Please contact Hayse Marketing if you have an event to market and would like our help!