Social Media Campaign


Project Overview

Rossini Festival International Street Fair

The Knoxville Opera’s annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair, designated as a “legacy event” by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, is a citywide celebration of the performing arts. Spanning 14 blocks of the downtown and Market Square areas, the festival brings diversity to the streets of Knoxville through multicultural art, music, and dance. On one fun-filled Saturday in late April, festival goers enjoy 11 consecutive hours of live entertainment across five outdoor stages featuring opera, jazz, ethnic music, gospel, modern and ethnic dance, ballet, vocal, and instrumental ensembles. Over 100 exhibits featuring hand-crafted work from local artisans, dozens of food and beverage vendors, and the YMCA FunZone for kids, combined with performances from over 800 entertainers, have contributed to turning the Rossini Festival into Knoxville’s best festival for the last several years.



The Challenge

Online/Interactive | Social Media | 38A Single Platform

For over a decade, people from all over the region have braved unpredictable Tennessee April days to partake in a festival that is unquestionably eclectic and international in its reach. Between its reputation in the Knoxville community and its average attendance of 60,000 to 100,000 people, drawing visitors to the festival is never difficult — but getting the festival goers to engage with the festival, and the Opera itself, was the real challenge. That’s where our team came in.

What We Did

Our team was tasked with making sure people not only attended the Rossini Festival, but engaged while they were there, making their mark on the event by providing user-generated content that spread the message and increased awareness of the festival. With only 10 days of notice, our team pulled together a completely organic social media campaign including a series of social posts and encouragement to have people share their perspectives of the Rossini Festival – and their favorite parts – with the custom hashtag #SeeYouAtRossini.

The Results


Major Social Influencers Used Our Hashtag

Our hashtag was used dozens of times by visitors – a list that included major notables like Mayor Madeline Rogero sharing a video with her 8041 followers; the City of Knoxville sharing an album of photos with their 9740 fans; Premier Martial Arts sharing the event with their 4200 fans; Classic Hits 93.1 promoting the event multiple times to their almost 2400 followers – and many more.


Organic Reach Hit More Than 269,000 People

Within just 10 days, our posts and campaign reached a total of 269,140 users — that’s 50% more people than those who actually live in Knoxville.


Nearly 1600 People “Checked In” to the Event

There were 1590 check-ins, more than 400 video views, and over 1000 visits to the Knoxville Opera website.

And the best part? The total amount invested in digital advertising was $0.

The entire effort was organic. Without a single dollar spent toward paid promotion or advertising, our posts and campaigns garnered 401 new page likes for the Rossini Festival and had 21,834 engaged users on the page, interacting with our posts.

Considering there was a monumental drop in organic reach on Facebook for 2016, that’s powerful social media. From January 2016 through mid-July 2016, publishers’ Facebook pages have experienced a 52-percent decline in organic reach, according to social publishing tool SocialFlow. With zero advertising dollars, a limited time frame, and a dip in organic reach on Facebook, the odds were stacked against us — but thanks to a creative campaign, hashtag, and the power of social media, our efforts for the Rossini Festival were successful.