Monday, July 30, 2012

What is #September22NYC? Just Another Great Example of Social Media Hyping

Building hype for a concert, museum exhibit or party is nothing new; however, nowadays, you can't expect to send a bunch of press releases and hope that it will sell tickets or get people talking. If you want people to talk about your event organically, and by "talk" I mean "social talk" through a facebook post or tweet, you need to get creative.

Today, I was sent a link and when I got to the page, there wasn't much information beyond a hashtag, few instagram photos of recognizable NYC landmarks and additional clues to be revealed over the next couple of days.

When I'm confused, I like to search on Twitter or Google the information that I know, which in this case is the #September22NYC hashtag. It didn't take long (a few tweets to be exact) for me to figure out the date "September 22nd" will be for a Size Records music event with DJ Steve Angello and potentially Thomas Gold and Eric Prydz at Central Park or Governor's Island in NYC. Whether these assumptions are true, who knows? But the wisdom of the crowds has spoken and this is what I have gathered until the official announcement is made on August 1, 2012 at 1600 (EST I assume?).

This social-hype mystery reminds me of the recent Reddit subway $50 bill cryptic code stunt which had New Yorkers hungry for clues and running around the city to a mysterious location looking for a blue jay (I'm talking to you Karen & Jordan!).

Here are 3 things you need to pull off a social-hype stunt:
1) The Reach (of 1 person) Still Matters When Seeding - You might be wondering, how did people know the existed? Popular DJ Steve Angello (one-third of Swedish House Mafia) tweeted the below to his 315K followers:
Likewise, the Reddit subway code probably wouldn't have been solved without the help of Reddit's million+ readers. Also, it's really important to keep the initial source of information as organic as possible so the information is not disregarded as another corporate stunt (even though it is). 

2) Create Smart Clues, Your Fans Are Not Stupid - September22NYC did this by photoshopping the Size Records logo and strategic objects within NYC images. You don't necessarily need to draft a 500 character cryptic code, but you should create clues that your audience or fans would enjoy solving.

3) Set A Date, No More Than A Week Away - Give people something to anticipate by setting a date no more than a week out or people will lose interest and forget. Unless this is for Jay-Z tickets.

What I really like about the September22NYC idea is the tumblr-style website--simple and clean--and integration of popular social networks like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Even though I may not attend the event, I applaud Size Records for making things interesting.

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