Two years ago last month, the world’s biggest influencer-fueled festival-that-never-was set to take place. Earlier this year, there were two separate documentaries covering the festival, that entertained culture while leading many marketers to ask, “What went wrong?”
When it comes to 2017’s Fyre Festival, there are so many answers to this question. There’s been multiple pieces published about what marketers can learn from this so-called disaster. Some of the biggest learnings apply to ensuring transparency and honesty between sellers and buyers. While the Fyre Festival sold tickets and experiences it inevitably was not able to fulfill, there are many lessons that can actually do the opposite: get consumers closer to the point of purchase.
Many of these lessons come in the form of social media and how to—or how not to—approach the medium in order to convert your consumers into shoppers. Thanks to the co-founder of the Fyre Festival, we can call those lessons the “JaRules of Social.”
JaRule 1: Walk the Talk
When used well, social can build trust and allow brands to show consumers new sides of their business and get them closer to actually buying a product.
“Authentic” and “transparent” have become such large buzzwords in this space that they’ve essentially lost their meaning. It’s more powerful to actually show audiences their authenticity and transparency instead of just saying they’re a part of a brand’s presence on social.
Instead of glossing over product details, brands need to give audiences behind-the-scenes, consumer-driven content or insider access to resources. In addition to pushing “buy now” or “shop now” language at the end of every post, share a personality.
Being authentic or transparent can mean connecting with consumers on more than just price points – which can also help a brand sell more products (in fact, 22% of internet users are motivated to buy based on social engagement). A recent article from The Atlantic overviewed the movement from filtered, perfected Instagram shots to radically unedited images and captions. Consumers are craving reality and the brands that deliver this will see success.
JaRule 2: Set Realistic Measures of Success
One of the most important keys to success in any venture is setting expectations and measuring what matters against those expectations. The Fyre Festival did not set realistic expectations nor did they work toward them. In social, this is a must.
There are dozens of options to consider when deciding what to measure. For some brands, the biggest measure of success is driving commerce. This can be in the form of online orders, in-store sales, etc. If that’s the goal, what are the appropriate metrics for measurement?
- Reach: Unlike growing follower count or engagements, the best way to increase the likelihood of conversions from social is through increased reach/impressions. In a study by Facebook, campaigns in the top quartile for reach led to 139% higher incremental sales.
- Frequency: With reach defined as the number of unique people who see content from any given brand, it’s also important to set frequency—or impression-based—KPIs. A brand is more likely to actually get a shopper closer to purchase if they’re served content 1.5x a week during a campaign.
- Conversions: Many social platforms now allow users to track conversions—even Twitter. With the proper pixeling in place, it’s incredibly easy to actually track how many website-based conversions are coming from social content.
JaRule 3: Create a Foundational Strategy
The most fundamental issue the Fyre Festival faced was not having a plan (of any kind, really). There was no clear direction and therefore no one knew what needed to be done before it was too late. In social, the number one way to create a clear path forward is through a sound social strategy. There are 5 key elements to consider when developing a social strategy:
- Objective: What do you want to accomplish? As discussed above, establishing one key objective to define success is an essential element of any social strategy. Keeping the objective in mind helps to create context for every other element of the strategy.
- Audience: Who is your target? Thinking through how your social audience may differ from your larger target audiences is instrumental to your brand’s success on social. Understanding what drives your audience, what social platforms they use and how they approach social media in general (with trust, enthusiasm, skepticism, etc.) informs how you need to come to life. This might include conducting some social listening to understand their passions as well as how they discuss your brand on social media.
- Platform: Where will you come to life? Single-channel or multi-channel approaches require very different resources, content types, community management efforts, paid media strategies and more. Use elements 1 and 2 to determine the proper platforms where you can come to life.
- Content: How will you show up? From visual tone to content cadence, it’s important to determine how—and how often—you want your audience to see you. It’s imperative to establish a visual guide, content buckets to bring that guide to life and a cadence for how often you’ll publish.
- Community Management: When will you engage? By definition, engagement is the action of creating a direct connection between two people. Putting this into practice on social means establishing rules around when/how to answer questions, create conversation and build trust with an audience.
JaRule 4: Use Influencer Relationships Correctly
Leveraging influencer relationships the wrong way can lead to legal action (ahem, Fyre Festival). On the other hand, influencers can be a powerful tool for any social arsenal. Used correctly, influencer marketing can help brands earn 11x higher ROI than traditional advertising mediums.
The most important thing to remember when activating an influencer partnership is to follow FTC guidelines—disclose, disclose, disclose. The good news is that consumers want honest and transparent advertising, so ensuring influencers disclose their relationship with a brand not only keeps things legal but also appeases potential shoppers.
Influencer strategies can also leverage unique objectives. While celebrities and public figures with massive followings are the go-tos for awareness campaigns, influencers can also be used for engagement or trial. For the past couple of years, micro-influencers (less than 200K followers) have been all the rage. There’s now even such a thing as the ‘nano-influencer’. This is because micro (or nano) influencers bring a stronger sense of trust, engagement and community. These influencers usually have highly tuned-in audiences with higher levels of trust.
(Ja) Rule 5: *Actually* Be Solutions-Oriented.
If you’ve seen the Fyre Festival documentaries, you know that Billy McFarland wanted a “solutions-oriented” team. In social, solutions-oriented doesn’t mean delusional—it means proactively solving consumers’ needs and being there for them when they have complaints, questions and concerns that need addressing. This means strong community management and customer service. This includes:
- Follow an 80/20 rule for community management: react 80% of the time and be proactive 20% of the time.
- Don’t engage the haters (you’ll never be able to satisfy a troll).
- Be dynamic but consistent. Adapt your brand voice to be conversational for social.
- Reinforce your happy customers (it can be a great way to collect user-generated content).
- Pay attention to people who are talking about you behind your back (aka who are mentioning your brand but aren’t coming directly to your channels).
While these five JaRules will help set you on the proper path for social media, the most important thing to remember is in social, there’s always new news, new functions and new trends. The best (and worst) part about social is that things can change in a heartbeat. At the end of the day, all you can do is set your eyes on the right kind of fire—the fire emoji ??.
Contributed By: Susan Parsons, Senior Social Media Strategist, Integer Denver
Image Source: Unsplash