3 Music Festivals, 1 App

Happy Memorial Day Weekend (aka long weekend)!  And it has indeed been a long weekend for Snapchat, which featured 3 music festivals in addition to other events like the Monaco Grand Prix and Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill (what?).

*What I’m listening to as I write this blog post.*

This weekend, I went to 3 music festivals: Sasquatch in Quincy, Washington, Mysteryland in Bethel Woods, New York (#tbt to Woodstock), and EDC New York in East Rutherford, New Jersey (so, like, why is it called “EDC NY“?).  How did I attend all 3 music festivals?  Snapchat.

This semester, I had to create an entire Integrated Marketing Communications campaign around any given brand/companyIMG_3054.  I chose Snapchat because I truly believe it’s the next big thing — okay, so Snapchat isn’t by any means “new” since it was launched in September 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.  BUT the app is evolving.  It has transformed from an app that was primarily used to send silly, ephemeral, and sometimes nude (hey, do you) photos to friends and other users to an app that’s used for advertising and brand building.  In January 2015, Snapchat launched “Discover,” a new tool for users to view curated content from different brans including Cosmopolitan, CNN, the Food Network, Yahoo New, and more.  But what I think Snapchat is doing best is their “Live Story” feature in which attending users can send snaps to the public feed for all Snapchat users to see.  The trick is to have your location services turned on so that Snapchat knows you’re at the eveIMG_3088nt/in the area and can, therefore, contribute to the story.  For example, this weekend, Mysteryland attendees were able to take snaps and send them to the feed, which Snapchat then picks and curates what snaps are seen by the public.  It allows you to truly experience the festival whereas live streams are often polished, showing only a particular part of the festival and whatnot.  The “Live Story” feature allows users to truly feel as if they have experienced theIMG_3093 festival.  For example, on Day 1 of Sasquatch, some festival attendees were weary of the impending rainstorm whereas others were willing to continue partying on despite the rain.  Non-attendees would have never gotten that viewpoint otherwise.  Also, Mysteryland attendees often snapped what it’s like at festival grounds after the last headliner has played — this was extremely interesting for me since I haven’t camped at a festival yet (but Firefly soon!).  The “Live Story” builds on user experience and allows attendees to share their experiences with one another (#PLUR, am I right?!).

Instead of having a “Live Story,” EDC NY kept Snapchat users updated through their brand account, InsomniacEvents.  I started following the brand’s account last year around this time because of the exclusive DJ shout outs and behind-the-scenes lIMG_3089ooks the account would snap.  This year, Insomniac made sure to “live snap” the entire event.  Live snapping goes a step further than live tweeting in some aspects since it provides a first-hand look at the event through pictures and short 10-second videos.  What makes it cooler is that it’s all fleeting — you don’t get to stare at the picture or video for 10 minutes, but instead, IMG_308410 seconds.  I always found the ephemeral aspect of Snapchat so cool because it makes content seem even more exclusive.  Ultimately, Snapchat allows for the ultimate festival experience for festival attendees and the ultimate FOMO experience for those not attending.

Speaking from personal experience, it’s always a cool thing to be able to contribute to an event “Live Story.”  Even having an event geofilter makes your snap 10000000000x cooler.  At Ultra, we were able to get a few snaps with the geofilter and sent to the “Live Story” (we never made it onto the public “Live Story” #bitter).  However, at Coachella, it was near impossible to get a snap uploaded even just to “My Story” because of the sucky connection at the festival (#firstworldproblems am I right?!).  In the past, Snapchat has scored a 11090854_10205996273764475_8181585702527570812_osponsorship deal with Insomniac Events; Snapchat would provide free WiFi access for festival attendees so long as the”EDC Las Vegas “story” was promoted.  Several users, though, claimed that the WiFi was faulty and unable to be connected to.  According to Snapchat COO Emily White, free WiFi access was spotty due to the apparent popularity of Snapchat at the event.  In the future, it would be cool to see Snapchat doing the same sponsorship at a bunch of different music festivals with improved WiFi access, of course.  Can you tell I’m still a little #bitter from not being able to send my Coachella snaps in?

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Party at the Puddle: Survey Results

SURVEY SAYS…

Survey says

On Thursday, April 30th, the day of the event, I distributed a short 3-question anonymous survey.  The survey was geared towards finding out if our promotional efforts (mainly, our social media efforts) were successful in attracting attendees to the event.  The survey was also meant to reveal attendees’ true motivation for coming to the event.RUPA Survey

 

Survey Results to #1Out of the 116 survey participants, about 53% say that they found out about Party at the Puddle via social media while about 41% found out via friend.  These findings confirm my initial belief that social media is RUPA’s primary means of promotion with word-of-mouth trailing closely behind.  It goes to show what a digital world we live in today when over half of the survey attendees (61 to be exact) heard about the event through the Internet/social media.

