By: Dennis Schiraldi
We all know that the Canfield Fair is an institution of the Mahoning Valley and that it's been going on since the rooster was a peep. The fact that you can just about get anything fried that you want. Fried Oreo's, a fried Twinkie and yes, fried Snickers.
Tractor pulls, crash up derbies, horse racing, entertainment, rides and farm animals. All good family fun and a tradition like none other for people of Youngstown, Ohio to enjoy, a rite of passage (if you will), prior to kids heading back to school or a little time off early in the year.
Canfield Fair gives businesses an opportunity to have a booth...Basically this is a big trade show with a very non-targeted audience. Which is why every lawn mower company, window maker and many others grab space for the week.
Like any event it's difficult to stand out in a very busy sea of people. Especially, we know a this event attracts like a million people or at least what seems like that...The fact is that any event that has critical mass is a prime opportunity to capture mindshare, especially through your social media channels.
Maybe you just missed out on DOYO, which attracted over 200 marketing professionals from the Youngstown area way back at the start of August. Or last weekend's, back-to-back, sold-out, epic concerts at the Covelli Centre. It's not too late to go back on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find the trending hashtags and engage these audiences.
Moving on...To more current events. How about the Canfield Fair. Don't have the time, resources, budget, etc. to attend, have a booth, maybe not exactly sure what the ROI would be for having a booth.
Here are 3 ways to leverage the Canfield Fair to help you grow your social media audiences, connect with people and possibly grow some business.
1. Simply Follow - Canfield Fair Social Media Properties
The Canfield Fair has a number of social media accounts. They are set up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. Very simply following along you will be able to get the virtual story of what's going on at the Fair. If you are attending you can throw yourself into the story and tag The Canfield Fair social media accounts on i.e. Twitter or Instagram, you get the point. Also not a bad idea to follow the Canfield Fair followers. Growing your business on Instagram is a highly effective way to engage potential and existing customers and make them feel like they are taking part in the story. Be sure to check out, how to grow your business on Instagram, it'll help!
This is very easy to do on Instagram. Just go to who they are following and you will see the list, same to be true on Twitter. Facebook is more challenging, but in general you can see who likes their posts. You can see they have 41,000+ Likes to their Facebook Page, but you cannot get those individual Likes.
It is however pretty easy to set up a post and pay to get that audience. For a very nominal fee, Facebook Ads can be highly targeted and effective. If I had a DOYO booth at the Fair, I would absolutely set it up for Facebook Ads. That's another conversation, but do what you can to follow the Canfield Fair social media properties, that's a good start.
2. Facebook Live
Streaming video is totally awesome...I love every aspect of Facebook Live, Periscope is cool, SnapChat while not technically streaming is in the moment so we will throw that into the conversation. So many different use case applications. You can be your own little media company at the Fair. Get out there and cover stories on vendors, horse races, fun stuff...All the things that we've come to appreciate.
In turn what will you get. Think reverse engineering people. If I'm in marketing I'd get out and talk to people about how they are marketing their food stand to get business. Encourage them to be on Facebook Live so they get your audience. Or if I'm a physician, I might get out and talk about the appropriate use of sunscreen, eating healthy O.K. that's a stretch but how to try to balance your food consumption, proper hydration at the Fair, it goes on-and-on.
The entertainment value of this, again, is relevant interesting content. No longer are we just high-jacking critical mass with followers of the event or tapping into the trending hashtag. We are now able to throw ourselves into the mix, be part of the story and capture audience with compelling, relevant information.
3. News Media
Local news media coverage of the event will be a buzz all week long. WFMJ, The Vindicator and the rest will have a big presence at the Fair. WFMJ is launching their SnapChat this week. See Snap Code below...The Vindy does an awesome job of on Facebook Video. Take a look for yourself when your are on Facebook this weekend!
It will be very easy to connect with local news media in Canfield this week. Again, it comes back to the basics. As an example, follow WFMJ on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Jump on SnapChat hit them there as well. Don't be annoying and troll them with a bunch of @ messages or #'s but do include them in a few posts here and there.
Connect with on air personalities. Follow, engage, like pictures, share their stories, leave comments when appropriate and try to land that all important selfie with the local talent. That will help you and your business, plus it will help them as well. Social media works to help generate and create brand awareness.
This will help get you found and it will help to grow your audiences. So maybe next year if you do decide to have a booth at the Fair, you will have a big social media following and can leverage these channels to direct traffic to your booth.
4. What's Trending
We are going to go for a ride in the way back machine. To the days of the fundamentals. We look to Geo-Filters on SnapChat and we should. However don't forget about the battle tested tactics that still work. Looking on Twitter or Instagram especially for trending hashtags about the event. For the Fair, in case you are wondering...Look for #canfieldfair. While there are others, this will be the most utilized.
You can also go to search on Twitter, Instagram, etc. and simply type in Canfield Fair. See what you get. Instagram will show you accounts associated, again trending #'s and a local map. When you get the local map, it'll show you top posts and all posts. Follow, engage, like, etc. all these pictures. Again important if you are looking to grow a following and capitalize off this event.
Twitter can do the same...It'll pull data for a geographical area. If you want to learn more about growing your Twitter following be sure to check out - 5 simple ways to grow your following on Twitter. Apply these tactics this week for the Canfield Fair.
5. Social Influencers
Quite possibly the most overlooked strategy of them all...Identify social media influencers. This is a really real thing in the world of online marketing when it comes to social media. There are third party applications like: Social Rank (Free), Followerwonk and Buzzsumo. Just to name a few...However a few hack for identifying influencers. Simply look who's active in a given vicinity, such as utilizing either #Youngstown or #CanfieldFair. From there, take a look at who's active and who is not. See how many followers and individual may have or not have. Also be sure to see what engagement will look like on Re-Tweets, Favorites, Likes, Loves, etc.
To bring it home you can use Klout...If you are using HootSuite there's a really cool feature that allows you to analyze your following. If not Klout is somewhat of the credit score of the social media. Some will question the depth. Meaning that it relies big time on the amount of followers and activity to give you a rating. In case you are wondering, my Klout score is a 61. Which is respectable for a civilian, non-Kim Kardashian profile.
Sign up it's free as well...Check out Klout!
ABOUT DOYO Live
DOYO Live is dedicated to educating marketing, business, sales and design professionals on marketing strategy. We achieve this through our website, blog, workshops, webinars, online marketing and the annual in person conference. Which back in August attracted over 200+ attendees and sponsors. There was over 20 hours of content delivered, as the event featured Joe Pulizzi, the founder of Content Marketing World and was held at Youngstown State University in the Williamson College of Business. This is the first and only marketing conference in Youngstown, Ohio.