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Top image: 4 ways to maximize your impact with social media around big events

Jeff Haws, Director of Content Marketing, Emplifi

4 ways to maximize your impact with social media around big events

Tapping into the excitement around big events like the Olympics, Super Bowl, or the World Cup – even smaller events relevant to your audience – is a golden opportunity for your brand to connect with your audience on a deeper level. But especially, boost your brand’s visibility and affinity.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can harness the power of social media during big events to grow your brand recognition, and ensure your social media efforts will resonate more with your audience.

1. Understand your audience and event dynamics

Before diving into social media campaigns surrounding major events, it's crucial to conduct comprehensive audience research to better understand the event’s dynamics. 

Start by analyzing your target audience's demographics, interests, behaviors, and online habits. What platforms do they frequent? What type of content resonates with them? Understanding these will help you tailor your social media strategy to best reach and engage your audience during the event.

As for the event itself, research the event’s schedule, keep your finger on the pulse of trending topics relevant to your audience, and identify any key cultural and regional differences your team should know before talking about the event. Understanding those contexts and nuances can help you strategically plan your content — and how you activate it — to best align with your audience’s interests and activities.

For example, if you're a sports apparel brand gearing up for this summer’s Olympics, understanding the various sports, athletes, and cultural significance will allow you to create content that resonates with fans and enthusiasts worldwide. Alternatively, if you're a Food and Beverage brand planning for the Super Bowl, knowing your audience’s typical gameday traditions, popular snacks, and viewing habits should inform your content strategy.

2. Create compelling content and campaigns

During major events, brands face stiff competition for attention on social media. To cut through the noise and stand out, it's essential for your brand to put out compelling and shareable content that adds value to the conversation around the event. 

Start by brainstorming ideas around the event's themes, emotions, and cultural significance. Whether it's through immersive storytelling, behind-the-scenes footage, real-time updates, or interactive experiences, you should aim to captivate and engage your audience authentically.

Consider using videos, GIFs, infographics, and memes to make your content visually appealing and shareable, and be sure to use a variety of content types that resonate best based on what social media platforms your audience prefers to use. For example, Emplifi 2024 social media benchmarks data has found that while Carousels and Reels do particularly well on Instagram compared to one-off static images, GIFs outperformed all other content types on X in terms of Median Post Interactions, while Live Video notably outperformed all other content types on Facebook.

Using event-related hashtags and trending topics can also increase your content’s visibility and reach, allowing you to tap into the broader conversation surrounding the event.

For example, if you're a consumer electronics brand planning to launch a highly anticipated product at a tech conference, consider creating teaser videos, live streams, and interactive Q&A sessions to generate excitement and anticipation with your audience. Partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors passionate about the event can also help amplify your message and even reach new audiences.

By providing unique perspectives, exclusive access, or special offers, your brand can foster a sense of excitement, curiosity, and exclusivity among your audience and, ultimately, help drive engagement and brand advocacy.

3. Foster community engagement and participation

Major events aren’t just about passive consumption; they're about active participation and communal experiences. Your brand can leverage social media to foster community engagement and participation, creating opportunities for your audience to connect with your brand, and even with each other. 

One effective strategy is to host interactive experiences or user-generated content (UGC) campaigns that encourage audience participation and creativity. You could launch a photo contest, a challenge, or even quizzes related to the event, and invite your audience to share their experiences, opinions, or predictions. As reported in our guide, “Unlock the Power of UGC” (created in partnership with HubSpot), HubSpot research has found that 92% of businesses said UGC was effective in promoting brand awareness, while consumers found that UGC was 9.8x more effective than influencer content. By involving your audience to create and share content around the event, you can not only increase engagement but also foster a sense of ownership and belonging in your community.

Actively participating in conversations, replying to comments, and acknowledging your audience’s contributions can also help cultivate a sense of community and appreciation. Whether it's sharing UGC, featuring customer testimonials, or highlighting fan reactions, showcasing genuine interactions during the event can help humanize your brand and strengthen connections with your audience.

You could also consider organizing virtual watch parties, live chats, or AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions during key event moments, giving your audience a chance to engage with each other and your brand in real time. 

Always look to create opportunities to drive meaningful interaction and dialogue. This can help your brand build trust, loyalty, and advocacy among your audience, driving long-term relationships beyond the event.

4. Monitor and capitalize on real-time trends

One of the most powerful aspects of social media during major events is its real-time nature. Your brand should continuously monitor conversations, trends, and sentiment surrounding the event on social to identify opportunities for timely engagement and content creation.

Take advantage of social media listening tools to stay informed about emerging trends and conversations in real time. By staying agile and responsive, your brand can capitalize on viral moments, trending topics, or unexpected occurrences to amplify your presence and connect with your audience authentically.

For example, if you're a Fashion brand during a high-profile awards ceremony, monitoring red-carpet trends, celebrity fashion moments, and audience reactions can inspire timely content and engagement opportunities. Whether it's sharing live updates, creating memes, or joining trending conversations, being proactive and nimble lets your brand stay relevant and capture your audience’s attention amid the event buzz.

Also, consider collaborating with influencers, industry experts, or event organizers to co-create content, share insights, or participate in live discussions to help amplify your brand’s reach, credibility, and impact during these major events.


Big events are a huge opportunity to use social media to engage with your customers in a meaningful way, to amplify your presence, and to earn brand loyalty — all at the same time. Just be sure to understand both your audience and the event itself as you work through your social and content strategy. This will help ensure the work you put in resonates in the way you hope. 

If you’d like to see how Emplifi can help your brand get ready to catch fire on social media during the next big event you have your eye on, we’d love to show you our platform.

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