It’s that time of year again. The festival season is almost upon us and preparations for the big day(s) is in full swing. Your email strategy is off the ground, your online and radio ads are performing well, and you’ve planned a killer PR campaign. With your marketing budget stretched thin, it’s time to start generating hype for free.
A social amplification strategy can help your festival build awareness before, during, and after the event. “Social amplification” is the technical term for when social media users engage with and share a brand’s content through Facebook shares, Twitter retweets, Instagram regrams and more.
And festivalgoers are ready to talk about your event. According to a Nielsen study, music festival fans are more likely to use social media three or more times a day, and they’re especially active across social networks while attending live events.
To help you take advantage of your social audience, we’ve put together a list of the best social amplification strategies that are (mostly) free!
Create Your Own Hashtag
Music festival fans use social media more than the average American. To capitalize on their activity, your festival hashtag should be present from the first event announcement to the final performer. Here’s an example from this year’s Country Fest:
Festival advocates and attendees will create conversation and build community around the hashtag – and ultimately your event. Make sure your sponsors, supporters, local organizations, and partners are using the hashtag, too. This will increase organic interactions and help you track the conversation around your event everywhere on social media.
Hit ‘Em with That Free Stuff
There’s no denying it: people love free stuff. According to a study by Iconosquare, 41% of Instagrammers follow or would follow a brand to benefit from special offers.
— Bonnaroo (@Bonnaroo) January 20, 2016
Hosting a giveaway that requires users to regram or retweet your content for a chance to win will give your brand serious amplification. Just make sure you follow each platform’s rules. For example, Facebook’s guidelines state that “Share on Your Timeline” contests are not allowed and a violation can get your page shut down.
Take Advantage of Facebook Live
On average, people are watching Facebook Live video’s three times more compared to other video content. That could be because Facebook’s algorithm is preferential to Facebook Live videos or because users are notified when the page is livestreaming (as long as they follow the page). Regardless the reason, broadcasting in real time with Facebook Live can help you spread the word about what’s happening before and during your event.
News releases, event announcements, and contests are perfect topics for pre-event videos while livestreams of behind-the-scenes features and performer interview will put all eyes on your during the event. You can also repurpose this content for other social channels once after the livestream has ended. You’ll get a lot of mileage out of this amplification strategy.
To increase viewers, make sure you let people know when you’ll be going live and ask viewers to tag their friends in the video or share it on their page.
Add Some Mystery to Your Marketing
A little suspense can go a long way. Releasing clues about the festival and lineup will have your fans begging for more. Festivalgoers build hype around what they *think* they’ll see and start envisioning their experience months in advance.
Just make sure your deliver! If fans are disappointed by the big reveal, they’ll make sure you know – and all their social followers – know about it.
Standout on Snapchat
Music festival fans are 67% more likely to use social media channels like Snapchat compared with the general U.S. population. You can bet that many of your music festival fans will be documenting their entire experience on this social platform. To make the most of their activity, set up a geofilter to allow for easy, organic promotion of your festival.
Geofilters are visual overlays that communicate where and when of a user when they took that video or picture. As users share their story, their social media followers will be exposed to your brand.
Geofilters are easy to set up: design your overlay, pick a time and area where you’d like the filter to be available, and submit it for review. There is a minimal cost associated with this amplification strategy as Snapchat charges $5 per 20,000 square feet.
Put the Audience in the Spotlight
Give your audience their 15 minutes of fame by setting up opportunities for them to take center stage at the festival. One way to do this is by adding a live tweet boards in hot spots like bars, stages, or camping areas. This will encourage people to use your festival hashtag in hopes of seeing themselves on the big screen. You can further encourage attendees to share their experiences on social media by creating uniquely staged photo opportunities.
— Ali (@6ALI6SIN6) February 3, 2017
If your event is RFID-enabled, consider adding photo booths on site. After festivalgoers take a selfie, it will be automatically posted to their social media accounts with a custom frame.
Piggyback on #HashtagHolidays
There are plenty of opportunities to keep fans engaged throughout the year. Just as you used your own hashtag to build brand awareness, you can also use trending hashtags to give your content more visibility.
— Coachella (@coachella) February 2, 2017
From #AwkwardMomentsDay to #NationalBeerDay, there’s always a reason to talk about your festival on social media. Find a way to make hashtags like#TBT or #MondayMotivation relevant to your event and watch your shares soar!