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Influences of Social Media Marketing in the Events Sector

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3355 words Published: 17th Dec 2021

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Social media marketing is a broad term, can loosely refer to social networks, mobile applications or websites. For the purposes of this essay, social media is about communication through the internet and its influence on events marketing. Grappi and Montanari, (2011) say that social media it’s one of the most important parts of human communication these days. MacKay, et al., (2017) define how it’s in social heritage to celebrate and to share these moments of joy. That’s why social media is important because people can share these moments with their friends and family but also people from all around the world who maybe don’t know but they share common hobbies. Even though social media is not only a form of communication, it’s also a marketing tool that allows companies to share information (Kruger et al., 2013). The essay will focus on social media marketing specifically in the event sector. It brings together different studies on social media and highlights the usage of these networks and the different platforms for marketing purposes.

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Social media is already an indispensable part of people’s life. It allows them the possibility to carry out daily tasks faster but also to communicate with others. This participation in social media networks creates benefits that are psychological because it makes users feel that they belong to a social group (Grappi and Montanari, 2011). Chen and Lin (2019) develop how online social groups have become more efficient. They discuss how even among group members who have never met each other, a good sense of community can take shape (Chen and Lin 2019:22). Moreover, these authors share the similarities and differences between online communities and “real-world communities” (Chen and Lin 2019: 23). Furthermore, MacKay et al., (2017) state that festivals connect people to celebrate. Thus, festivals are a collective experience, a social activity. Therefore, these authors explain that festivals and social media both have the same goal which is to create a community and that’s why many are starting to use applications to festivals goers (MacKay et al, 2017:670).

Hudson and Hudson (2013) analyse the influences on the consumer decision process on buying festivals and events tickets. In addition, Flinn and Frew (2013) claim that in the current society, consumers are looking for experiences that are built to activate emotional engagement. For event companies, social media has become a marketing tool due to they can obtain feedback and interact with consumers (MacKay et al., 2017). Moreover, it is seen that festival attendees like to share their experiences and this can influence others. Social networks are changing people’s interactions and mediate consumption experiences becoming a powerful tool to help people make decisions on the go. (Luxford and Dickinson 2015:34).

Likewise, Litvin et al., (2008) say that these potential attendees search for other’s experiences shared in social media. Consumers’ behaviours can be influenced directly by social media (Mangold and Faulds, 2009). Boyd (2015) remark how social media has matured to end up given rise to new business models. The author says that over the last decade, social media went from “being a dream of Silicon Valley technologists to a central part of contemporary digital life around the world” (Boyd, 2015:2).

Additionally, Hudson and Hudson, (2013) point out that consumers explore services during an evaluation stage, and after purchase, they often enter into a relationship with the brand sharing the experience with it using social media.

Similarly, MacKay et al, (2017) highlight that since the creation of the Web. 2.0, consumers are able to communicate directly with companies and they can participate in online discussions as well. This illustrates how the way people communicate has change over the years and how social media has become the most important utensil for that. Therefore, companies have realised that had to change the way they promote their products.

Nevertheless, in the past marketing strategies emphasized brand awareness and ultimate purchase. About this, Cho et al., (2018) explain that a few years ago, companies were able to control the content available to consumers and modify their image to align with how they wanted to be seen. Nevertheless, Harb et al., (2019) state that modern marketing companies have realised this social communication has been changed and they had to integrate social media developing as an important tool in their campaigns. Bayne (2013) argues that as traditional social marketing, communication with consumers via social media can be a promotional tool to make awareness, produce curiosity, or stimulate consumption. Vinerean (2017) says that social media has opportunities for both consumers and companies. Consumers have new ways to interact with brands, “to voice their opinions about particular brand experiences” (Vinerean, 2017:31). This author adds that, in the same way, companies instead have the chance to work in their social media presence and develop more targeted campaigns, communicate with consumers (Vinerean,  2017: 32).

In addition, Herb et al., (2019) analyse how marketing organisations announce new products or an event through social media. The author highlights how users can learn about new launches faster and how they can interact with it before the release (Herb et al., 2019:32). This is why, social media offers a new opportunity to interact with the event manager (Lee et al., 2012). Furthermore, Harb et al., (2019) examine how social media marketing is more effective than it was the traditional one.

Equally, Kirtis and Karahan (2011) observe the importance of social media marketing and whether the marketing cost in social media was less than the marketing cost in traditional media. Their research determined that social media is a successful marketing tool that facilitated to reduce marketing expenses due to “it is fast, accessible and an easy method to share information”. (Kirtis and Karahan,  2011) Indeed, Harb, et al., (2019) notice that social media is the best marketing tool available because it helps brands to connect with potential consumers by winning consumers’ trust. These authors remark that marketing is crucial “for any industry because it plays a primary role in attracting customers” (Herb et al., 2019:82) because without marketing event companies could not attract their audience. This demonstrates why social media marketing is important for event companies to promote their products and to reach a wider audience.

