Social media has created a new type of economy; one where the currency is posts and updates rather than notes and coins.
Whether it’s attending niche events, dancing at festivals, seeing something first, being somewhere extraordinary or giving to charity, it’s all tagged.
Social media statuses are used by people to showcase their life through activities and visual content is shared, consumed and interacted with on a far larger scale than text.
This is great news for Status Making Events and the Brand Activations that accompany them.
Events such as Tough Mudder, The Colour Run or the Tweed Run tap into people’s desire to test and better themselves. The popularity of these occasions is boosted by the thousands of status posts made from each event. The right activation can add value to the host event, increase the feel good factor and create extra status making opportunities.
It is hard to believe that these occasions would have the level of participation and fame they do without that crucial secondary social media reach. We believe their success is partly due to participants' desire to trade on the new Status Maker economy.
Why is it such a powerful tool for brand experience?
The event landscape is diversifying and because of this the event calendar is fuller than ever. People are spending more of their spare time doing the things they want to do; running half marathons, leopard crawling through mud, abseiling down skyscrapers, cycling London to Brighton, trying out street food, sitting in a tent listening to authors, dancing in a field with mates, etc. Consumers are eagerly gathering life experiences and increasingly enduring (and enjoying) tough deeds in the name of charity.
Because of this, brands have the opportunities to engage with large groups of like-minded consumers and genuinely add value to an experience that means a lot to them. This can be combined with the ‘Status Maker’ nature of these events to deliver a much larger conversion to secondary reach through social media than you would normally expect to see.
Some golden rules…
Partner with the right event. Each year brings a host of new niche events catering to many diverse consumer groups. Work with your agency to ensure you are partnering with the best fit for your brand and your partnership allows for free engagement with the consumer.
Create visual stand out! Give the participants plenty of diverse, branded opportunities to create interesting and arresting visuals of their experience (covered in paint, covered in mud, dressed in tweed, a stunning finish line). Plenty of User Generated Content will come from the events and clever and value adding branded facilitation can be a great addition to the experience.
Facilitate the share. Make the technology available and remove any barriers to its use. Ensure you have significant Wi-Fi strength or 4G connections and trained brand ambassadors to take those vital shots. These can be posted direct to Social Media for the consumers to tag themselves in at a later stage. This also ensures that any content appears on multiple streams.
Although posting the visuals on-line satisfies the ‘social currency’ need, we've learned that giving consumers an old fashioned print out of that image (in a branded frame) to take home, still has a high perceived value.
Who is it best for?
We think that’s the beauty of this trend. Being active on social media is no longer the domain of the 16-35yr olds. You may now have grandchildren and grandparents posting about the same family activity to their own followers on Facebook. And with the diversification of the event landscape you can find events for a wide range of consumer types and interests. From CEO’s to Baby Boomers, Beliebers to Label Hunters there are events and activations you can leverage from and create to deliver status making engagements. You just have to understand your target audience and what’s of value to them. Then give them something to talk about and remove any barriers of them doing so.
With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.