Can you remember the days when you had to wait in line for hours to get tickets and see your favorite artists perform? Afterwards, you could tell your friends all about what happened face-to-face. Posting about your experiences on social media was impossible back then. Luckily, this has changed and many brands take advantage of this. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an 8-day annual music festival in the dessert of California dating back to 1999. It’s a great example of how social media can be used for promoting a festival and creating buzz around a brand or event on a global level.

Coachella has become more than just a music festival. Thanks to their extraordinary marketing strategy, Coachella’s marketing team managed to create a new sub-culture with matching lifestyle. Coachella is one of the most well mentioned events on social media ever. People from all over the world have heard about the festival through social media, bloggers and influencers. Our Toronto based digital marketing agency will provide you with insight on how Coachella’s team managed to create a sub-culture with the right marketing strategy:

1) Be there or be square

Make sure you are discoverable on places where your target audience is. Coachella understands this concept like no other and has a huge presence on numerous platforms such as:
• Social media: Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Snapchat – Tumblr – YouTube
• Website
• Blogs & media
• Influencer platforms
• Sponsors’ platforms

With over 80.000 music fans visiting the festival each day it is important to provide a platform where everyone can share their experiences within the community in order to create buzz around the event. Coachella uses its own brand related hashtags such as #coachella, #coachellalive and #nochella to monitor and drive engagement among visitors and those who couldn’t visit the Festival. Coachella also cross promotes their channels, which drives an enormous amount of traffic to each of their platforms.

2) Create a year-round timeline

One month after the festival, Coachella releases information about the next version to tease their targeted audience. Potential headliners are shared on social media to create a buzz around the festival year-round.

(Source:www.themagency.com.au)

3) Create engaging content

Coachella shares content on a variety of topics, not just music or artists. They talk about fashion, food and art which appeals to a wide variety of (potential) followers. The content is engaging and makes those who couldn’t attend the festival long to go there someday (#FoMo #FearOfMissingOut).

4) Share pictures that capture the atmosphere

More than ever, our society craves visual content. Sharing visuals with a consistent theme is crucial if you are trying to establish a brand image. That is one of the many reasons why Instagram is such a successful platform these days. Coachella manages to create hype around the festival by sharing appealing visual content on their social media channels, especially Instagram. Their pictures are engaging and enable everyone to capture the vibe on the festival terrain, even if it is through the screen of a smart phone. They are perfectly able to capture the beautiful moments of the festival, awakening an enormous emotional response.

5) Use live-streaming and videos

What better way to capture the overall atmosphere of the festival than sharing (live) videos? Thanks to YouTube and even Snapchat, Coachella manages to engage with music fans from all over the world. It makes us all wish we were there together with our favorite artists.

Fun facts about last year’s edition:
• The total social reach of those posting at the festival was over 239 million.
• The performer most mentioned was @gunsnroses.
• The most popular brand on social media was Heineken, based on top sponsor mentions.

Even though Coachella is still a music festival in essence, it has become a culture on its own where topics such as fashion have become overwhelming. Coachella even partnered up with H&M to create an entire clothing line with the hashtag #HMLoveCoachella. Both ‘brands’ have used multiple influencers to promote the collection.

Here is an important tip to keep in mind when creating your content strategy for an event:
• 80% of social content shared at events gets lost due to missing hashtags, social handles or keywords.

In other words, Coachella has managed to use social media in a brilliant way; it has become a ‘lifestyle’ on its own.

iRISEmedia.com is a Toronto based social marketing agency, specializing in online reputation management and social media management. Our team helps clients monitor and improve their online reputation and branding.