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Festival week: making the most of your business’ time

According to a 2014 survey run by Festival Insights, 92.5 percent of European festival-goers are on Facebook, 88.6 percent use YouTube and 25 percent have posted a photo of themselves at a festival that they later regretted. Suffice to say, social’s a huge part of the festival experience for organisers, attendees and traders alike – and is key to ensuring people can easily find and chat to you before, during and after the big weekend.

Increase anticipation

Don’t have your basic social channels yet? Well, now’s the time to get them up and running. They’re a brilliant way for people to discover your business and to virtually network, so make sure your logo is clear, the imagery you use is attractive and representative, and that you commit to posting regularly. If people are stumbling across an abandoned Twitter feed, well, it’s worse than if there wasn’t one at all – so set aside time to update your pages. Remember, too, that if the link to your site or online shop gets shared a lot on Twitter, it’ll gain SEO value.

As soon as you get your stand confirmed, take to Facebook and Twitter to announce it with the relevant hashtags. Follow the festival on both platforms and find out who else will be trading there – big up the other stands you like the look of and build a rapport with their owners. Start chatting about what you’re most excited about, how your stand preparation’s going and which band you’re most looking forward to seeing.

Contrary to popular belief, promoting your social posts doesn’t have to cost the earth. On both Facebook and Twitter, you can set a daily or total campaign limit for your posts and target them accurately. For example, on Facebook you can target by interest, so you’ll be talking to the most relevant people for your content – and just spending £50 can make a big difference for a small business. Find out more about self-service paid posts for Facebook and Twitter.

In the few days before the festival starts – when conversation will be reaching a peak – let everyone know what your stand looks like and what you’ll be selling. Get hold of a festival map from the organiser’s website and create a version that pinpoints where your stand will be using your logo. (You don’t have to be a Photoshop whizz to do this either – you could just do it in Paint.) Then post this on your social channels so people know exactly where you’ll be from day one. Festival organisers often post logistical updates and themed playlists, too, so retweet or share those with your followers to get them in the festival mood.

Let’s get visual

When it comes to professional-looking images that’ll grow your following, Instagram is the way to go. Take to the filter-friendly visual network to post pictures while you’re at the event: your stall, your stock, what you’re eating, drinking and dancing to, selfies, customers, the weather – anything that gives a vivid sense of you, your business and your time at the festival.

If you’re a catering trader, take snaps of happy customers chowing down on your delicious grub; if you’re a crafts or fashion trader, capture beautiful pictures of your wares on festival-goers to encourage others to follow suit. Don’t forget to share your photos on Facebook and Twitter, too, with the event’s hashtag, to spread the word even further.

Make a scene

There’s nothing better for creating a buzz than free stuff – especially at a festival. To get everyone talking and guaranteed punters to your stall, run a social competition that gives away, for example, floral headbands, henna tattoos or gourmet hot dogs to the first 30 people to tweet in using your competition hashtag. Be sure to let the festival know so that they can retweet and share the update and, if you find it’s going well and getting you plenty of business, you could even run a different competition on each day of the weekend. But before you put the promise of free stuff out to those keen festival crowds, be sure you can handle the inevitable rush – so have one or two friends or members of staff on hand if possible.

For free, impartial business tech help and advice, why not book a session with an O2 Guru? They’re available online, in store and over the phone.


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