Although the semester is only halfway over, Firefly has already won. It has not only won the social media contest, but it also has obliterated its competitors: Vans Warped Tour and Coachella. On February 25, Firefly released the name of its final headliner: Sir Paul McCartney.
In only its fourth year, Firefly has booked a Beatle, a legend and an icon in the world of music. The Internet exploded, and to celebrate its superstar headliner, Firefly held another 10-ticket giveaway. This past week, Firefly’s posts on Facebook and tweets were chock full of pathos. To begin, when Firefly announced its final performer, it said on Facebook, “Firefly is honored to welcome Paul McCartney to the #FireflyFam.” The post appeals to not only the excitement of the followers, but it also exposes the excitement and admiration that Firefly has for Paul McCartney. Its ticket giveaway that followed the announcement was strategically announced after the final headliner was released. Since Paul McCartney is extremely popular amongst multiple generations of people, the ticket giveaway will see an increase in participation by not only young adults but also by adults over the ages of 40. By announcing Paul McCartney last, Firefly kept its followers anticipating a surprise announcement, thus making them follow the Firefly social media accounts closely.
In addition to the announcement, the hashtag that Firefly used, “#FireflyFam”, was used in one of its contests for free tickets, and the purpose of the hashtag was to unite all of Firefly’s followers as a family. In referring to Paul McCartney as part of the Firefly family, Firefly humanizes itself and its celebrity performers. This also separates Firefly from Coachella and Coachella’s personality on social media.
Although Coachella also had Paul McCartney as one of its performers in 2009, Coachella releases its lineup in full at once, and it does so with a single tweet or post sans captions. Without an excited caption like that of Firefly’s, Coachella’s neutral announcement makes it seem as if it is merely informing its followers. If the festival does not seem excited, its followers will be less excited. As a music festival, Coachella’s responsibility is to appeal to its followers’ excitement and convince them that the performing acts are worth watching, yet Coachella fails to use pathos and ethos in most of its important posts. While Firefly’s announcements have excited and admirable tones, which shows that it is honored to have booked its acts, Coachella’s posts have neutral tones, which makes the festival seem like it is taking its acts for granted or it is too good for its performers.
This past week, Coachella tweeted three times, and two of the three tweets applied only to those who bought tickets to the festival. The other tweet announced a Q&A session with one of its performers, and the problem with this tweet is that it alienates those followers who do not like or have not heard of the band. In one of its tweets, though, Coachella said “Listen up!”, which was a clear indication of a call to action for its followers, specifically those going to Coachella, to click on the link provided and read more about the product Coachella was selling. The imperative tone of the tweet is a use of pathos because it appeals to Coachella’s followers’ sense of curiosity; it drives them to see what is so important. Also, since Coachella’s twitter is the festival’s official twitter, followers know that due to the account’s credibility, the earplugs being advertised are a worthy purchase. Coachella’s recent tweets, especially those of this past week, have been taking up a more informative tone, and although its social media campaign is still the weakest of the 3 companies, the informative tweets are still important.
While Coachella informed its followers about earplugs and a Q&A session with a band, Warped Tour announced its 13th official artist announcement. 13 artist announcements later, and the tour still has not released its first lineup. Although Firefly delayed the release of its headliner for the purpose of keeping attention on its social media account, Warped Tour has taken this to an excessive level. The excessive number of announcements causes followers to lose interest; they feel that they can wait until the entire lineup is released at the end of the announcements. Therefore, they will not keep checking back to the Warped Tour social media accounts for more announcements.
In addition to its 13th band announcement, Warped Tour tweeted about a non-profit organization’s videos of schoolchildren playing percussion instruments. The captions were simple: “Louisville Leopard Percussionists Performing…”, but they were not informative. The captions failed to detail what the non-profit organizations do, and although the videos may have been an attempt to make followers happy, it does not adequately inform them of the background of the organization.
Warped Tour has been lackluster in its band announcements, for it has simply done too many. This makes followers lose interest regardless of how excited the tour itself may be about its announcements. Excessive tweeting and posting discourages followers from following a certain account because it may seem like the individual or group may be overselling a product or message. Yet tweeting to little can also discourage followers from following an account because it shows that a group or individual does not care enough to interact with its followers; this is what Coachella is doing.
While Coachella ignores it followers, Firefly tweets and posts just the right amount. It knows to tweet most during important times such as ticket sales and band announcements, and it knows to communicate with its followers more during those times as well. Firefly has mastered its successful strategy on social media, for it effectively garners excitement from its followers and drives online traffic towards its social media accounts during appropriate times with its hashtags, contests, and terrific lineup.