Over the past decade, “Social Media” has become a term that the majority of the world uses in their daily vocabulary as it is arguably the most enjoyable and convenient form of media, connecting billions of people globally. Social Media allows users to create and build relationships with ever-changing digital platforms and is proven to be the fastest most effective vehicle for driving information around the world. Due to the power of its speed and strength, Social Media is undoubtedly vital to our experiential marketing industry and in more ways than one has solidified its place in every current activation, event or campaign.
Experiential Spin On Social
While Social Media continues to innovate and reinvent its platforms, there are multiple, top-tier companies to note; however, only a handful have come in to play with the mass consumer markets from an experiential activation standpoint.
The first and arguably most obvious Social Media platform is Facebook. Facebook allows users to post content in real time while interacting live with comments from followers around the world. The main game changer that Facebook has recently implemented and promoted is Facebook Live. A perfect tool for any live event or activation as users are able to use their account and capture live video footage and essentially report live from the activation space whilst connecting with live follower comments and questions. As Facebook continues to reinvent and conquer the Social Media industry with its inventive tools for all users, there are a couple other key players in the game that continue to make an impact in our experiential marketing world.
Which Is Best?
Although Instagram is mentioned second here, it ties, if not surpasses Facebook in the most widely used to advertise a brand’s message. Instagram is a platform created to share photos and videos (and now a story feed) with short messaging and most importantly drives the hashtag connection. As users post content to their profile, they have the option to not only tag their location but also add hashtags to their content which are then used in the keyword or key message searches with users around the world. For instance, our Tito’s On Tour Custom Airstream garnered a variety of hashtags as we traveled the country as users posted photos and videos from their experience using: #titosontour, #lovetitos, #titosvodka, #titoshandmadevodka, etc. As other fans posted their content to Instagram, they were able to follow the digital hashtag of their choice and follow the tour in markets across the country.
The hashtag implementation has become the driving force behind the majority of brand campaigns as it allows a brand message to spread throughout the world, by fans and social media users for free. There is an industry that has popped up from the social media impact for brands which revolves around social media influencers, who are highly followed people on social media that are now paid to post on behalf of brands. These influencers are used to spread a brand message to a targeted audience in a more cost-effective and quick method which we will develop in a follow-up blog.
In addition to Facebook and Instagram, there are several platforms in the runner-up category in which their effectiveness depend on a brand’s activation, live event or their social media presence. Twitter is our first runner-up as it is less used by the general market but still carries strength and power in brand messaging through live interaction and hashtags. Snapchat is another worthy runner-up as it allows brands to post the short photo or video clips to their profile to give small glimpses to followers as to what is happening at an activation and also provides custom creative brand overlays for users posting their content in a specific radius of an event. And last but certainly not least is Periscope, our current favorite new(ish) platform that, like Facebook Live, allows followers to view live footage from an event or activation.
There is no doubt that all of the above-mentioned Social Media platforms have and will continue to create an impact in the experiential marketing space as each connects a brand with their fans on a wider and more rapid scale. While each platform offers its own unique experience for users, the common thread with Social Media is that a single message can be spread to all ends of the globe by a simple piece of uploaded content – thus the conclusion of how and why Social Media is especially impacting the experiential marketing industry.