Hudson et al., (2015) focused their study on analysing the impact of social media interactions on brand relationship quality and brand anthropomorphism. Their study shows how social media marketing is used for brands to have strongest relationships with costumers. They call this “brand anthropomorphism” (Hudson and Hudson, 2015:213) Moreover, Lovett and Staelin (2016) argue about how important is the role of social media for reminding or informing consumers in relation to a particular brand. Lovett and Staelin (2016) also indicate that 54% of consumer’s decision processes (and eventually purchases) are affected by social media communications. Vinerean (2017) analyses the different types of communications in social media by brand consumers and how this is transformed in advertising campaigns. These marketing strategies can often be linked to discounts or other sales promotions to generate “behavioural activities that go beyond the online environment” (Vinerean, 2017:33).  This remark why marketing strategies are needed to generate more engagement between companies and consumers and gain profits.

In the case of music festivals, Hoksbergen and Insch (2016) state that festival-goers attend different music festivals each year which involve “high levels of participant socialisation” (Hoksbergen and Insch (2016:84). These authors also say that the way to learn about attendees’ expectations is through social media (Hoksbergen and Insch, 2016:85). Moreover, they explain that multi-day and multi-genre music festivals bring together different groups of people with singular motivations and event managers have to provide opportunities to allow attendees to customise their experiences (Hoksbergen and Insch, 2016:86). Furthermore, Lanier and Hampton (2008) state that the type of attendees’ participation in a festival experience changes through the cycle of the event.  MacKay et al., (2017) highlight a different use of social media platforms, content and engagement. In addition, Kruger et al., (2013) state that with the increase of social media usage, festivals have become an experience in which attendees can capture and share with others instantly using their mobile phones. Thus, it allows festivals to engage with an even larger audience and enhance sociability

 Furthermore, Kaiser et al., (2017) explain how event organizers could target their advertisement campaigns by offering specific services to the users predicted to participate in the event. In the same way, during the event, attendees can express their feelings about the event, share pictures and videos but also report issues. About targeting the audience, Cho et al., (2018) emphasize how applications use analytics which may be utilized to reveal the preferences of customers. Rothshild (2011) highlights that in the entertainment field, social media is used by event managers as a strategy, achieving higher revenues than those that do not. In their discussion, Cho et al., (2018) explain how the use of social media in the music industry has several characteristics. The most remarkable point is the communication between the artist and the fans at very low cost such as “up-to-date information” on upcoming events (Cho et al, 2018:104).

Vinerean (2017) states how necessary it’s to revise the impact of different social media platforms, for example, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn on the funds of marketing expenditure in the form of promotional activity and target the customers.  Cho et al., (2018) introduce Songkick.com; this website collects the largest information on concerts not only about events but venue details, local news media or ticket vendors. Hudson et al., (2015) identify that in general de most influential social networks are Facebook (64%), Twitter (26%) and Youtube (3%). Furthermore, Cho et al., (2018) analyse the activity of different musicians by determining the date of initiation of their Vevo channels on YouTube contrasting their Twitter and Facebook profiles. Among all the concerts held in 2011, Twitter and Facebook retransmitted more live concerts than Youtube. By doing so, Cho et al. contribute to clarify that social networks are the first channel for concert-goers to keep updated about events instead of regular multimedia sites.

Marketing companies use different applications to get this engagement. Becker et al. (2012) suggest that attendees can find information about an event on just one platform but they trend to explore and look for complementary information or different points of view. These authors, explain that Facebook es used before to an event to look for information for example, date and location of the event and after to share pictures and videos (Becker et al, 2012:203). Bayne (2013) states that event companies use Facebook pages to market their programs and offer updated information. Hoksbergen and Insch (2016) add that even though participants reported a frequent use of the Facebook page, their type of interaction with the festival’s Facebook page is mainly for searching information and checking the events their friends are attending to.

On the other hand, Twitter is used during the event to get real-time updates such as livestreams or multimedia. Similarly, Kietzmann et al, (2011) develop the idea of using social media platforms depending on the purpose of the marketing company. The platforms used “should reflex how consumers want to engage with the organisation” (Kietzmann et al. 2011:762). These authors use as an example how companies should use Twitter if their consumers prefer real-time updates (Kietzmann et al, 2011:763). In the same way, Hede and Kellett (2012) discuss that event managers apart of sharing information before and event, they should include activities to raise awareness and also to maintain loyalty.

Gymothy and Larson (2015) highlight that festival-goers participations differ temporally and different tactics are required to stimulate this engagement. This highlights the different social networks society and therefore companies use to communicate and the differences between them. It’s important for companies to understand or to know which one to one in every step of their event process.

Communication is and will remain an important factor influencing the event industry as a marketing strategy (Becker et al., 2012). As mentioned before, social networks are making communication easier and faster. This is the major change of how people communicate with each other and how event companies work to be recognised by the public (MacKay et al, 2017). Society needs to share their experiences and feel that they are in a social group (Grappi and Montanari, 2011). This is why analytics is one of the most emerging tools on the marketing strategy because it allows marketing companies to track groups and intentions (Cho et al., 2018). Moreover, there are different social media that event organisers can use to get authentic opinions of their attendees (Kaiser et al., (2017).

Festival-goers like to use them differently before, during and after the event (Kietzmann et al, 2011). Even though there is an extensive research related to social media in general, there has not been a study covering social media smartphone applications which could be one of the topics for future research. Considerably more work will need to be done because there is an increase in festival and concert mobile applications such as Bandsintown which are important to promote events and get feedback. Event companies are using this kind of applications as well as social media to give information on events but also to create a different event experience (Kruger et al., (2013). Academia should be more aware of this to help engineers and event companies to create new gadget applications in the future not only for proving information but to change the attendees experience during the event.

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