5 Last Minute Social Media Marketing Tips for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

No You Didn’t! You Really Did? It’s 1 week away and the 2017 Solar Eclipse is here. Is your Business or Organization ready to Digitally Market to it? If you are or haven’t even started, take a look at the 5 tips I give to make sure you maximize your efforts during this event.

The 4 platforms you should be on and marketing to our guests are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat.

5 Last Minute Social Media Marketing Tips for the 2017 Solar Eclipse

1. Targeted Paid Campaigns

This applies to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By default (typically) all paid campaigns default to the US. For the 2017 Solar Eclipse, you will want to make sure and target the geographic location your wanting people to come to. For the epicenter being closest to Carbondale, IL, you can use a radius of 30 to 50 miles to market to everyone that will be here. Hopefully you were targeting prior to now, nationally and globally.

Along with targeting the location, you will want to target by interest and demographics. For example: If you are a restaurant, bar, or event taking place, what are interests would your potential customer have (music, type of food, wine, beer, genre, etc…) The goal in targeted social media marketing is to get your post in front of as many people that WANT your service.

It’s completely ok to have less LIKES or ENGAGEMENT, if you are getting in front of the right customers. It all comes down to results and return on investment.

2. Hashtags

Hashtags serve 2 purposes when used properly for Twitter and Instagram: Tagging/Branding a post and making it Searchable for Users. The most locally searched hashtags for the 2017 Solar Eclipse are: #SIEclipse and #SolarEclipse2017. Along with these hashtags, people will be tagging and searching the following ones as well: #SouthernIllinois #SIU #SIUC #CarbondaleIllinois #MurphysboroIllinois #CartervilleIllinois #HerrinIllinois #MarionIllinois #HarrisburgIllinois.

Remember that we will have hundreds of thousands of people coming to our area from all over the world. As a business owner, you should be following these hashtags for content, complaints, and potential customers. Hashtags don’t go away, so when you use them in your posting, remember to go back in 2024 and reconnect with everyone that was here.

3. Snapchat Filters 

Any business and I do mean ANY business can utilize Snapchat Filters to brand their business in a geo-targeted area. You will want to be creative in your filter and target an area that will have a high volume of people in it. For example: SIU, SIU Arena, Walker’s Bluff, Bald Knob Cross, etc… That being said, you will want to make sure that the targeted area has cell phone coverage (SEE TIP #5). Snapchat requires at least 24 to 48 hours to verify, so you will need to create and submit your filter at least 2 days out. When you are geo-fencing your area, remember to think about the actual layout for where people will be. There is no need to geo-fence where people won’t be. EXTRA TIP: Don’t forget to geo-fence Porta-Potties, people will be in-line and on there phones.

4. Formatting Text

People read in chunks of information so make sure your posts are not one long paragraph. Group your text in 1 to 2 sentences with spaces in between. Despite my hatred for them, emojis will typically get you 33% more engagement. Use them sparingly and tastefully (iSmile). Use strong KEYWORDS that ASK or TELL the customer to do something (Call To Action).

Make sure to review content before it goes out for spelling and grammar, however, it is digital and it can be fixed. Once you boost a post (SEE TIP #1) you can not edit it without stopping the campaign, deleting it, and starting over. How you format your content accounts for over half of its engagement, so put time into it.

5. Cell Phone/Data Coverage

Whether you are on AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint, we are going to have an influx of usage for our area. This means that in High Volume Areas and Times, there may by NO access to the internet. Don’t despair, remember to target your ads and campaigns BEFORE and AFTER the event. Everyone is going to be focused on the 2017 Solar Eclipse, so demand will be high just before, during, and after the event. Many of the networks have made arrangements to address the high bandwidth need during the eclipse.

We are currently accepting consulting requests to help setup or answer your questions. We can work with you in person, on-site, or on the phone. Just give us a call at 314-884-1192 or message us on our Social Media accounts. Be safe and remember to make this event a special one for ALL our guests.

Tom Harness | Twitter: @iTomHarness | Snapchat: @tharness | LinkedIN: Tom Harness | www.harnessdigitalmarketing.com

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.


  1. Lots of useful FREE info; way to go TOM and tea

  2. Thanks for sharing such a grate, very informative and useful article to social media marketing tips.
    Keep it up.

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