More like ULTRA cheesy social media (hate myself only a little bit for making that joke).
As part of my Capstone, I plan to review and analyze different music festivals’ social media presence and content. Up first: Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida. Catering to a specific crowd (since Ultra is an electronic dance music festival), I predicted that Ultra’s social media following would be large, but still scaled back. Looking at Ultra’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I could not have been more wrong. Check out their social media following:
Clearly, there are more EDM fans than I originally assumed. I’m extremely impressed with the music festival’s social media following, but its content? Not so much. Sure, Ultra posts awesome, trippy, FOMO-worthy pictures of stages with amazing production and attendees that are having the time of their life (but are also half-dressed in different variations of neon colors — this is a whole other topic though), but Ultra’s Facebook posts/tweets/Instagram captions are pretty weak and a little bit cringeworthy. HOWEVER, the posts do cater to the majority of the music festival’s fans. This is definitely evident through the high levels of engagement with posts, including shares, replies, retweets, favorites, and likes.
- Ultra does an excellent job at hyping up fans by posting countdown visuals, video recaps from previous years, and sensory-stimulating photos.
- Catering to its audience, Ultra posts retweet-able or sharable content (although I would never personally retweet something that said “Ultra > anywhere else” or “Find love at ULTRA” with a picture of two neon-clad attendees kissing).
- Across all social media accounts, Ultra’s “voice” remains consistent whether it is through picture captions or general posts.
- Ultra makes good use of photos and videos. By posting plenty of multi-media content, Ultra basically encourages attendees to view and share the content.
- Ultra posts consistent reminders about tickets and security regarding the festival. According to an article that studied festivalgoers’ use of Twitter during the Glastonbury 2013 music festival, researchers found that festivalgoers often used Twitter to coordinate locations and ask festival staff technical questions (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p. 2).
- Ultra’s social media “voice” could use some work.
- Looking at Ultra’s Twitter, they do engage and reply to some followers, but overall, it is not as responsive. Ultra does, however, retweet users quite frequently. During the music festival, Ultra should be retweeting and responding to attendees since festival attendees often use social media to “mediate and support their experiences” (Jamison-Powell et. al., 2014, p.4).
- Its content can often get repetitive and almost stale. One can only see so many pictures of a stage with crazy lights and caption like: “Let the lights do the talking…”
- There were no signs or announcements to tag photos or tweets with a specific hashtag (i.e. #Ultra2015).
All of this being said, I attended Ultra this year so I was able to witness all of this firsthand. When I had a question about something, I did not once turn to social media to ask festival organizers a question. Besides the weak content, the music festival could really work on its day of show social media plan.
Overall score (1-10, 10 being the best): 7 — Ultra’s lack of engagement and response really take away from its score.
Jamison-Powell, S., Mahoney, J., Bennett, L., & Lawson, S. (2014, February). Understanding in-situ social media at music festivals. Paper presented at 17th ACM conference.