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Marvel isn’t the only place you can find heroes and villains. The power of social media is too enticing for some people’s vices and they give in to the evil side. While others, realize the social media’s potential to SERVE a large audience with a powerful and positive message.
When the Power of Social Media Turns to the Dark Side.
My husband and I watched “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” on Netflix last night. It was fascinating for many reasons.
For those unfamiliar with this event, Fyre Festival was a music event created by millennial entrepreneur Billy McFarland and entertainer Ja Rule. They were building an app where people could go to book celebrity talent for events. And they thought what better way to introduce the app then with a fantastic music festival.
One of the event consultants in the Netflix documentary said, “They were either completely full of sh*t or they were the smartest guys in the room.”
I might argue they were both.
If you dissect what they did as a social media marketing case study, they did it all just perfectly! They used huge influencers like Kylie Jenner to build excitement.
They created a content arc where they started a buzz without really letting on what they were talking about. This kept people interested to see what was coming next.
Their branding was spot-on and cohesive.
They fed directly into the FOMO of the Millennial mind. They fed off the popularity of huge music events like Coachella.
They created a beautiful, high-end promo video to launch the festival.
And by the time they actually released the information for what the event was, they sold out within 48 hours.
I mean. You have to hand it to Billy McFarland and Ja Rule. It was a marketing campaign executed to perfection. They just forgot one thing….they had to actually put on the event.
Delusional or a Con Man?
As an entrepreneur, you’re told by business coaches and personal development gurus that doing your own thing is hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it. You have to have courage and step outside your comfort zone. McFarland did all of those things…to an extreme. And he is either completely delusional and a narcissist to let the festival get as far as it did with people who had paid thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars to be there. Or, he’s a total and complete con man (my vote goes to the latter).
I just cannot fathom how he could have possibly thought he could pull all this off and not go to jail. (Spoiler Alert: he did go to jail.) The way he slick-talked people into funding the event and those who bought tickets into continuing to buy add-ons.
As we watched, my husband continued to be more and more blown away by the whole thing. He’s helped produce large scale events like the Super Bowl and Lalapalooza. These events take more than a year of careful planning to pull off. As he watched the show, his jaw dropped at what he was unfolding and the lack of preparation the project had.
Billy McFarland also created a company called Magnises, an upscale credit card with club benefits to receive discounts and access to VIP events in New York City. This appeared to be a sham as well. I truly believe McFarland just wanted to see how far he could go; thinking he was invincible to the law and consequences that could come from his actions…or he simply didn’t care what would happen.
If only McFarland had used his social media prowess in an authentic way, he might have actually found the success (and money) he wanted in a genuine and positive way. Instead. He used his social media power for “evil”. LOL!
On the Good Side of Social Media Marketing
Another example of amazing social media marketing is The Egg. Are you familiar with this one??
In January, this egg started appearing on Instagram. It was just an image of an egg. Nothing more. And the goal of whomever posted the egg was to earn the World Record for most Instagram likes on a post. They wanted to beat out Kylie Jenner’s baby picture that currently held the record. And not only did this egg beat out Jenner, it hugely surpassed her record.
Instagram followers thought maybe that would be the end of the egg. Just a silly “let’s see if we can beat a celebrity” shenanigan. But then, it came back with a crack in it. And then football stitches were added. This campaign became very strategically tied to the Super Bowl. And if you dissected it, you soon learned that Hulu was now behind the egg. What started with a few ad-execs playing with social media turned into SOMETHING. Hulu bought the account from the no-names. And then everyone waited around to see what the Egg was “really about”.
In the end, Hulu used it to talk about the dangers of social media on mental health. THIS is an incredible way to use social media for GOOD instead of evil. Instead of taking the Egg and it’s GIGANTIC audience and using it to promote something completely self-serving, it was used to show how a positive message can be spread throughout a huge number of people.
The Moral of the Story….
There are awe-worthy social marketing geniuses out there. And when the power of social media is used in an authentic and appropriate way, it is an amazing and successful tool.
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