By Kevin Bannon, Friday, March 11, 2011, at 9:00 am.
Those who know me well are quite aware that I am a total, complete, unabashed music addict. Recently, because of my high concert-ticket purchasing volume, I was invited to attend “This Is Music: Social Media Secrets” at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y. The event consisted of a meet-and-greet mixer, a panel discussion, and a showcase of up-and-coming music artists. Although the mixer and the artist showcase were certainly fun, I’ll spare you the details and focus on the social media discussion.
On the panel: Jason Lekberg, a product manager at Sony/Epic Records; Corey Maass, founder of the music industry social network NoteWorking; and Lou Plaia, co-founder of ReverbNation, perhaps the most widely used online music marketing platform in the industry (ReverbNation and the Knitting Factory co-presented the evening’s proceedings).
The panelists discussed a number of topics and fielded questions from the audience. Listening to their responses, it struck me how much their insights could apply to almost any business (with a few understandable exceptions, of course). Here are a few key points that stuck out to me and could have universal appeal:
Twitter is a gateway. A noisy gateway.
Although most of the panelists felt Twitter is an excellent resource for watching news unfold in real time, mining opinions and searching for up-to-the-minute information on a particular subject, they also mainly considered it “too much” and “information overload.”
Facebook is a prime target and slightly less noisy.
As the No. 1 social media property online, Facebook obviously plays a huge role in the promotion of bands and music artists, as it does for a wealth of other personalities, products and services. The panelists advised, however, that pages for artists/clients/spokespeople should be bare-bones and contain only the most basic information, while linking to other external social tools and online properties.
YouTube is Youbiquitious and Youseful.
At first, I was surprised to hear the panelists’ unanimous support for YouTube. So much content there seems bootlegged or independently posted; I assumed an artist’s proprietary content would simply be lost in the clutter. On the contrary, each panel member agreed that providing content on a YouTube channel is a direct line to true fans, one that allows for tremendous pass-along, one-on-one interaction and sharing through other channels. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how often, as a music fan myself, I search for actual music videos or songs posted to YouTube that I can share on social media. It’s not an approach I ever paid attention to before, but I probably do this every day. I actually think YouTube has become so ubiquitous in everyday life that I wasn’t even aware of how often I use it. It’s much like Google—how often do you think you use Google search daily? The actual number is probably much higher than you might imagine.
E-mail: It’s not just for old folks.
Another surprise was the universal endorsement of e-mail mailing lists. When I think of the amount of e-mail I get every day, it’s overwhelming and I’m inclined to go on a deletion spree. And as younger generations veer more toward short texts and tweeted information, e-mail seems like it’s approaching obsolescence. But each panel member said a fan e-mail list is the single most powerful communication channel in their promotional arsenal. When I heard their explanation, I agreed: E-mail lists, especially for music artists, are composed of people who have opted in to receive regular updates. This is a much more private, direct form of communication than social media, as it goes directly to the inboxes of motivated fans. These are the same people who are likely to seize upon any news of a record for sale or tour date and generate sales. The music industry faces many challenges in today’s market, but the people who receive mailing list e-mails tend not to be a part of these problems.
An integrated online experience is a rich online experience.
As with any marketing effort, measurement is essential. The panel emphasized that becoming familiar with tools such as Google Analytics is critical to measuring the success (or failure) of a marketing effort or campaign. Panelists and audience members cited ReverbNation multiple times as a service that succeeds by providing these tools to its users, which allows the users to better package their results. Here are two such tools and their key attributes:
This kind of inclusive service is becoming a marker for successful digital tools. Cake, a partner agency of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, recently launched the Flightdeck, a social measurement tool that incorporates a wide range of data sources, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other online media. Companies such as ReverbNation have thrived because of their ability to offer such integrated services, but all panel members—including Lou Plaia from ReverbNation—noted that no one can provide everything an artist needs, which means users must still turn to other resources.
The primary learning I took away from this discussion was that regardless of your industry, there are many widespread truths to online/digital/social communications. Among them:
I was pleasantly surprised to get so many industry-neutral takeaways from this discussion. And the bonus on the music side: It gave me a lot to consider about the information I’m taking in when I plan my monthly concert calendar.
Photo Credit: creative commons/ by Asthma Helper
This entry was posted on Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 9:00 am. It is filed under Features, Marketing, PR, Social Media and tagged with Cake, communication channel, Corey Maass, digital, e-mail, Epic Records, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, Facebook, FanReach, fans, feedback, Flightdeck, followers, Google, Google Analytics, HootSuite, integration, interaction, Jason Lekberg, Knitting Factory, Lou Plaia, measurement, Music, music marketing, music videos, MyBand, NoteWorking, ReverbNation, Social Media, social networks, social tools, Sony, TweetDeck, Twitter, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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