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Case Study McMaster University – Social Media Research & Techniques CCE Completed Date August 7 2012 Project Contributors Raul Mandras Dawn Cavasin Brent Posthuma Laura Dunkley Instructor Jared Lenover


Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Contents Contents.............................................................................................................................2 Project Overview............................................................................................................3 Background & Summary................................................................................................3 Business Goal ...............................................................................................................4 Communication Objective..............................................................................................4 Evaluation Strategy / Technique.....................................................................................4 S.W.O.T..........................................................................................................................6 Tactical Overview...........................................................................................................8 Strategy..........................................................................................................................8 Tactic .............................................................................................................................9 Campaign: “Sound of Music Festival Memories” Video Contest................................9 Risks & Assumptions....................................................................................................10 Resources & Budget....................................................................................................10 Conclusion & Recommendations.................................................................................11 Reference Materials.....................................................................................................12 Disclosure.....................................................................................................................12 Appendix A...................................................................................................................13 Sample YouTube Video submission for the contest.................................................13 Appendix B...................................................................................................................14 Contest Prize: A one-of-a-kind autographed Sound of Music Festival souvenir......14

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Project Overview The following social media case study is a group assignment for the course: Social Media Research and Techniques at McMaster University. Subject: Burlington Sound of Music Festival 2013– Social Media Project Project Contributors: Brent Posthuma, Raul Mandras, Dawn Marie Cavasin and Laura Dunkley Project completed Date: August 7 2012

Background & Summary Going strong for over 33 years, the Burlington Sound of Music festival is an annual free music festival held every Father’s Day weekend in June. It takes place around the waterfront and downtown Burlington featuring with over 90 musical artists entertaining the crowd across 10 stages. Every year the event draws over 200,000 visitors to the city, providing substantial financial assistance to the local businesses, promotion for the city of Burlington and donations that support local charities. In 2012 the Burlington Sound of Music Festival made the list of the top 100 Festivals in Ontario for a 12th consecutive year. This festival is known as being a great family event with something for everyone. The festival not only provides a diverse offering of both local and international musicians but also features local artists, culinary experiences, a midway, shopping, and all the benefits already within Spencer Smith Park. In February of 1997 the festival officially became a not for profit organization called ‘Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival Inc.’ and powered the volunteer efforts provided by over 700 volunteers, 100 of which provide their services year round on their board and committees. The festival also operates year-round promoting and improving access to the arts to children ages 4 - 12 through the ‘Taking it to the Streets’ free music education program. This document provides a detailed social media strategy for the Festival. A Power Point presentation is also available (on this blog) which offers a high level overview of this document.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Business Goal A 10% increase in donations by June 30, 2013 that will go toward supporting the ‘Taking it to the Streets’ music education program for children ages 4 – 12 (Burlington, Ontario).

Communication Objective The Marketing/Communication team at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival (BSOMF) will support the business goal by increasing the social media efforts surrounding the festival. A social media campaign will be initiated and promoted across current social networks: then cross-promoted across various digital and traditional BSOMF advertising. This campaign will run from April 2013 to June 2013 (Father’s Day weekend event). The objectives of this campaign will be to: ●

Increase awareness of the festival on social media platforms by 10%.

Increase participation and sharing across social media networks by 10%

To create value-add and positive exposure for our sponsors by offering a campaign that they will want to support with their donations.

The Key Objective To provide a value added, cross-promotion strategy that will increase corporate sponsorship from one of our key sponsors by 10%.

Evaluation Strategy / Technique The key objective of this campaign will be measured by the projected increase in donations that can be directly related to the campaign. Supporting objectives will be measured by hard and soft metrics showing an increase in engagement by the audience by participation in the campaign, increase traffic to the social media sites where the campaign will be promoted, and sentiment around this campaign. The benchmark used will be from Media results from the previous year [Ref 1], and the beginning numbers will be taken at the start of the campaign. Feedback from our sponsors, as well as reviews by local media and industry influencers will be measured towards the success of this campaign - sentiment to be measured (negative, neutral, positive). Website traffic insights to be analyzed to see how many visited our donation page from our social sites. This information will be used in upcoming strategy planning.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF Volunteers will acquire these metrics from the free analytic services offered by the social media platforms and other free tools (i.e. Hootesuite, Jugnoo (currently free in beta format), Google Analytics, etc). Additional value will be that this is an increase in digital assets that can be used in the future. Research Sites to be used & their key metrics to measure a. You Tube - uploads, LIKES, shares b. Facebook - LIKES, Shares, comments, sentiment c. Twitter - Followers, Shares, Favorites, Lists, comments, sentiment d. Website - click-thrus to website from social sites. 2013 Road Map Details - Planning & Evaluation

March

April

May

June

July

Research - Metrics to Benchmark (last year, and to date) Pre - Planning (sales & marketing) Research - Current Social Media Metrics Launch Campaign Evaluation - Milestone (half-way) Manage Campaign (Monitor) BSOMF - Event Evaluation - Post Campaign Metrics

