This post is for educational purposed only.
The WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography Expo held on March 7-9, 2016 used Facebook and Twitter as their main social channels to promote the event. Facebook is the social hub for Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) with almost 65,000 likes. This account was used to promote WPPI expo before and during the event. The cover photo of the Facebook page was a graphic promoting the expo since October 2015. Placed on top of the cover photo was a “Sign Up” button easily visible and accessible to bring users straight to the WPPI 2016 registration website.
Prior to the WPPI Expo promotional posts were made on FB advertising the expo in general, specific classes to be offered to attendees and keynote speakers. FB posts were rich with information, and used IMC to add photos, videos and links to the majority of posts. Below is a FB post from a few days before the expo encouraging attendees to take a certification class by Roberto Valenzuela. This is an example of a highly engaging post, that includes two tagged FB pages, a hashtag, a link to learn more and a YouTube video. Because of those dimensions of the post, it is one with a higher amount of likes than most other promotional posts, with 27 likes.
Enticing text, such as in the FB post below, grabs readers’ attention, letting upcoming attendees know that it isn’t too late to sign up for classes. The post gives information about a certain class, and provides a link to easily register for it.
Similarly, on Twitter promotional tweets were made to excite attendees about exhibitor booths and classes. Below is an example of a tweet with an example of what attendees will learn at WPPI, with a link to a press release to learn more.
On both Facebook and Twitter, prior to and during the expo, the accounts shared information about different booths, encouraging attendees to visit them and providing the specific booth number. An example is shown below.
During WPPI, Facebook and Twitter posts were made to remind attendees about special events, happening that moment or late that night. In each post, a link was included to the WPPI blog with more information about the event mentioned in the post, as well as other events happening during the expo. Below is an example of a FB post for the official after party of Caesar’s OMNIA Nightclub.
Social media posts were engaging and almost every one had a call to action. They were made to encourage the attendees to get involved, as well as give information about exhibitor giveaways. The post below gives provides a link to a recap of images from the first day of WPPI 2016 for attendees to see anything they missed, or maybe find a picture of themselves on the photo sharing sight.
The Honors of Excellence Awards Ceremony at WPPI 2016 took place on the last night of the expo, and was highly promoted on Facebook and Twitter. Before the event started, FB and Twitter posts were made to encourage people at home to tune into the Periscope live steam. The FB post below is a great example of cross-promotion, where a tweet about the Periscope live stream is shared to yet another social channel, Facebook.
Individual post were made on both FB and Twitter to congratulate the winners of each category at the awards ceremony. These posts received the most interaction out of any other content about WPPI 2016. Winners and friends of winners shared and retweeted the posts, increasing the amount of viewers and potential new “likes” or follows. Some congratulatory posts reached up to hundreds of likes, where as some promotional posts only received a few. The image below is an example of one of the more popular posts congratulating the Sony Impact Award winner.
Twitter engaged with exhibitors and attendees more than FB by retweeting tweets about their experiences. WPPI also tweeted about events and experiences as they happened. Standout quotes from keynote speaker Sue Bryce were tweeted out, as well as retweeted from WPPI’s magazine, Rangefinder Magazine. An example is below.
The hashtag #WPPI2016 was used on Facebook in a variation of posts and more frequently on Twitter. Exhibitors and attendees also used the hashtag in their posts to interact with WPPI and each other. There is an Instagram account for WPPI’s magazine, but there is not one solely for WPPI, and no Instagram posts were made promoting the expo. However, #WPPI2016 on Instagram has over 11,000 posts. As Instagram is a image-focused social media platform, I feel that by not having an account dedicated to promoting WPPI 2016, an important piece was missing from WPPI’s social media efforts. The thousands of posts with the expo hashtag proves that their audience is on Instagram, so WPPI is missing out on a great chance to reach their target market.
WPPI used Facebook and Twitter to promote sponsors and put them in front of WPPI’s social following. One of the largest sponsors, Sony, was mentioned in many social media posts, with their own account tagged in the post. Within the overall expo Sony was the sponsor of a “photowalk” with Pulitzer winner Brian Smith, as well as a self-titled award for the awards ceremony. Social media posts about both of these were made, an example is below.
WPPI also promoted sponsors by making specific posts dedicated to the sponsor that began with “Sponsored:” followed by information from the company. This allowed WPPI’s audience, which aligns with the sponsor, to be exposed to the sponsor. An example of a sponsored tweet by Chimera Lighting is below.
WPPI does a good job of cross-promoting their social media channels. Along with posts dedicated to linking other social channels, the Facebook page has apps for users to view WPPI’s Twitter and Instagram feeds without leaving Facebook. WPPI has a strong IMC presence with its website, blog, print and online magazine, and the WPPI 2016 app available for mobile devices.
WPPI’s branding was consistent throughout all social media and online efforts. Social media posts were all written in the same, upbeat and inviting tone. And graphic images used the same background and font. Blog posts were also consistent with the tone and appearance of social media content.
Something that stood out to me, that I felt WPPI did especially well, was tagging other accounts and having content-heavy posts. Any time a person, company, or place could be tagged, WPPI did so, which is an important a great social media strategy. I noticed how most posts included links, images and videos which helped make the content substantial.