Archive | October, 2012

Entertainment Case Study: FreeFest (Part II)

7 Oct

Virgin Mobile also used social media to enhance FreeFest during the event and after the event effectively. They used Freefest to gain more followers and get people interested/talking about the event.

Virgin utilized Instagram, FourSquare and event create and app for the FreeFest. Concert attendees could get pictures of themselves on the jumbo-tron at Merriweather by posting photos of themselves and their friends at FreeFest and using #FreeFest. Virgin’s implementation of FourSquare was much more impressive. For every check-in a Merriweather, Virgin Mobile donated 5 dollars to charity and once they reached 1,000 check-ins, Virgin Records billionaire CEO, Richard Branson made a surprise appearance and showered the crowd with champagne (not sure if this was a positive, but the crowd seemed to like it). In addition, Virgin designated “secret” check-ins around the concert grounds. If someone found one of these check-ins, they could win a free t-shirt or food.

Finally, Virgin created a app for smart phones to implement all aspects of new media. The app gave users the basics of the concerts such as a map of the concert grounds and the schedule released before the concert and any line-up changes and updates. However, the app also streams music from the artists featured at the concert and serves as a pop-culture blog. Creating this app allowed Virgin Mobile to give concert goers up to the minute updates about their concerts and favorite artists.

CSPAC could use some of these new media concepts in their day to day operations. For example, CSPAC could use “secret” (or perhaps not-so-secret) check-ins for discounts on concessions or ticket admissions. For example, if someone checks in at a play CSPAC hosts or becomes the mayor of CSPAC, they could receive a discount on tickets to the next show they attend. Alternatively, they could give discounts on concessions if someone checks-in at one of CSPAC’s concession stand. The main takeaway CSPAC could use from FreeFest is the creation of an app. I think CSPAC could create an app to better connect with their students and those interested attending shows. A CSPAC app could feature a schedule of events, video clips of performances and news about CSPAC’s students, teachers and performers. I think this hypothetical app could increase event attendance because those interested in seeing shows at CSPAC have a schedule readily available to them and they can learn more about the performances to further build interest.

After the FreeFest, Virgin Mobile asked what people were doing after the event via Twitter and Facebook, and posted photos of the event for concert goers to see. Asking what people were doing after the concert was another effective way of generating conversation over social media. However, posting photos of the event was a good way for those who attended the event to relive their favorite parts or allow those who could not make it to FreeFest to experience some of it.

A photo Virgin Mobile posted of Skrillex after the concert.

The posting of event content is the main take-away for CSPAC from how Virgin handled post-FreeFest. As I mentioned in a previous post, posting videos and photos of an event can generate conversation and followers. As noted before, if content from an event is posted, it allows people to relive an event or experience the event for the first time.

Entertainment Case Study: FreeFest

7 Oct

FreeFest logo and information

Yesterday, on October 24th, 2012, Virgin Mobile hosted the 4th annual FreeFest, at Merriweather Post Pavilion, located in Columbia, MD. FreeFest is a free concert for the general public. However, once the free tickets are sold out, the public can purchase a ticket for a donation to or volunteering for at-risk youth. Jack White and Skrillex headlined this year’s festival, with appearances by Nas, ZZ Top and 16 other artists. This is another example of how an organization in the entertainment industry can use a major event to build a social media presence and enhance an event.

Virgin Mobile effectively used social media before, during and after the event. I think CSPAC can implement some of these tactics, albeit on a smaller level. To begin, The only way to get a free ticket to FreeFest is to get a code that Virgin Mobile posted  on their Facebook and Twitter. After all the free tickets were given away, Virgin Records also gave the public a chance to win tickets through a  Instagram contest, where people posted pictures of what “free” meant to them and tagging Virgin Mobile in the picture. This is a great way of acquiring new followers/likes. Virgin Mobile forces the public to interact with them over social media in order to get tickets to their concert. To further build hype about the event, as the event drew closer, Virgin Mobile constantly updated their cover photo for a countdown to the event. Virgin Mobile did an excellent job using an event to expand their social media following and building excitement for FreeFest.

While, CSPAC does not have the same appeal that Skrillex and Jack White have, they could still use some of these principles to bolster their social media following. For example, before a play or any other event CSPAC host that charges guests for tickets, they could have contests for sharing or retweeting a post about the event and the winner could receive a free ticket. Additionally, CSPAC could incentivize liking or following them on social media. CSPAC could post promotions or coupons for a dollar of admission prices on their Facebook and Twitter. The only way the public could be informed of these discounts is to follow, like or interact with CSPAC over social media.

I will split this case study into two parts, with the next part detailing how Virgin Mobile used new and social media to improve the FreeFest experience and to followed up the event.