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

S.W.O.T. Strengths The Burlington Sound of Music Festival been going strong for 33 years and has been highly regarded as a ‘world-class’ event. With over 90 musical acts, the festival boasts musical diversity through Jazz, Rock, Folk, Pop, Blues, Latin, Big Band, Celtic, Country and children’s entertainment - there really is something for everyone! It is supported by the city of Burlington and run by over 700 dedicated volunteers, with over 100 who work year-round to ensure the free four-day event runs smoothly. Some of the proceeds from the event support the ‘Taking it to the Streets’ children’s musical program for children ages 4 - 12. The festival has been voted one of the top 100 music festivals in Ontario the twelfth year in a row and has won multiple awards for its environmental initiatives such as: The Recycling Council of Ontario (2010) for waste minimization and the best ‘Greening’ of a Festival (2010) by Festival and Events Ontario. It also engages in environmental initiatives through its ‘simply green’ program that includes water refill stations, shuttle service, compost recycling, and a bike corral. Local residents agree that the Burlington Sound of Music Festival provides a ‘positive impression of the region’. With over 200,000 attendees each year visiting from Southern Ontario, the United States and beyond this festival drives regional tourism and estimates an economic impact at over $4 million dollars. Weaknesses It appears that the festival has an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality as they have been doing the event the same every year. Being operated by non-paid volunteers, there is a lack of marketing and social media expertise to promote the event details, performers and sponsors. Their sponsors are limited, again could be due to the lack of fundraising and sales expertise as the event continues to solely be run by volunteers. Opportunities The event can expand on its partnerships with corporate sponsors to increase awareness, attendees, and revenue. Additional opportunities include enhancing festival experience between people, attendees, programs, sponsors, and local vendors by engaging in social media efforts.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Threats As with all outdoor events inclement weather can deter people from attending. The economic climate is also something to consider, although the event is free the economy may have a negative impact on local vendors and performers. Having a well-run event induces success, however as indicated, the entire event is operated by volunteers, therefore planning and event management failures may be more likely to occur. Technical difficulties including power failure, lack of internet connection, AV failure, software issues, etc. can impair the event, leaving a less-than positive experience for attendees and performers alike. The event boasts many national and international performers which draw attendees, however if performers who previously accepted an invitation to play default on their commitment, it can deter the volume of attendees. Ensuring that performers and sponsors are locked down in a timely manner is critical for the event to be promoted effectively and balance spending with revenue. If performers, sponsors, volunteers, cannot provide the influence, finances, and/or resources the festival could fail. Although the Burlington Sound of Music Festival has strategically chosen the best possible dates to host the event, Father’s Day weekend might deter some from attending. Other regional events and music-related festivals are also on that weekend (i.e. Barrie Jazz and Blues Festivalfree, Beamsville Strawberry Festival, Blue Mountain BBQ Championship, London Fringe Festival, Waterloo Uptown Country Festival, etc.). Finally, risk, health and safety, crowding and security measures are a vital aspect of any event if any of these elements are not met, the event may become hazardous (i.e. mob mentality, crime, fighting, violence, etc.).

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Tactical Overview Key Objective: To increase funding from one key corporate sponsor by 10% by providing added value marketing techniques and utilizing social media. Additional marketing objectives for the organization/event as stated in the media kit include: ●

Improve the community by creating a signature event that draws tourists, has significant economic impact and remains a summer highlight for locals

Improve access to the arts for children through our “Taking it to the Streets” free music education program

Increase our marketing reach through a consistent and coordinated marketing campaign that reaches 5,000,000 + combining traditional and new media concentrated in Southern Ontario and Buffalo, NY

Tap into the spirit of a dedicated, results oriented volunteer group and recognize the need for people of all ages to connect to their community in a fun and engaging way

The goal of our social media efforts is a 360 marketing approach that will work from the ground up. It will start by expanding the foundation of our social media base, maintain and expand our audience, and provide numerous ways engage our target market. These efforts will result in our end goal of increasing the amount of funding provided by our generous sponsors. One of the advantages of the additional funding could be used to obtain larger acts which would result in larger audiences resulting in more money spent within the park, throughout the city, and ultimately more donations. The influx of donations would be beneficial to the charitable efforts affiliated with the festival, the ‘Taking It To The Streets’ music festival, and assist with future marketing ventures to keep the promotional efforts functioning throughout the year.

