When entrepreneurs plan grand opening events for their businesses, they send press releases, pitch stories to online and offline publications and pay for advertising in publications their customers read. Social media offers businesses another option for promoting and celebrating their grand openings. By integrating social media with traditional ways to announce and celebrate a grand opening, you can include a wider range of potential customers in the grand opening festivities.
Tweet and Greet
If you’re planning a grand opening event for your small business, you can integrate Twitter in your opening plans. Sign up for an account and use your business name as your username. Advertise a “Tweet and Greet” on your business website, in any press you receive before your grand opening and on any print or web advertisements you use to promote your opening. For example, if you own a hair salon called “Posh Cuts,” you could hold a “Tweet and Greet” allowing customers to ask you and your staff hair-related questions. Ask participants to tweet their question to you using the hashtag #poshcuts, so you can identify their questions. Enter each participant in a drawing to win a free day of beauty at your salon.
Live Stream Your Event
If you’re opening a business such as a hotel, restaurant or other business that may attract customers from various states and possibility countries, you may want to live stream your event. Live streaming is also extremely useful if you plan to do product demonstrations during your event. By live streaming your grand opening event, you give potential customers who could not make the trip a chance to experience the magic from the comforts of their homes, home offices or on-the-go using their mobile devices. You can live stream using Google+, Justin TV or BlogTV.
Up to five days before your grand opening event, give your social media followers a taste of what they can expect at your grand opening by sharing videos. The videos can show things like the business owner inviting everyone to attend the grand opening event, the staff sampling the foods and drinks you plan to serve, a quick glance at the ingredients in your event’s signature cocktail or a quick tour of your facility. You can even show some items in the event’s gift bag and your staff setting up for customers. Add elements of humor to the videos and encourage your social media followers to share with their friends so you can increase the possibility that they’ll go viral.
Use QR Codes
After your grand opening event, mail or email attendees thank you postcards. Include a QR code on the invitation, which takes recipients to a website with pictures and videos from your grand opening event. QR codes, also known as quick response codes, are small scan-codes you can use to share everything from a website to pictures with your customers. Companies such as Qurify Delivr and Google allow small-business owners to create QR codes that take customers to their designated URLs. After you enter your URL, you’ll receive a graphic code you can use on your website, T-shirts and printed items. Customers can access the data stored in these codes by using their smart phones and QR reader apps.