Why No One is Sharing Your Brand, Venue or Event Online (and How to Fix It)

Why No One is Sharing Your Brand, Venue or Event Online (and How to Fix It)

Getting people to share things online can be like pulling teeth sometimes! Wether you own a brick and mortar business, have a product/service or are running an event, increasing user generated social media content is a must nowadays. There are a gazillion factors into what can make people want to share content about you – but I want to talk about a few reasons why they are NOT posting about your brand or business.

Working across a multitude of different industries and using social media in different capacities for campaigns over the years I can tell you a lot about what people are willing to share – or what they get excited to share. On the other hand my experience has led to me see patterns into what can be keeping people from sharing content about your brand, venue or event.

7 Reasons Why No One is Sharing Your Brand, Venue or Event (and How to Fix It)

1. They Don’t Know They Should Share

People need cues and direction if you need them to do something, which is why calls to action are important in your marketing pieces. Think of including a real life call to action at your venue or event. This means visual and even verbal cues letting people know where and how to share their photos and videos online. To increase user generated content print hashtags on conference agendas or menus, incorporate live Twitter walls, etc. If you own a business that doesn’t have a physical location use your current marketing initiatives to ask people to share. This can be a post on your social media channels or a social media awareness email to your list.

2. They Don’t Know To Tag/Hashtag or Find You

Have you told your customers to tag you in posts or use a specific hashtag? Do they know where they can find your brand online? You may just be missing out on people sharing but not tagging your brand correctly. A lack of information can lead to you missing customers that are posting. Include messaging or publish posts letting customers know you’re online, where to find you, or to tag photos so you can easily find them.

3. No Clear Call To Action

Going off of my point above, just slapping a hashtag on the side of your food truck isn’t enough. Be specific and clear about how and where you want your audience to post. Include a call to action such as “Share your photos using…” in order to get people to share content more often.

4. Your Lighting Sucks

In a meeting, a restaurant client my agency works with recently brought to our attention that guests were snapping and sharing photos of brunch, but hardly ever share photos of dinner. My answer was quick – it’s just way too dark! The restaurant gets tons of light pouring into it during the day – which helps create stunning user generated photos of brunch or drinks by the bar, but at night its a completely different story. The vibe is dark and romantic – which is perfect for the space but not so much for taking photos (and flashes wash out the food). My advice to anyone facing this issue – besides changing the lighting – is to push those visual or verbal cues. For this venue we suggested including social triggers on receipts, table tents, verbal cues from the staff simply letting guests know where they can be found online, and we even came up with a special promo for those who share photos.

5. There’s Nothing to Share

This is HUGE at events. Not all of you may know this but, before I dived head first into social media marketing I was in event production and marketing. My favorite are conferences and large scale events (think BizBash). One thing I tend to see a lack of at events like these where everyone has a booth is interesting things to take photos with! Give people something interesting to look at, or even a cool takeaway and they will take a photo and share it – especially after they see the call to action on your flyer. Remember that if there’s nothing to take photos of, no photos will be taken. At your next event think about adding a “surprise and delight” element to your space to boos user generated content. Brick and mortar businesses can do the same with beautiful decor, art installations (think of the big pink bunny at Vandal restaurant in NYC), handing out branded stickers etc. Forget the pens, here is a chance to have fun and be creative.

6. You’re Asking for Too Much

People can be lazy, and another reason why people aren’t sharing about your brand, product or venue is because you are simply asking for too much. This comes in different forms but you may be asking them to take too many steps, or are asking for too personal of information. One example I have is a past client in the experiential marketing space. They wanted to ask visitors to taste their product, write their initial reactions down on a chalkboard and share it. As I warned, no one was too keen to share the experience. Why? For starters what if they don’t like the product? Do you really want to share a photo of your face next to a chalkboard with a reaction word on it? Will the writing even be seen? And there are just too many steps. When asking people to share KEEP IT SIMPLE. Get a fun branded prop and see how much traction you can pick up. If you need to ask for a lot – the prize better be worth it! lol

7. Location

Think about where your venue is, or where your event is taking place – then make sure you have a connection or that cell phones are even allowed. I worked on one campaign involving a traveling sampling truck hitting amusement parks across the country. We started noticing a huge drop in photos being shared using the campaign hashtag and account tags – then spoke to the team and realized that they were in a water park so no phones allowed! Duh. We had to switch the content gathering strategy up a bit – but it was one of those things that was just out of our control. The lessons here? Make sure your guests will be able to share and have a back up plan in case they don’t.


Social media can be tricky in general because you are dealing directly with people. Getting people to share gets complicated because so many different factors play into wether a person is compelled to create content and share it with their network at the moment they are experiencing your brand. Some reasons why people aren’t sharing about your brand, or from your venue or event can be really evident while others may take a little observing and researching to uncover.

Have you discovered any reasons why people were not sharing about your brand?



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I am a Hubspot Academy course contributor, Social Media Today Expert, and you can find my articles in Social Media Week, Business 2 Community and the AgoraPulse blog.