Social Media at T in the Park 2012

T in the Park LogoA year ago, we published an article which was very critical of T in the Park’s use of social media. The full article is reprinted below.

As our young people (and many not so young people) begin their travels to this years event, it will be interesting to see whether the Festival has made significant improvements in their use of new media. We will be monitoring this over the weekend and would hope to report back early next week.

As always, we welcome your own thoughts and feedback. What do you think? Has TITP become a social media ‘leader’ or still a ‘laggard’.

If you are going to the Festival, please enjoy and stay safe. Like last year, I love the music but not the mud, so it will be TV and new media channels for me.


Jim H

Article reprint below, from July 9th 2011 

Poor Use of Social Media by T in the Park

T in the Park


As someone who likes most types of music (but not mud), I was looking forward to catching up on this year’s T in the Park (TITP) experience using the Festival’s various social media channels. Yesterday’s post reported that the TITP ‘Live Hub’site had a number of interesting features designed to enhance the customer experience (those attending and those not), encouraging user generated content and fan engagement.

Thumbs DownHaving looked at these channels Saturday morning, there is a real danger of TITP becoming yet another example of a large organisation who doesn’t really ‘get it’. Guys – it is not the setting up of social media channels that makes you ‘cool and funky’. That is the easy part. What is much more important is the quality of the content posted and the efforts made to engage with your audience, to encourage two way dialogue and interaction. Sorry, but on both accounts, I would give you 2 out of 10 and a Report Card that reads ‘must do a lot better’.

Looking at the Festival Facebook page, there is almost no attempt made to interact with the community. Yesterday, the first full day of the Festival, there were just ten or so Official TITP posts on the FB page. Most of these were images of the stage or ‘ordering’ people to get to over to the Sun Signing tent NOW to meet the stars. Almost all of the ‘fan’ posts were people looking for tickets or transport to the Festival. Very little attempt was made to encourage interaction.

There was a very important post on the page – a warning from Tayside Police about the risks involved in taking drugs, especially ecstacy. This received 127 ‘likes’ and over 180 comments. As far as I can see, neither the police nor Festival Organisers participated in this discussion. If we want to get across an anti-drugs message, we should be talking with our young people NOT AT THEM.

As far as the Festival’s other social media channels are concerned, I wouldn’t even bother checking these out yourself. Just 11 tweets were posted yesterday on the Twitter account. They were almost exactly the same as the posts on the Facebook page and added no value at all. Most tweets were aimed at driving traffic to the main web site or FB page – no interaction, no engagement, no dialogue! A lost opportunity.

The View

The View

The biggest disappointment for me this morning was the Youtube Channel. I was expecting to see some good videos of acts performing on the opening day. There is one video showing people arriving through the gates and a couple of others posted up prior to the start of the Festival. The Video Blog comes nowhere near achieving its stated aim of showing ‘what the festival is like from a campers point of view’.Time will tell whether the ‘mission critical’ iphone app with the ‘tent finder’ function actually worked after too much T in the Park.

Guys – don’t ‘Just Do It’; do it properly. Be social before doing social!

As usual, comments and feedback are very welcome. Is this yet another example of a high profile organisation ‘playing with social media’ or am I being over critical?

Take care.

Jim H

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  1. Susan
    July 8, 2012 at 9:09 am - Reply

    You were certainly right with the Twitter predictions.

    • Jim Hamill
      July 8, 2012 at 10:29 am - Reply

      Thanks Susan. Agree totally.

      Given the very poor weather yesterday, I looked at their ‘official’ twitter account a number of times to see if i could get a detailed up-date on how bad things were. The ‘official’ account was next to useless in this respect. I found the tweets from those attending the festival, using the hashtag #titp12, to be much more informative.

      Given ticket prices being charged for TITP, you would think that resources would be made available to do social properly.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Are you there or just an outside mud-free observer like me? Take care.

      Anyone else been monitoring TITP’s use of social media? A leader or laggard?

      Take care

      Jim H

  2. Media Suarez
    July 8, 2012 at 10:41 am - Reply

    The issue lies with the fact that social media is seen as a marketing, promotions and publicity function. It’s just another channel.

    Social media needs to encompass the whole organisation and for something like T in the Park where you obtain ‘content’ from multiple sources, through multiple departments and functions, you need someone that can gather up all the info, curate/publish when needed and then provide that interaction ie providing ticketing details.

    I was originally on board with major events and festivals (including a festival going for three weeks – more than 80 events and one of them attracting quarter of a million people) and even though my function was in Marketing (not just that, but digital marketing), a lot of conversations were in place across numerous departments regarding information. I also took on board ‘social media reporters’, encouraged staff to notify me or the Twitter account (via a hashtag) if they come across anything and also encourage staff to check the Page.

    Social media starts off as a conversation within the organisation — anything online is just a tip of the iceberg.

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