By Amanda Boyko
By now, we’ve all essentially accepted the creepiness of social media. There’s no shame in knowing that your co-worker from two years ago is going to be at Arcadia on Wednesday night at 8pm for a Gilmore Girls trivia night. And now that you think about it… you wouldn’t mind some Gilmore Girls trivia. You don’t know much about the venue, Arcadia, but you’re free on Wednesday! You simply click the “going” button on the event page and now your entire friend community on Facebook knows that you’ll be there, too.
Organizations that have harnessed the power of disseminating information via social media and using it for advertising purposes have hit the jackpot. Facebook makes it even easier and more effective to advertise events by cultivating communities of individuals with similar interests; music genres, artists and venues can have special group pages (as well as almost everything else you could possibly think of) .
For example, “The Edmonton Rave Community” is a very active group page on Facebook with over 3500 members. On this page, people share funny memes about EDM (electronic dance music), their experiences at past raves, favourite songs or artists, event announcements, and sales of tickets to upcoming events. Many of these posts come from promoters working for the organizations that put on events relevant to the group, like Boodang Music Canada, and many of these promoters are “friends” with members of the group.
This creates an interesting advertising advantage- it feels like a personal invitation when one of your Facebook friends posts information about an upcoming show with a quirky caption like, “It’s gonna be lit fam! Hope to see you there!” It doesn’t feel like an ‘advertisement,’ even though the message is from a promoter.
A post on the Edmonton Rave Community Facebook page from a Boodang promoter’s personal account v.s. Boodang’s official website advertising upcoming events in Edmonton.
For me, it has a great deal of influence when I see not only an organization or venue post about an upcoming event, but personal statuses from promoters on my friends list, followed by posts of anticipation and enthusiasm in a related group I am a part of, as well as updates from Facebook letting me know which of my friends are going or interested. By the time I actually attend an event such as a rave, I have every detail about it and a list of my friends/ mutual friends who will be attending totally memorized.
Alternatively, if I choose to not attend a certain event I am bombarded with all of this information anyways, but with the sense of this is what you’re missing out on. I know that this is exactly how organizations trying to sell tickets want me to feel: left out if I don’t attend, or constantly thinking and talking about the event leading up to it.
Admittedly, I’ve allowed social media to infiltrate my life, and as a result I’ve also let multiple types of advertising, and I’ve got to hand it to those who have taken advantage of the medium- it’s effective.