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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

#RiverfrontRock: Generating Buzz for Tampa's Biggest Park Opening Celebration

Finalist in Government & Politics


#RiverfrontRock was a social media campaign focused on the grand re-opening of a 25-acre park in the West River region of Tampa. The reconstruction of this park brought tremendous value to the local community, transforming what was formerly underutilized space into a place where locals could come together, relax, and play.

Riverfront Rock was a free 3-day celebration that featured a free concert by a national act, children's activities, a macaroni & cheese festival, Tampa's largest firework show, activities with local sports teams, and various demonstrations/performances by military personnel for Navy Week (which fell on the same weekend).

The City of Tampa developed a comprehensive social media plan that leveraged multiple platforms to generate buzz about the new park and get the word out about the free Riverfront Rock grand opening celebration.

Through tweets, Instagram stories, Facebook live videos, hardhat tour teaser photos, interactions with the concert headliners (Third Eyed Blind), and other digital means, the City of Tampa aspired to generate earned media from the event, and unite the community to celebrate the revitalization of not only Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, but the West River region as a whole.

Strategy and Execution

The City of Tampa implemented a multi-platform social media plan to maximize reach and inform the public about the Riverfornt Rock Grand Opening Celebration.

- Facebook Event Page: The Facebook event page for Riverfront Rock reached around 100k users and was one of the main contributors to the overall turnout. During Riverfront Rock, photos were posted to the event page in real time to maximize engagements.

- Tweets/Facebook Posts: Daily tweets and Facebook posts were published in the weeks leading up to the event to generate buzz. Between May 1-15, the City of Tampa generated 1.1 million impressions on Facebook and 1.4 million on Twitter.

- Instagram Stories: Instagram stories were used before the event to give behind-the-scenes tours and sneak peeks of the park while it was still under construction. During the event, Instagram stories were used to highlight various activities as they were happening in real-time.

- Facebook Live: Multiple Facebook Lives were used to promote the event and provide live coverage day-of.

- Snapchat Filter: We created a custom snapchat filter for the event that was viewed over 50,000 times.

- Use of hashtags: the #RiverfrontRock hashtag was used leading up to the event and during the event to engage the community and maximize reach.

Through this multi-platform approach, the City of Tampa aimed to maximize reach and generate online buzz for the event.


The result of this social media campaign was a massive turnout for the event--with thousands of people coming together to enjoy the new park, and celebrate the revitalization of the West River region.

- On Facebook, City of Tampa was able to reach over 100,000 residents with the Facebook event page alone, and generate 1.1 million Facebook impressions in the two weeks before the event—an 86.5% increase over the previous date range.

- On Twitter, the City of Tampa generated 1.4 million impressions in the two weeks surrounding the event—an average of 97.3k impressions per day. The top tweet, announcing the headliner, generated 97,087 impressions alone, with 751 engagements. The total potential reach for this same time frame on Twitter amounted to 35,855,595 according to the SproutSocial algorithm.

- For the same two week period, the City of Tampa's Instagram had 109.6% increase in impressions over the previous date range. A promotional post about the event published on May 9th reached 40,034 people—91% of whom were not following the account.

- Snapchat Filter: The custom Snapchat geofilter was viewed over 50,000 times.

Overall, the campaign was a success with countless positive interactions that united the community. Through a combination of promotional posts and real-time updates, the City of Tampa was able to get locals outdoors to enjoy the waterfront and sense of Tampa pride.

What was formerly underutilized space in the West River Region, is now one of Tampa's most celebrated parks. And as for #RiverfrontRock? It went down in Tampa history.


Video for #RiverfrontRock: Generating Buzz for Tampa's Biggest Park Opening Celebration

Entrant Company / Organization Name

City of Tampa Government