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Supersonic, Sunburn, Coachella & Tomorrowland: music fests & social media engagement

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Social media is a revolution and no one can deny its importance and impact especially among the youth bracket across the globe. Not only has the process of being virtually present changed the dynamics of human communication from its core but it has also completely revamped how TG of different brands now voice their opinions about it. As a result, more marketing spends by brands are seen shifting from traditional marketing mediums to online and digital engagement platforms.



Events and activations are being organized in large numbers by brands across all categories today and all of them are aggressively trying to milk the benefits of social media by actively integrating it into it. But a lot of the times due to lack of innovation or knowledge social media marketers are not truly able to capitalize on its benefit and as a result they are left with half baked social media impressions for their events and experiences.



In this regard, music festivals have a lot to teach social media marketers about using Twitter and YouTube to promote and leverage on attendee experience for events. To help extract some of these lessons, we looked at 4 major music festivals Supersonic, Sunburn, Coachella and Tomorrowland as we decode how do they use Twitter for live event impressions, Youtube as a pre and post cursor for the event and Facebook for amplification and extending event invitations.



How do they use Twitter to ensure their event runs smoothly? How do they use YouTube for advertising?And how can they leverage Twitter engagement to identify the emotions their fans expressed before, during, and after the event?



Youtube



Before you begin to extend invitations, sell tickets or try to hard sell your event, creating a video of what your event is going to be like is a must. It is the basic human nature that it responds better to audio visual mediums rather than just fancy texts. Hence, if you want to generate a pre-event buzz than an event video on Youtube is a must to have your target audience hooked. All 4 music festivals mentioned have used videos as an active part of their marketing efforts and the results have paid off hugely for them.



As an example, Tomorrowland, got 37.4 million views and over 250,000 likes on their promotional video, as of this posting. That’s 10X as many views as Sziget, Coachella, EDC, EXIT, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo combined.







Suburn ’15 released not only a precursor video for their festival but they also released at least 1 video for every single day of the event in progress as a result of which organizers were able to draw large crowds till the very last minute of the event. They released an early bird teaser, artist interaction videos and so much more as a result of which the 2015th edition of the festival managed to draw in their highest footfall ever.



TWITTER



A lot of times people feel that Twitter and Facebook are pretty similar to each other and the only difference between them is that one allows only 140 character space updates while the other allows you to post longer status. What brands and social media executives do not understand is that Twitter is one of the best avenues for broadcasting constant and timely information about practicalities while Facebook is a connecting tool for people mainly and constant information flow is not its asset.



Music festivals like Coachella and VH1 Supersonic have realized this important fact and lets have a look at how have they used twitter during their events.



nikhil chinapa



As seen not only have the event organizers used Twitter to share logistical information but they have also used it to live share the tweets of streaming sites and also to share the latest updates from ground zero. It is also important to note that these music festivals have a separate social media team that keeps the audience engaged and engrossed throughout the event by live replying to their tweets and also sharing the highlights and activation zone details as soon as they occur.



In an interesting example Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas wasn’t monitoring their Twitter feeds as a result of which huge chaos regarding the festival spread on social media and many prospective attendees of the festival did not attend the festival as a last minute decision.



It has to be remembered that social media has a thriving pulse which should not be neglected. You should not have a social media strategy if you cannot follow it through as a half baked will do more bad for the brand or event.



HASHTAGS



Many event organizers have very little idea if their event is being talked about or not because they create twitter and facebook handles for their event and feel if someone has to mention their event name is a discussion they would tag the same. Event marketers should understand that creating a unique hashtag for your event is utmost essential to see the live impressions your event is creating on the internet. Facebook understood the importance of hashtags and hence introduced the technology as a result of which all major music festivals engage in live discussions with fans through the one unique hashtag.



While creating a hashtag it is important to ensure that it is unique and not related to any other personality, brand or event. It is also integral to float the hashtag much before the event so that the audiences has a clear idea of it and can use it to connect with fellow fans and organizers whenever they want.



So as you can see each music festival has a system of using social media for its benefit and their crystal clear strategy of how are they going to use social media and online before they actually begin using it plays a key role in their success. Much like these festivals, event organizers and brand marketers too should keep the above takeaways in mind and create an all encompassing social media strategy for themselves.



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