With the almost universal useage of smartphones amongst teenagers and the popularity of social media it is inevitable that during the prom that students will use the likes of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
With advance planning the prom committee can put in place a co-ordinated plan to ensure social media is used to greatest effect and impact.
For most 16 year olds the social networks rank in order of popularity as follows;
Obviously things change over time and the incredibly fast rise in Snapchat is proof of this.
So, how can these be used, from an organisers perspective, at your prom?
It’s all about the hashtag! Well it is for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat can be used in a completely different way.
It’s pretty essential to use a unique hashtag. The author has attended a quite large event where a duplicate hashtag was being used for a sports tournament in Asia. Not good! The hashtag was #wgp2015 – far too short.
You need to strike the balance between it being short enough so that it isn’t a pain to type and it being unique.
Keep adding to your hashtag and check previous years. In the example above the organisers had probably checked to see if it was in use but the other event hadn’t started yet.
Start with the name of the school. For example;
#Heathfield – name of
#Heathfieldprom – add in ‘prom’
#Heathfield2017 – add in the year
#Heathfieldprom2017 – add in year and ‘prom’
#Heathfieldprom2017gateshead – add in location
I’m sure you get the idea. Have a play around to find the shortest unique hashtag. If your school or area has a nickname that can be great to use.
Remember that with Facebook posts should be set to ‘Public’. In promotion remind people of this.
Snapchat doesn’t use hashtags but it is still possible to use it at your prom to great effect.
Geofilters are special overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a Snap in a fun way, whether you’re sending it to a friend or adding it to your Story.
There are two different types of Geofilter;
Community – free but no brand logos allowed (free)
On-demand – brand logos are allowed (paid for)
The most versatile geofilter is the on-demand option as this will allow you to add your school name and logo and it may cost only $5.
All geofilters need to be submitted to Snapchat for approval. Buffer have produced a great guide to the subject and it would be sensible to check it out.
What use is it if no-one knows about what you are looking to achieve?
Promote it, promote it again and when you think you have promoted it enough repeat!
Sending out one email informing students is more or less worthless. It needs to be in people’s faces and easy to do to have impact.
One very simple way to get the message across is to get flyers printed off and hand them to every person as they enter the prom.
Companies such as Instantprint will print 250 A6 flyers on 250gsm card for about £20. A6 is about half the size of a postcard.
If you speak to us nicely and book us as your school prom photographers we can probably print these for you free of charge. On one side we will have the social media info, and on the other details of our photography service.
Flyers are probably the best forms of promotion but you can re-inforce them by;
- email pre-event
- posters in the venue
- screens in the venue (if available)
- regular DJ annoucements (give him/her a card with exactly what to say and how often)
Facebook Group pre-event
Whilst Facebook isn’t people’s favourite social media service it probably has the greatest number of users and for pre-event information is hard to beat.
Setting up a Facebook takes seconds, although a little longer to populate it with images, purpose etc. Make sure you add a few people from the prom committee as Admin.
You can use the prom to;
- promote the event
- promote the #hashtags
- get a buzz going pre-prom
- people looking to share transport/limos
- details of after parties
- share dress info (claim your outfit before someone else ‘steals’ it!)
- general Q & As to the prom committee
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas regarding your prom. Remember that success of your prom will be a combination of lots of small things you organise, this being one of them.