case study: triangle oktoberfest – organic & paid social media campaign

Public Relations

associations & nonprofits


The 6th Annual Triangle Oktoberfest, the largest in Central North Carolina, is presented by the Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor Rotary Clubs in collaboration with the Town of Cary. The two-day event is an authentic German festival focused on family fun, traditional Bavarian food, and craft beer from Germany. The nonprofit event was held at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre to raise money for U.S. Veterans Corps and other local charities within our community. S&A Communications volunteered their services to develop and implement a social media strategy to boost attendance and proceeds raised for charity. There were two months to promote the festival.


  • Develop event awareness
    • Develop a strategy that would generate hype and excitement around the festival through organic and paid content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
    • Create and boost a Facebook event page for people to follow, invite friends and start a conversation
  • Increase ticket sales and exceed goal of raising $100,000 for charity
    • Include call-to-action to purchase tickets now
    • Make it easy for people to find where to buy tickets online
    • Clearly communicate how proceeds will benefit charities
    • Highlight “can’t miss” festival activities to generate “FOMO”
  • Grow social media community
    • Direct all Rotary members and partners to invite friends to the event page to maximize organic reach
    • Conduct hashtag research to expand reach and grow audience on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
    • Influencer campaigns: partner with local Instagram bloggers to share festival information and hold ticket giveaways
    • Create and grow Instagram account
  • Fill up racing slots for wiener dog races
    • Boost wiener dog race Facebook posts and target local dachshund owners

Target Audience
People over age 21 living in The Triangle area; including craft-beer lovers, foodies, German companies, nonprofit supporters, Rotarians, families, and dachshund lovers

The Triangle Oktoberfest committee had a total budget of $1,000 devoted to social media marketing


  • The event raised $132,000 in proceeds (double the amount of $66,000 in 2018) and exceeding the goal
  • 4,000 people attended with gates closing two hours early due to beer running out (up from 2,500 in 2018)
  • Facebook event page reached over 260,000 people, generated 20,000 RSVPs and 2,000 clicks
  • Organic Facebook posts generated 223,303 impressions, 7,785 engagements, 2,224 clicks and 213 page likes
  • Instagram influencers generously shared Triangle Oktoberfest on their feeds, reaching over 115,000 people in The Triangle area with posts generating over 7,000 engagements in exchange for free admission tickets
    • @RaleighFoodPics and @RDUGems held ticket giveaways with the requirement of following Triangle Oktoberfest and tagging friends in the comments
  • Wiener dog race participants doubled from previous year – they had to add a third race
  • In less than two months, Triangle Oktoberfest’s new Instagram account gained over 400 followers and received 500 engagements without paid advertising