The next question on the survey is meant to reveal attendees’ preferences in order to best improve future  promotional plaSurvey Results to #2ns.  By far, social media seems to be how people mainly want to find out about future events. Survey results show that people dominantly rely on social media to find out about brands’ events.  Mirroring results from the first question of the survey, the next preferred method of finding out about events is also through a “friend.”  From both of these questions, we can assume that having some sort of network, both online and in-person, is imperative in finding out about various events.

To investigate even deeper into what social media accounts are most helpful to users when finding out about events, I broke the data down from question #1 even further.  According to survey results, Facebook seems to be users’ most Survey Results from #1 (broken down)helpful social media network when trying to find out about events.  While Twitter may convey the same information as Facebook, Twitter event promo is usually set up to promote the event, but ultimately leads to another page (i.e., a Facebook event page) via attached link.  It is worth noting that a very select amount of people (4 to be exact) found out about the event through Snapchat, meaning that they presumably saw the live snaps of the events and decided it looked fun and worthwhile enough to attend.  This provides further proof that Snapchat is useful to a brand, especially when it comes to events.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.25.17 AMFinally, the last question I was curious about was what actually made attendees come out to the event; was it the live music?  The free food?  The carnival games?  Friends?  I wanted to know what motivated people most to attend the event.  Survey results show that a slight majority of the 161 survey-takers came to the event for the free food (broke college students, am I right?!).  The second reason people attended the event was for the live music, according to the results.  Following closely behind “live music” was “friends.”

These results are interesting, although not that surprising.  The results do not really provide me with any new knowledge, but instead, reaffirms my beliefs that social media can affect event discovery, attendance, and experience.  If anything, this collection of data solidifies the importance of social media promotion in today’s digital world.

Limitations.  In distributing the survey, only a small portion of attendees was able to get surveyed.  Out of about 2,000-3,000 attendees (give or take), only 116 attendees were able to be surveyed.  This study also draws data from a limited audience- college students.  It would be difficult/almost impossible to apply these findings to a global audience.  If a music festival were to conduct a similar study, it would be interesting to see the difference between a college audience and a global audience.  Lastly, the survey questions focused mainly on social media preferences and habits, however, I would have liked to include a question or two about whether or not social media enhances user experience during an event.  Nonetheless, the data collected is still valid data that can be used to improve future promotional plans.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Social Media Review: Lollapalooza

Have you ever realized how weird some music festival names are?  Like, who thinks of these?

Up next in the “Social Media Review” series: Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago!

It’s hard for me to describe the vibe that I get after looking at Lolla’s color scheme and general website theme.  Almost like urban psychedelic?  The cartoonish themes remind me of Foster the People’s Supermodel mural, but the colors add a sort of urbaLolla Social Media 2n twist to it.  I’m sure I made no sense at all and sound just as high as most of the festival’s attendees.  As I quickly scroll through Lolla’s social media accounts, I see a healthy mix of videos, photos, and fan engagement.  Briefly skimming over the content, I do not see many social equity posts, which help establish brand personality traits.  However, Lolla’s selective choice of responding to fans somewhat serve as a quick-fix to this since its responses to fans help build its brand.

Lolla Social MediaPros:

  • Great use of other forms of media- articles, photos, videos.  By posting things other than photos at the actual festival, it keeps the content fresh and exciting.

Lolla Social Media 3

  • Lolla, like Bonnaroo and Coachella, promotes artists featured in the lineup by sharing articles and/or videos featuring the artist.
  • The articles the music festival posts and shares do not just relate to the artist, but the entire music industry/community.  For example, Lolla posted an article about how science may have discovered why humans make music.  Personally, just by following and “liking” Lollapalooza on social media accounts, I have learned so much about music and the industry.

Cons:

  • The Lolla “voice” that I picked up on after reading through some posts was one of sass.  Because Lolla promotes it featured artists so much, it can often go through periods of not posting anything else besides that.
  • Lolla definitely needs to work on extending its brand personality.  Right now, when Lolla posts, I can’t actually attribute a personality trait to the brand.
  • More photos and video clips of actually being at the music festival — help me pretend I was there by posting about the experience of it all.Lolla Social Media 4

Lollapalooza’s social medias definitely show promising growth, but there was nothing that really *WOW’ed* me.  After reviewing 3 other music festival social media accounts, it’s easy to see now how difficult it is to differentiate a music festival from the others.  It’s amazing that Lolla posts articles not only relevant to a specific artist, but to any music-lover.  However, Lolla definitely has to work on curating more content that helps build the brand.

