HOW THE SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE IN A FESTIVAL SETTING COULD DEVELOP IN THE FUTURE
Time spent on social media can be anything from 100 minutes to 200 minutes every day. The social network also provides for one of the highest user engagement rates. This has been further improved by the high number of those using mobile phone ‘smart’ devices. Different research documents argue that social media users use smart devices to access social applications 7-10 times more compared to PCs/browsers. Some of the most popular social applications used worldwide include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Sina Weibo and WeChat. Generally, a festival that attracts a large number of attendees is synonymous with producing almost a similar effect in social chatter. Social media applications like Facebook now provide attendees and festival organizers with dedicated tools for creating, showing interest and confirming attendance.
This information is then broadcasted to the festival organisers, attendees and their friends. With a small fee subscription, the event organisation can promote the event to the public (Facebook users that are not among their friends or friends of friends). This provides an interesting opportunity to measure reach and engagement. This is supported by different studies showing a rise in internet usage particularly with more users using social media applications or sites. Global events or festivals are synonymous with attracting a large-mass population in a specific physical location and for a limited duration. The huge scale of physical and online social interactions taking place during events and festivals is unrivaled. Large audiences are drawn to global events both locally and abroad by streaming on the internet.
Major events such as sports and political events continue to represent a major part of the global GDP. Aspects such as photography, video-taking or video-blogging played a key part in identifying perpetrators and thus in future might have the perceived potential to detract those with ill-politically instigated intentions. Whether the government will be buoyed to lean towards regulatory set-up supported by social media evidence is still open for question? All events planners are informed of the current economic situation in their pursuit to come up with sensibly priced activities, to break-even and gain financially. Inflation rates, current exchange rates, growth, and tax rates are taken into consideration. This is because events and festival impact on the host’s economy. For example, Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on Great Britain tourism survey indicate that London alone welcomed over 280 million visitors during mega-events (ONS, 2015).
In the future, it is likely that event organizers will focus on host countries/cities economic performance attributes like GDP and national debt before granting rights to host. (Please refrase). The internet has transformed the world into a global village making the business world competitive. The social environment defines where an event is happening or taking place. It is also closely associated with how and where one resides or was educated, including those that they interacted with. This is evident in the sheer number of social media users, Africa alone surpassing 600 million users. This trend will only edge towards one direction, that is, upwards. Coupled with majority youth population that use social media, event organisers will have to find the business value in this.
A corporation such as Facebook is already developing technologies that will enable users in Africa to access their social sites for free. Events and festivals providing Wi-Fi and hotspots technologies to access the internet free of charge will attract and generate greater conversations on the social sites. Event information such as receipts, posters, and fliers are posted online using social networks for a wider audience. Others have gone fully green in event and festivals meaning event attendees have to go through events processes online; getting event info on social media platforms, then connecting to secure payment sites to acquire tickets and check-in at the venue. Social applications such as Facebook allow the users to even log-in and share their locations from the event’s physical location.
Keeping this trend, in the next 5-10 years, most of the countries will have managed to go green in the hope of reversing climate change effects. However, the question that still lingers is whether social media usage will translate to real change or simply remain at the ‘clicktivism’ stage (Fisher & Boekkooi, 2010; Butler, 2011) (reference)? World over, organizations and institutions are slowly beginning to associate and identify individual’s social media accounts as part of contact information. In the upper quadrants (1 and 2), the users will be the easiest to reach by the event organisers compared to the lower quadrants (3 and 4) where users will be difficult to reach. In the leftmost quadrants (1 and 3) the users will also be difficult to buy/convince while the right quadrants (2 and 4) users will be easier to buy/convince.
In order to make most of social media users in a festival setting in future, organisers will have to focus on quadrant 1 (Users will be easy to reach but difficult to convince) and quadrant 2 (users will be easy to reach and easy to convince). The upper quadrants, therefore, depict the scenarios that will most likely impact positively on future festival and events. Building from the preceding conversations on this essay, to further understand the implications of the anticipated future changes, a strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threat (SWOT) analysis is carried out. The sheer number of active social users during such an (UK census) event has/will have the potential to cause rise in the number of paid advertisements across social media sites.
As more brands advertise on social media they will also find themselves fighting for the little space (De Keyzer, et al. Social media applications are already allowing options for muting advertisements and thus some organisations might end up facing loses in the advertisement. Innovative event organisers will endeavor to create the custom user experience in order to mitigate or prevent loses on advertising costs. These advertisement messages will be tailored to individual social media users. Mega-events impact on economic growth: analysis of the South African world cup. African Journal of Business Management , 5(16), pp. Axelsen, M. & Swan, T. Designing festival experiences to nfluence visitor perceptions: the case of a wine and food festival. & De Pelsmacker, P. Is this for me? how consumers respond to personalized advertising on social network sites.
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