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.

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