I was recently invited to contribute 5 Dos and Don’ts for cultural and heritage organisations keen to work with bloggers and reach new audiences through social media – so I thought I’d share them here as well!
1) When you reach out to bloggers, make sure you have decent high-res promotional photos of people having a good time in your venue, getting close up with your most interesting collection objects etc. that they can use if they write or post social media updates about your event.
2) If your event or exhibition has a visually exciting element that can be photographed, consider setting aside time for an instagrammer meetup, when your guests can take their time, set up tripods if necessary and craft beautiful shots – perhaps in the morning, or at a time when the light will be good.
3) Answer enquiries quickly, whether over Twitter, email or phone. If you’ve listed a number / email address on your press releases make sure someone’s available to pick up and respond to incoming messages.
4) Share the hashtag you’ll be using, before and during your event – and make sure that everyone’s aware of the wifi code.
5) Show your appreciation! After your event is over, thank the people who tweeted, shared photos or blogged about your event – retweet them to your followers, and include their posts in your Storify roundups or links to coverage on your website.
1) Just send blanket outreach emails – make sure you’re targeting bloggers who cover your type of festival / event / day out.
2) Leave it too late to reach out – many bloggers plan their editorial schedule over a month in advance
3) Ignore what else is going on in your town on the same night as your event – if you and another venue are competing for the same audience, could you create a joint offer?
4) Despair if you can’t get bloggers to come along to your big festival event – could you offer them a behind-the-scenes sneak preview that they can write about in time to boost the ticket sales of your actual event?
5) Forget to track your stats. Record baseline measurements of how many people are on your mailing list, visiting your website, and following you on social media ahead of your blogger outreach campaign. Then you can track whether your partners’ publishing and social media messaging actually leads to more engagement, clickthroughs and ticket bookings for your organisation.