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Limelight Platform


July 21, 2016

How to Use Social Media for Experiential Marketing

Limelight Platform

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When people have a memorable experience, they naturally want to tell others about it. . This is where the marriage of social media and experiential marketing can truly pay off. You need to learn how to use social media to catch that trend. The next time you host an event or experience, make it easy for attendees to share updates on their social media accounts. Amplify your branded content to get the most bang for your experiential marketing buck. We’ve put together an actionable list of steps for you to integrate great social campaigns into your live and experiential marketing activities. These 5 simple steps and crucial resources will help show how to use social media for live marketing:

1. Create a great concept.

It’s essential to create a concept that truly resonates with consumers and engages them with your brand. Take Allstate, for example, at one of their live activations people took photos with a car propped up against a backdrop. The photographs were then cropped to appear like they were actually lifting the car up.

Allstate created a fun concept that people wanted to engage with. The original idea made people feel like they were part of something bigger, which incentivized them to share with their friends on social media. Importantly, those photos included Allstate’s branding, and people shared them socially. That's how to use social media for live marketing.

2. Embed your branding into all things social.

When consumers share photos and other items from your live experience, your brand must follow that piece of content across the network. You need to embed your branding into everything that’s shared socially through:

  1. Creating Twitter hashtags,
  2. Facebook or Instagram photos/videos that contain your branding, and
  3. Creating Geo Filters for photos shared across Snapchat from specific locations.

Embedding your branding will extend the life of that content and raise awareness of your brand. It will strengthen the bond between your brand and the experience you’ve shared with that consumer and their social network. That's how to use social media for experiential marketing.

FREE tools for creating awesome creative content:

Be Funky

To put it simply, BeFunky makes photo editing easy. With our world famous photo editor, you can turn photos you like into photos you love!


Venngage is an easy to use Infographic Maker and let you make beautiful Infographic Designs & Themes for free!

GREAT tools for finding trendings hashtags:


Trendsmap is a navigational tool that allows you to look up the trending hashtags by location. This is fun and powerful for marketers because you can see how different locations are discussing different events online, and use that information to geo-target your messaging.


RiteTag is an amazing tool for a handful of reasons. The first is that it provides a list of trending hashtags on its site that you can use to take advantage of real-time marketing. Also check out their chrome extension for easy scheduling and posting.That's how to use social media for live marketing.

3. Seamless social sharing.

If you take a photo of a customer at your event, you can’t simply email them the photo and expect them to share it themselves. You need to make social sharing seamless. Include quick share buttons on your mobile/website/emails and make it easy for customers to share the content with their social networks in one click of a button.

Put yourself in your customer's shoes - see the full journey.

Once you’ve made sharing seamless make sure that you offer sharing options at each point in the consumer journey. Put yourself in your customer's shoes, and look at the full spectrum of their social sharing journey—before, during, and after the event to boost results:

  • Before an event, send out invitations or have a contest to increase your pick-up before the event even starts. You’ll be ahead of the game and your activation will exceed engagement results and expectations.
  • During an event, create a social sharing wall, which is a feed that integrates with your social media. A social sharing wall incentivizes people to share because they want to have their Tweets and social sharing projected on your wall. Furthermore, once people see others sharing their event experience and thoughts you are more likely to get involved and share yourself.
  • After an event, in any type of follow-up communication, whether it's a text or email, be sure to include links to your social channels, and continue to promote your hashtag and everything that happened during the events itself. Make sure that the relevant content you send to consumers after the event is shareable across social.

4. Incentivize engagement.

In short, it’s critical to incentivize engagement because you want people to share the content and experience socially. Some ways to incentivize engagement include:

  1. Providing more entry opportunities for any type of contest you’re holding. Someone might enter your contest by filling out their information onsite, which gives them one entry. However, in your follow-up communication, offer them more opportunities to enter if they promote your hashtag on social media. Even if your goal is simply to gather information by getting more names, a contesting component that provides an incentive for sharing has a higher probability of success.
  2. Creating offers for your products and services. Incentivize engagement by giving a percentage off of your product or service if someone shares a certain Instagram photo or engages the Geofilter on Snapchat.
  3. A cool concept creates brand prestige. This ties back to Number 1: creating a great concept. You need a powerful concept that creates prestige in a person’s social circle. If people share their engagement with your brand socially, it’s an organic way for a business to incentivize engagement without taking actions like creating contests or offers. For example, Cabana Pool Bar has created very attractive washrooms for women. One reason they did this is that women go to the washroom together. Cabana Pool Bar created this brand prestige by putting a little couch seating area in the washroom. Women sat down, took a bunch of pictures, and shared the fact that they were at Cabana Pool Bar, which created a perceived exclusivity. That's how to use social media for experiential marketing.

5. Track your metrics.

When it comes to tracking experiential metrics, marketing departments are usually behind the digital marketing game. Let’s be clear: TRACKING IS ESSENTIAL. Putting extra effort into monitoring the results of your social campaign and how it’s connected to your live event allows you to gauge the success of any event. That way you’ll know how to improve it the next time around! That's how to use social media for live marketing.

Tools you should use include:

    1. Social listening tools such as Hootsuite have built-in URL shortening so that any links sent from your online or email campaigns can be tracked. That's how to use social media for experiential marketing. You’ll know:
      • Where your links are going.
      • Who's clicking on them?
      • How many people are clicking on them?
      • Your actual traffic.
    2. Google Analytics allows you to track and understand where your traffic is coming from, and through which social channels. UTM parameters allow you to track what campaign, what media, and what channels will certify where sources are coming from.
      Let’s be clear: TRACKING IS ESSENTIAL.

      Tracking also shows you the peak times for when people are on social channels, as well as when they’re using your hashtags. You’ll know when you should post your content so you can catch waves. Conversely, if you don't want to compete with a lot of traffic, look for the lulls in order to get your message out so that more people see and interact with it. You can also do the same thing with search results for certain keywords.

Something Powerful

Tell The Reader More

The headline and subheader tells us what you're offering, and the form header closes the deal. Over here you can explain why your offer is so great it's worth filling out a form for.


  • Bullets are great
  • For spelling out benefits and
  • Turning visitors into leads.

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