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Why the Social Media Marketing Strategy of This Failed Music Festival Was so Successful

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By now, you may have heard the buzz circulating around two online documentaries about the infamous Fyre Festival. Earlier this month, Hulu and Netflix released their own take on this failed music fest.

If you’re asking yourself, “what the heck is a Fyre Festival,” let me take a step back for you and briefly explain. Back in 2016, a shady entrepreneur and his team set out to put on a music festival that outperformed any music fest before them. The festival was to promote a new app they were developing that would allow people to request and book talent with one easy click. When it came time to begin planning for the festival, it turned into an event filled with scams, fraud and an infamous “cheese sandwich.” This event was boasted to be filled with the top performers in the world, yachts, luxury villas and five-star catering, but when thousands of young, influential millennials showed up, they were greeted with disaster tents and instant buyer’s remorse. But I’m not here to tell you about the festival itself.

When I was watching these documentaries, the event planner in me cringed. However, the social media marketing advisor in me was completely impressed. While this event was ill-planned and financially destroyed a small community, the social media strategy behind the promotion of this event was genius. Why?

They knew exactly who their target audience was and spoke directly to them. Influencers, models, bloggers and those filled with wanderlust. That’s who they wanted to attend their festival, and that’s who showed up. They promised a lifestyle filled with luxury and exclusivity, which is what their audience was seeking.

While we would never encourage marketing false claims against your business, there is a lesson to be learned here about the impact of knowing your target audience.

So, how can this relate to your staffing or recruiting business? Here are three tips to help you find your target audience and get in front of the right crowd:


  1. Who are they?

Whether you are searching for more candidates, or more clients, it’s good to define exactly who you are marketing to first. In the marketing world, we often use the term “personas” to describe the demographic and personality of our target market. Take a step back and look at the types of jobs you are posting. From healthcare to warehouse, each industry has its own audience and persona. Once you have this nailed down, it is much easier to create content and messaging that speaks to your audience. For example, if your audience is primarily male, warehouse workers in their 30s and 40s, a content strategy built around “fixing your resume” or “LinkedIn tips” might not be as impactful. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience before developing your strategy.

  1. What do they want?

Behind every great marketing strategy is some type of value that can be provided. Once you figure out who is in your target audience, you can begin to think about what they are looking for and how you can provide it for them. Whether it’s a new job, career guidance or help finding employees for their business, your audience is always looking for something. Begin planning and developing content around what your candidates and clients are looking for.


  1. How are they going to respond?

With a majority of the world viewing content on their smartphones, you need to think about the best platforms to use to communicate with your audience. Your clients and candidates are looking for the easiest way to get in touch with your business. While some audiences respond really well to social media postings, other audiences prefer email. Make it easy for your audience to respond.

When it comes to a good social media strategy, defining your target audience is one of the first steps to help you reach your organization’s marketing goals. The most successful organizations know EXACTLY who they are talking to … just ask the thousands of rich kids who spent all their money to party in a gravel pit.

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