South by Southwest, or SXSW as it is informally acronymed, is named by Wikipedia as the “annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States.” What Wikipedia doesn’t tell you though? It’s the place to be if you are anyone with anything to share or say. You know that “little” social media app, Twitter? Yeah, it launched at SXSW. This festival is where films receive distribution deals, Mark Zuckerberg speaks to Facebook’s upcoming features, and even where Grumpy Cat got her start. The best way to get your brand/app/movie/song out? Be at SXSW.
With SXSW 2017 stretching from March 10th-19th, it is sure to bring attention to new people and things. With large brands not showing their faces this year (Spotify, Samsung, and Bud Light), the festival will feel less like a crazy spring break and more like an intimate scene for smaller names in the industries. And with this altered atmosphere and the nuance and fame that the festival brings, social media will play a bigger role than ever before. From Tweets to sponsored Snapchats, Instagram hashtags to LinkedIn articles about the conferences, with so many things going on at the festival at once, social media is pertinent in getting all of the info out to the masses. Attendees are encouraged to promote their own involvement and participation in the festival through postings daily, if not hourly or per session. The networking opportunity over the course of the week is high and the social media web is dense. SXSW has depended on the distribution of its information and experiences through social media every year to amp up the hype and strengthen its reputation.