It came. It saw. It conquered. For 16 days, 6.4 million people celebrated good fortune and had an extraordinary time together at Oktoberfest. We noticed a strong shift towards social media at the festival. Attendees used social media to find the best deals, view tent capacity by webcam, interact with other visitors, and see local business specials. What we are seeing is a shift in social media from interaction-based content to organising and managing events. Social media is now becoming a valuable method of gaining information while continuously gaining acknowledgement for its ever expanding use.
Social Media Exploration
Facebook proved to be a huge hit when it came to navigating your way through the festival. With features like navigation one could find where they were in relation to the nearest tent. Oktoberfest.de had a Facebook webcam link which allowed attendees to view tent capacity, especially in which tent they had the best chance of getting a seat. Munich Nightlife Guide provided a page for post-festival goers that gave insight to the city’s best deals for eats and after parties.
With so much to see in Munich, Facebook allowed many of the visitors to organise their trips better.
Guests were encouraged by beer vendors such as Paulaner, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu to post photos of their beer with their respected beer associated hashtags. Through photo sharing applications such as Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr, guests would post pictures of their favourite drink and receive acknowledgement from the brewers themselves. This business to consumer engagement proved to be effective by showing that the usage of image centred media platforms provides more “sharable” content which, in turn, provides free business promotion.
Hashtags Get Air Time
Lufthansa Airlines, long-time supporter of Oktoberfest, worked with two travel bloggers to enjoy the sights and sounds of Munich. Lufthansa gained social media notoriety on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by using the hashtag #MUCspots. The bloggers visited many of Munich’s most memorable sights, ending with Oktoberfest where they were treated to a remarkable day of festivities. By using the same #MUCspots hashtag with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Lufthansa followers could give suggestions as to where the bloggers should eat and what to do next. Lufthansa may have only played host to two travel bloggers, but they allowed the rest of their following base to be a part of the adventure. Lufthansa intertwined three separate social media platforms for one giant interaction with their fans. This Munich/Oktoberfest centred campaign proves that the proper use of hashtags can go a long way in business.
Lufthansa intertwined three separate social media platforms for one giant interaction with their fans.
The most effective Oktoberfest social media tool was Twitter, particularly in event promotion. Oktoberfest was no different; with 14 tents and an assortment of festival rides there was plenty to tweet about in the festival. The festival itself even had two official accounts which provided tips and festival insight for guests to make their stay as enjoyable as possible.
- @GoodOktoberfest provided a countdown and festival service guide for guest safety and pleasure.
- @wiesnnews also provided behind the scene news from tents and guest safety.
My Wiesn 2013
It wasn’t just social media platforms that played a large part in Oktoberfest promotion, even apps got involved with the fun. My Wiesn 2013 served as a personal assistant, through Facebook, that allowed guests to find people via chat networks, view tent capacity, GPS services, and even kept track of how much beer they drank!
Companies should make note of Oktoberfest’s successfully represented businesses. The use of social media enhanced festival and product promotion and developed a newer campaign to improve visitor experience, and over time to boost the marketing of the festival.
Looking for a social media strategy to manage or promote your event? Email us at [email protected] now.
Editor’s note: This article was amended on 07/11/2013 to correctly describe the Lufthansa campaign.