One of the benefits of social media and social networks, is that they provide us with an arena in which we can witness real time ‘word of mouth’ and ‘sentiment’ about surrounding events. On a meaningful level that could mean events as they unfold in an emerging revolution or struggle for democracy as we have witnessed recently in North Africa where networks are a direct way of spreading unfiltered messages to others in the midst of things and the outside world.
Personally I have an issue with overstating the role of social media in recent events such as the Libyan protests, as the media seem intent on purveying social networks as the spark to revolution, where I believe they simply facilitate a free-er and speedier transferrance (sic.) of existing ideas. While they facilitate conversation spread they are not the ‘reasons’ for revolution but at best catalysts.
Quibbling aside about the role of these networks in deeper issues than advertising, much the same rules apply to this space. Social media provides the platform for feedback from those on the ground and allows us the opportunity to amplify niche events, promoting them to the wider world. As brands are in the business of stoking and owning the word of mouth around (often costly) brand funded events, it only makes sense to call on any tools we can to increase the coverage and referral around these. Despite this simple truth however, fairly few experiential/event companies seem to be ‘getting’ social and I think an opportunity is being missed.
One agency that definitely gets it is C&M and they have compiled a framework and series of checklists for making sure your event creates a #buzz around it.