Asbury Underground Nearly Doubles Its Attendance Thanks To Social Media Campaign
Over 400 New Facebook Page Likes : Paid Facebook Reach of 52,668
Over 1,100 Instagram Followers
Asbury Underground is a grass roots music and art crawl. Patrick Schiavino, owner of Art629 Gallery, found it troubling the big concerts and festivals in Asbury seemed to only benefit the merchants along the boardwalk, while the culture-rich downtown was promised these events would bring business. Instead of getting mad, Patrick got creative. He decided to help the retailers and galleries by throwing his own underground festival that would be free for all visitors and bring foot-traffic directly into the downtown establishments. How is this done? The retailers and galleries clear a space so musicians can play inside them. Not every participant had to host an act. Instead the shop could provide special discounts to those who purchased a bracelet to support the event.
Patrick is very good at networking, but as the head of Asbury Underground he had to spend his time securing musicians, locations for the musicians to play, who would perform where and when, securing sponsors, and much, much more. Who has time for this, plus a full-time art career, plus plus a gallery to run, plus plus plus social media??? Instead of taking on the entire burden, Patrick hired a few locals to help make this event happen, one of whom was Mike Forgie (founder of Next Step Connect…read the About page).
Mike headed the social media outreach initiative. Ideally, the Twitter log-in information would have been accessible, Facebook would have thousands of fans awaiting the next announcement, and Instagram would have been primed from the year before. Facebook was good with about 1,400 followers, Twitter was dead in the mud so we had to create a new one, and Instragram was non-existent. Two weeks until the event and plenty of work to be done.
What is the Next Step? Connect! Find as many people as possible who live in Asbury or close by or who are fans of the musicians performing, and invite them to this event. To have a successful campaign you can’t tell them once and expect them to come. A Facebook event invite ad ran for the entire two weeks, posts were strategically boosted on Facebook, one musician was announced a day on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter was posted to almost every hour between 9am and 7pm during the last week of the event, and much more.
(I will admit, the “Special discounts” and “Join us” posts are quite low. That is because the ad got pulled due to age restrictions.)
In two weeks, Asbury Underground eceived 349 new Facebook likes, the paid Facebook ads and event had a reach of 52,668, over 4,00 people were invited to the Facebook event, and Instagram went from non-existent to over 1,100 followers with several likes and comments on each photo. Our temporary Twitter profile picked up enough pace for locals to converse with us and for us to keep them updated.
Kind words from Patrick:
“This being my third “Asbury Underground”, I saw the potential and the need to propel this event to the next level. Using almost exclusively social media for the first two, I realized that this is where we would have the most ‘bang for our buck’, and decided to hire Michael Forgie from ‘Next Step Connect’ to design a social media program which best suited our needs and budget. Well, the results were phenomenal. I can honestly say, that we came close to doubling our attendance this year over last, and I strongly believe it was because of Mr.Forgie’s efforts. He met with me several times during the promotions to ‘fine tune’ what we were doing, and to achieve our objectives, and I found him extremely knowledgeable, and patient with someone from a generation who really has no idea how to navigate through any of this… I have learned in my business life to ‘hire the best’, and I feel very fortunate and happy to have Michael aboard as part of our team, not only for this event, but for all future ‘Asbury Underground’ events moving forward.”
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