The Experiential Marketing Guide to Social Trends

Posted by Samantha Stallard on September 14, 2016
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Social media is the megaphone for life's events. Engagements, weddings, birth announcements, birthdays, and graduations all play out online. Snapchat and Facebook have even turned the mundane into something to be shared. Today, we all want to broadcast our experiences beyond the people we shared them with IRL, so much so that the practice has turned into a cliché.

At Pop2Life, our experiential marketing goalis to get people out of their digital world and into their physical one. We want people to dance at iHeartRadio Music Festival, to play a round of Conan Bingo, and revisit hilarious memories with South Park 20. But hey, we don't live under a rock... No one is going to miss a social share opportunity - and we wouldn't want them to! If it's not online, it didn't happen. 

Social media propels experiential marketing beyond the present by hyping attendees in the days and weeks leading up to the activation and allowing them to relive the good times once they've passed.

Smart brands are combining the power of social media posting with real world experiences to launch their branded events in front of new audiences. Even smarter brands know which platforms to post on and which aren't so experiential-friendly (I'm looking at you, Pinterest). Check out our experiential marketing guide to social trends below!

Embed your branding across platforms

When event attendees post live photos from your activation, be able to track those pieces of content with embeded branding such as:

  • Custom hashtags: Stick to Twitter and Instagram when it comes to hashtag promotion. While Facebook does allow hashtagging, the analytic tracking is still very rudamentary and the main purpose of the tool is for users to see posts similar to their own, not for brands to collect consumer social sharing data. Check out Keyhole for even deeper hashtag tracking capabilities.
  • Create multiple photo opportunities: Whether you implement a photobooth, hire professional photographs, or center your entire event around social sharing, be sure social photo opportunities lurk around every corner of your activation. You KNOW we love our homies at FoxTales because photobooths are a win-win situation - your guests get to take a customized photo sharing their experience and you, the brand, can have artistic control of the overlay that's printed, emailed, or texted to attendees.
  • Offer products in exchange for social shares: We implemented this technique during HGTV and Food Network's Cupcake Challenge at this summer's VidCon. Event attendees/cupcake connoisseurs who shared their creations on Twitter or Instagram using the official event hashtag, #CupcakeChallenge, walked away from the activation with not only a custom cake creation, but swag like T-shirts, hats, and custom buttons.


Create a social experience IRL

Last summer, Refinery29 took experiential marketing to a level we had never seen before with their immersive social experiment, 29Rooms, in Brooklyn. It was so successful, they've brought it back again this year.

Piggybacking on New York Fashion Week, the installation features, as you might imagine, 29Rooms filled with funky works of art designed to inspire creativity and Instagram posts. The 80,000 square-foot warehouse includes rooms centered on themes of style, virtual reality, art, film, design, beauty, body positivity, identity and self-expression.

"29Rooms brings to life a lot of the themes Refinery29 covers in its digital content to a physical space," said Piera Gelardi, co-founder and executive creative director of Refinery29. "We live in an increasingly digital world, so people want to have memorable experiences, but they also want to be able to share them with their digital friends."

Social experiences are creative experiences, because they're it's interactive and shared, making it an exciting opportunity for social-savvy brands to explore.


Yes, I went. Yes, I waited in a 4-hour line. Yes, it was incredible.


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Photo courtesy: Pexels 


Topics: news, experiential marketing, marketing trends, experiences

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