Overall score: 7 — Once Lolla builds its brand and social media “voice,” its score will definitely increase.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Party at the Puddle: Social Media Promo Plan

RUPA promoted events through all channels (digital, in-person, and print), but our presence is most prevalent on social media.  We drop all events first on Facebook and Twitter.  Given that social media is our primary means of promotion, I build in Party at the Puddle supporting posts in the Marketing committee’s social media content calendar for April.  Each month, I make a content calendar that dictates what type of post should be posted and when so that our social media accounts are not over saturated with event promotion.  The first few posts I assigned to Taylor, the Traditions & Community MAD, since Party at the Puddle is primarily a T&C event with a music portion.  The remaining posts I assigned to myself in order to promote each of the artists performing, much like Bonnaroo and Coachella do.

Original photo was accidentally deleted; current replacement photo taken on 5/3.

Can this technically be considered Rutgers’ mini music and arts festival? *Original photo was accidentally deleted; current replacement photo taken on 5/3.

So far, the event’s social media presence continues to grow given that over 2,000 students (almost 3,000 students) have RSVP’ed “Going” to the event.  Since the Concerts & Coffeehouses committee had extra money left over from Beats on the Banks and we are now expecting close to 3k people, we are doubling the food budget and ordering more food to accommodate the expected turnout.

This is totally going to be a mini music festival… but minus the flower crowns and floppy hats.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Party at the Puddle: Facebook Attendance

It’s only been TWO days since Party at the Puddle officially dropped on Facebook, but the event already has over one thousand people RSVP’ed as “Going”!  Of course, how reliable is a Facebook RSVP really though?  Still, it’s incredible to see the event get so much attention in a liParty at the Puddle Facebook Event Pgmited amount of time.

The impact of successful events on brand equity is exceptionally important.  In a study done by Zarantonello and Schmitt (2013), “event attendance has a positive impact on brand equity” (p. 255).  Events give attendees the chance to directly interact with and experience the brand.  Successful, meaningful events can change audiences’ perceptions of the entire brand.  Being at an event usually means “being fully immersed in a physical space that stimulates all consumers’ senses, and encourages them to be active participants and to interact with the surrounding environment” (Zarantonello & Schmitt, 2013, p. 261).  Wanting event attendees to have a complete experience, we/RUPA is strategically and creatively planning and preparing for Party at the Puddle.  We will have free food (calling all broke college students), carnival games (even a dunk tank!), arts and crafts (who wouldn’t want to do a craft involving a mason jar?), and of course- live music!

If Facebook attendance continues to grow and is any sign of how many people will actually be there, this event will really impact how attendees experience RUPA.  A major part of how we plan events is how we think the attendees will experience the event.  To us, it’s now just about the artist performing or the notable person speaking or giving a lecture, it’s about what attendees will remember and feel.  At the very first RUPA event I worked (Beats on the Banks ft. Alesso), I remember the good music and amazing production, but the memory that stands out the most to me is looking out at the crowd and feeling a sense of cohesiveness — there were over 4,000 diverse students of all different ethnicities, majors, minors, towns, etc., but here we were all dancing and enjoying the same concert.

If there is anything I hope to accomplish with Party at the Puddle, I hope to help people and friends make memories.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

RUPA Presents: Party at the Puddle

Yup, RUPA is hosting a party at Passion Puddle on Thursday, April 30th.

Similar to the Fall’s Scarlet Harvest, which includes live music, free food, arts & crafts, and other fun activities (i.e., bull riding), Party at the Puddle serves as a celebration of nice weather and the end of the semester (finally).  As part of my Capstone, I will be planning the music portion of the event.  I will also be in charge of creating a promotion plan for Party at the Puddle.  What better way to understand social media promotion (when it comes to music events) than to plan and promote one yourself?

Along with promoting the event itself, I plan to promote each of the respective local New Brunswick bands’ Facebook and Bandcamp or Spotify pages.  I will incorporate all types of marketing in my Party at the Puddle promotion plan including:

  • Digital marketing (HEAVY social media promotion)
  • Print marketing (flyers on RUPA bulletin boards)
  • In-person marketing (street teams)

At the event, I will be distributing a short anonymous survey to as many attendees as possible in order to analyze and determine what form of promotion was the most effective in attracting attendees.  Based on the answers we have heard in the past via focus groups, I predict that social media will be the main source of attendees’ knowledge of the event.

Since social media is RUPA’s strongest form of marketing, we drop all of our events via Facebook and Twitter first.  Given that Party at the Puddle just dropped today, the Facebook “Going” RSVPs and invites seem to be growing at a healthy pace if not faster than normal.  A big factor could be the name of the event.  Personally speaking, if I saw an event named “Party at the Puddle,” I would be kind of confused and prompted to click on the event page.  The event name itself is click-bait!  As a side note, it was NOT easy to name this event.  At first, I was hell-bent on naming it “New Funswick” because why not?  At the end of the day, though, I couldn’t be happier with the event name — it matches the event’s upbeat, laid-back vibe.