Strategy In order to obtain additional sponsorship funding we need to provide an added value to entice our potential corporate donors. Some donors may have community driven reasons for their contributions, but the value for the corporate donors would depend on the marketing reach, especially towards their target market. 8|Page


Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF The first step is to expand the base of followers/likes/etc. across all forms of our social media efforts. The groundwork is already established; the Twitter account and Facebook page have remained active and recently a new YouTube video of the 2012’s festival had been uploaded. We would implement numerous efforts such as contests, polls, and the urging of shared content (i.e. re-tweets, video shares, etc.). Not only do we need to appeal to the existing visitors, but we need to provide incentives to spread the word and expand our base prior to the New Year and beyond our initial base prior to the event, we will also be focused on expanding our followership throughout the event. By laying our social media campaign plans to corporate donors we will be able to offer and provide a value-added cross promotion strategy across all of our social media efforts. By utilizing Twitter we could reference company’s names in our tweets, promote their booths, interact with their twitter accounts, retweet related posts, and share photos utilizing product placement. The stages are named after the largest sponsors, so Tweets such as “Stop by the Tim Horton’s stage and check out @mattgood, #BSOMF” is an easy way to interact with users. To expand our reach throughout the event we would provide visitors the opportunity to participate in various contests, polls, photo contests, and to vote on one of our Burlington Sound of Music Festival “Memories” strategy that utilizes YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tactic Campaign: “Sound of Music Festival Memories” Video Contest Launched two months in advance of the event, our “Sound of Music Festival Memories” promotion would allow past visitors to share their favorite memory of the festival and would be the key focus of our social media campaign. The promotion would be ideal for an organization such as Tim Horton’s who use both emotion and community within their existing marketing promotions. Videos would be uploaded to YouTube then shared on the main website as well as across all forms of our social media campaign (Ref: sample YouTube submission Video [Appendix A]). Votes could be registered through YouTube re-tweets, Facebook likes or shares, and YouTube views. The final “Top 5” videos would be shown throughout the event between acts driving event guests to go to our social media platforms to vote. (eg. #BSOMF #Vid1) The contest would begin at the annual event kickoff in the spring where the headlining artists are announced. To entice people to participate we would be offering a one-of-a-kind autographed Sound of Music Festival souvenir [Appendix B]. We would utilize each form of social media to continually promote the contest and drive our followership to our YouTube channel and urge them to participate/share.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF People submitting videos, to get our promotional assistance and fully enter the contest and proceed to the voting stages would have to also upload their videos to our servers and agree to a terms of use agreement. Once on our system a small skin overlay could be applied so the company/brand logo would appear on the bottom corner. The ‘videos’ page within our site, the Facebook page, and the twitter page background would also contain the branding. Videos viewed on the website would also periodically play a brief 5-10 second advertisements prior to viewing the submitted videos. The branding would also be visible on the autographed poster, the prize of the contest and mentioned throughout the festival when promoting the “Memories” contest.

Risks & Assumptions Assumptions: • Level of technical understanding by participants (i.e. to be able to upload a video to You Tube, etc) • 2012 Media Kit statistics are accurate (i.e. demographics, use of social media, etc) • Participants will agree to the Terms of Agreement • Bands will volunteer their time to sign the posters • There will be capable volunteers to support this campaign (i.e. tech savvy, time, etc) • Participants will have access to the internet to upload videos Risks: • Technical support challenges (i.e. server problems storing the submissions) • Technical failure - Items under our control (TV’s fail, software issues, etc.) • Power failure during the event • Lack of internet signal for guests during the event • Bad weather would reduce numbers of guests

Resources & Budget The internal costs of the integration of the enhanced social media campaign would be quite minimal as a large portion of the event is volunteer driven. Print materials would already be budgeted for and we would only have to insert brand imagery. The main expense would be the web programming efforts to incorporate the videos from the "Memories" campaign onto our network/system. The sorting and management would require a fair amount of time as well and once on our system and the proper release forms returned there would be some editing work required (potentially by a 3rd party) to incorporate brand imagery skins over the submitted videos as well as insertion of the brief commercial inclusions.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF The following is the projected budget for the “Memories” campaign: the “Sound of Music Festival Memories” Video Contest

Conclusion & Recommendations Inserting a short survey into Facebook or Twitter can assist in understanding how the attendees felt about the festival. By taking the data, benchmarks, trends, and analysis meaningful conclusions can be made and allow the continuance of improving the festival on an ongoing basis. With the tactics aligning the overall goal, the festival will surely bring in additional funds to the ‘Taking it to the Streets’ children’s music program. Respective of the music program, it would be recommended to have the children performing in future festivals to heighten the program’s awareness in the hopes of increasing additional donations.

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Reference Materials 1. Burlington Sound of Music Festival: http: //www.soundofmusic.ca/general/BSOMF_E_Press_Kit.pdf 2. Fun Ontario: http://www.funontario.com/newsletter/2012/06/cool-events-thisfathers-day-weekend/

Disclosure The information in this document (and all related documents) is based on public information found online (references available at the end of this document) and from personal experiences by one of the authors. Business goals and other assumptions were made up based on a possible scenario to support this class project and in no way reflect the views or actual business plans of the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, their volunteers or anyone else related to the Festival (including their sponsors).

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Appendix A

Sample YouTube Video submission for the contest

YouTube Link: http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/4r0z3rYyugI

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

Appendix B

Contest Prize: A one-of-a-kind autographed Sound of Music Festival souvenir

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Burlington Sound of Music Festival – Social Media Project #BSOMF

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Burlington Sound of Music - Social Media Project  

The following social media case study is a group assignment for the course: Social Media Research and Techniques at McMaster University. Ob...

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