This year has seen a fantastic level of engagement around the annual May Day event which takes over the town of Ilkley, otherwise known as Ilkley Carnival.

Not only has the carnival been in the regional and national press, but Approach developed the social media activity to increase engagement and reach of this memorable event which attracted thousands of visitors on the day.

Here’s a quick rundown of this year’s social media activity:

#IlkleyCarnival Vine

To coincide with this year’s theme, The Yorkshire Tour, and encourage new sponsors for 2014, work began promoting sponsorship packages for Ilkley Carnival. We created a quick, effective and engaging Vine to target businesses on social media and call out for support for 2014.

The Vine was shared on Facebook, Twitter and pushed through area networking hours to drive enquiries.

Twitter Conversations

The key to our social media strategy was to push key messages, raise awareness of the carnival and to increase conversations with local business and wider organisations. We engaged in weekly conversations such as #Ilkleyhour (which we started a year ago) and #Yorkshirehour to build support for the carnival which resulted in business and sponsorship enquires, conversations with stall holders and even recruiting volunteers for the day.

Nintendo Wii Callout

With an engaging and active audience following Ilkley Carnival on Twitter and Facebook, we used this as an opportunity to put a call out to followers. Ilkley Carnival sent out a plea for a Nintendo Wii donation on Twitter for local charity organisation, The Ilkley Stroke Club, which was answered within hours of going live.

The Wii, which will form a vital part of the rehabilitation process for stroke victims, was donated by a family not local to Ilkley but they saw the post on Twitter and kindly got in touch, demonstrating the power and influence a social media page can have.

Ilkley Rocks 2014

This year’s carnival saw the launch of supporting music festival, Ilkley Rocks 2014, which had events over the May bank holiday weekend as well as a stage at Ilkley Carnival.

As a new addition to the carnival line up, the music festival needed promoting in its own right to reach a new audience and music lovers in Ilkley and surrounding areas.

A dedicated Ilkley Rocks 2014 Facebook page was set up and information was shared through Ilkley Carnival’s existing platform to promote both events.  With several acts set to hit the stage over the three day bank holiday weekend, the artists and their supporters actively shared content from the page and encouraged their fans to visit this year’s Ilkley Carnival.

Within three weeks the page had over 200 likes and tickets sold out for the weekend concerts.

Since the social media activity started for Ilkley Carnival 2014 the following on Twitter has increased by 300, Facebook has 100 new likes, the #IlkleyCarnival hashtag has been widely used and shared and Ilkley Carnival has reached new audiences, contributing to the increased success of this year’s event.

Let’s see what next year brings!