This is an actual photo of Passion Puddle. Desktop wallpaper worthy, am I right?!

This is an actual photo of Passion Puddle. Desktop wallpaper worthy, am I right?!

Also, the fact that RUPA is hosting an event at Passion Puddle could be enough to attract attention since no other event is held in that area.  According to Hoyle (2002), the venue or event location can “dictate not just the attendance, but the character and personality of the event as well” (p. 15).  While framing events in a certain light is also important when promoting, having quality raw materials is equally as important.  We knew that we needed to somehow incorporate “Passion Puddle” in the event title to attract attention and place emphasis on the cool, unique location.  Beautiful weather (*KNOCK ON WOOD*), live music, tasty food, fun carnival games, and friends all in such a peaceful, picturesque place makes for the best day.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Hoyle, L. H. (2002). Introduction to event marketing. In Event marketing: How to successfully promote events, festivals, conventions, and expositions (pp. 1-17). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

 

Social Media Review: Coachella

Coachella, -ella, -ella, ay, ay, ay.

rihanna-coachella

Since I will be attending Coachella Weekend 2 soon (yup, let the jealousy settle in), it’s only right to do a social media review on one of the most popular, celebrity-filled music festivals.  As expected, Coachella has a solid following on all social media accounts.  Still not as large as Ultra’s following, but I’d imagine the most star-studded following (huh-LO, let’s not forget Leo DiCaprio’s “dance moves“):

Scrolling through Coachella’s social media accounts, I see constant use of videos and photos to both hype and prepare festival attendees.  Similar to Bonnaroo, Coachella also promotes artists as relevant content comes to surface.  After analyzing two festival social medias, Coachella is the first music festival I have reviewed that uses SpoCoachella Social Media 2tify playlists frequently to promote its lineup.  When it comes to engagement on Twitter, Coachella primarily retweets artists and lacks engagement with attendees/fans.  However, one of the coolest Coachella social media features is the artist takeover on Instagram.  For example, before Weekend 1, Kaskade was given control of the Coachella Instagram feed.  Throughout the music festival, you can see Coachella through the eyes of whoever takes over the Instagram next  — pretty cool if you ask me!

Coachella Social Media

Coachella Social media 4Coachella Social Media 3

 

 

 

 

 

Pros:

  • Coachella successfully uses multi-media platforms to catch the attention of followers.  ‘Chella is the only music festival I’ve seen so far that makes use of Spotify playlists.  The music and art festival announced its “food lineup” and its art installation process via short video.  Also, Coachella can do no wrong by posting pictures of its beautiful art installations and festival layout.  Palm trees, am I right?!
  • Coachella frequently posts reminders of activities going on or security manners.
  • INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER.  Need I say more?  I still find it so cool how users are able to see Coachella through the eyes of a different person every few hours or so.
  • GREAT day of show posts constantly providing users with minute-by-minute updates and FYIs.

Coachella Social Media 5

Cons:

  • Although Coachella’s social media accounts are definitely aesthetically pleasing, the festival needs to work on its “voice.”  While reading through tweets and posts, I didn’t really pick up on a consistent message or any brand personality traits.
  • If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a huge advocate of fan engagement.  ‘Chella should start replying to followers/fans — by responding to fans, ‘Chella would be able to build its brand.  Connectivity is important for users/attendees at festivals, and socializing via Twitter is a way for attendees to feel connected and engaged by a brand (Jamison et. al., 2014, p. 4).Gigi-Hadid-Coachella-Style
  • Not only should ‘Chella reply to fans, but also retweet fans!  Who doesn’t love to see their post on a famous music festival’s social media page?
  • This one’s not really a con, but more of a suggestion.  Everybody knows that “Coachella fashion” is a thing.  Why isn’t Coachella capitalizing off of this more on its social media accounts?  A social media campaign can easily be started: #ChellaFashion.  I mean huh-LOW, GiGi Hadid and Kendall Jenner can be the first ones featured followed by lace-clad, no-bra wearing, hippie civilians.

I am so unbelievably excited to experience Coachella.  Its social media accounts seem to convey an ounce of the experience, but it definitely seems to be a “you had to be there” kind of concept.  I’ll be counting down the days until musical heaven aka Coachella.  Who knows?  Maybe by the time weekend 2 rolls around, #ChellaFashion will actually be a thing!  (You’re welcome in advance, Coachella!)

Overall score: — Coachella’s Instagram takeover is what really boosted the music festival’s overall score, but ultimately, the lack of “voice” is pretty detrimental to a brand.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

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.