User-Generated Content: Lessons from Bonnaroo

Yesterday night, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival announced its 2015 line-up. Actually, Bonnaroo let its fans announce the 2015 lineup for them.  Fans called the special Bonnaroo hotline, were greeted by a warm, “Hi yall” and then received an artist’s name. Fans were then asked to share the names on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook using #bonnaroo. Fans were extremely creative and that’s no surprise from Bonnaroo goers.

The integration of user-generated content by Bonnaroo in the line-up announcement was a brilliant idea. It allowed Bonnaroo to let its fans do the selling for them, showing potential festival goers how cool the festival would be in a very authentic and organic manner. Some brands may be weary of user-generated content, but there are ways to monitor and still keep brand control of it. Bonnaroo only uploaded content to only after reviewing it.

Bonnaroo Annoucement

The campaign was fully integrated into social media. Once Bonnaroo revealed the full line-up, it allowed fans to share the post on Facebook or regram on Instagram for a chance to win VIP passes. Bonnaroo understands the importance of social sharing among Millennials. Young people want to do what their friends are doing and they find about their happenings through social media. Bonnaroo has always been one of the forerunners when it comes to social media integrations into events.

Here are three lessons in user-generated content from Bonnaroo’s 2015 line-up announcement:

  1. Give Clear Guidance

Bonnaroo gave clear direction on how it wanted fans to share the line-up. The instructions were on the website, on the phone call, and shared on Facebook the week prior. Fans knew what to do before

  1. Review Before Posting

The NFL had a Twitter campaign that involved UGC, but did not review the content before posting. A racial slur was retweeted onto the brand’s Twitter page. This can be avoided by having your community manager thoroughly review the content before posting to brand pages.

  1. Reward Participation

Users that participate in these types of campaigns are loyals. A simple like from your brand page is enough for them. A comment is even better and is a reward to fans.

Follow the above three tips as you plan your next user-generated content campaign. Bonnaroo proved why user-generated content was so great last night. UCG allows your customers to do the selling for you. As social networks become more important to consumers it’s important your brand’s marketing is fully adapted to it.

Bonnaroo 2


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