This spring, the Real Estate Council of San Antonio(RECSA) hosted an annual event called Fight Night in which real estate professionals from around the area duke it out to help raise money. Like many associations, this event is a huge non-dues revenue generator, so promoting it successfully is more than necessary.
RECSA contracted strategic communications agency the Whittington Group to help them come up with a less-than-usual approach, electing to run an organic social media campaign that greatly differed from their usual strategy. This campaign was built around fun, sarcasm and a few lighthearted jabs (pun intended).
Establish a Goal
When beginning a campaign, you should first set a goal as a way to measure your success. Of course, RECSA’s goal was to sell as many tables as possible. “As possible” is an impossible measurement because there is no quantitative data and too many varying factors involved. Because of this, the goal we agreed upon with RECSA was to sell more tables than any previous year for the same event.
Research and Planning
RECSA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts already have large followings with steady engagement and consistent postings, so we determined that organically running the campaign on these accounts was the most effective way to target the largest amount of our audience in the given time frame. We decided to run our campaign organically, as opposed to using paid advertising or sponsored posts, because Fight Night is reserved for members of RECSA only. Blasting the campaign to “Mark,” the stay at home dad who happens to live in San Antonio, wouldn’t help us reach our goal.
We knew we wanted to capture our audience’s attention by creating visual pieces so we made exaggerated “biographies” for each fighter; one or two facetious sentences about how they wake up early in the morning to chow down on 30 raw eggs before running 20 miles on hot coals.
Once we pitched the idea to RECSA and received approval, we ran with it. Thinking up the witty statements describing the fighters proved to be relatively easy once we got the hang of it. Leaning on the infamous Chuck Norris jokes for creative support, we drafted 10 biographies to represent each fighter and used graphic design programs (from simple ones like Canva to more complex ones like Adobe Creative) to create intimidating-looking designs that included each boxer’s fight stance headshot, their nickname and the company they were representing.
We began the campaign a little over two weeks away from the main event. We took note of when RECSA’s followers were most active on their page by looking at previous posts and used Hootsuite, a social media management program, to schedule when each post would go live.
We showcased one fighter per day, excluding weekends, in an attempt to build anticipation and to encourage our audience to come back each day as a new fighter would be posted. In every post, we tagged and thanked all of the companies sponsoring the event and made sure to utilize the hashtag #FightNight2017. Creating a hashtag helped to focus the campaign in one place making it easier for guests to find and contribute their event experience. We posted this hashtag on every post about Fight Night, even the ones not included in our “biography” campaign, leading up to the event.
The results were astounding! We reached our goal of RECSA selling more tables than ever before, and the association was thrilled with the amount of members who signed up. Many of the new members who hadn’t experienced Fight Night claimed the campaign was the main reason they decided to purchase a table. Guests continued to praise how fun and witty the campaign was throughout the night and on social media the following day.
Although success for us was measured in the amount of tables sold, other forms of it became noticeable throughout the campaign. An example would be in the social media analytics, the numerical data that lets you know how your posts are performing. During and immediately after the campaign, RECSA’s social media was performing the best it ever has, meaning that our audience was engaging with us. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on post-performance during a campaign to understand what posts are being received well by your audience and, more importantly, which ones aren’t.
While each campaign will vary and every client will have different needs, the process of this campaign will now serve as a guideline for our future clients and possibly for next year’s Fight Night, which we have been asked to run the social media for again!
Author Rachel Bagnetto is an account executive at The Whittington Group, a strategic communications agency in San Antonio.
Photo credit: iodrakon/Shutterstock.com