Social media is a learning process and I believe that the best people you can learn strategy, are from the brands that go through the trial and error processes. Of course, you won’t have a budget like theirs, nor the capabilities, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn from the professionals. Remember that at the end of the day, a band is not unlike a company that is looking to offer the brand’s experience to its consumers, your fans.
We jotted down some key points throughout the seminar, “An Update From the Front Lines” comprised of panelists that included:
Diane Frankfenfield, SVP, Head of Marketing, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
Kristen Frank, General Manager, MTV and VH1 Digital
Ethan McCarty, Global Leader Digital and Social Strategy, IBM
George Gallate, Global Chairman, Euro RSCG 4D
George- Small companies can level themselves with larger companies using social media.
What this means it that because companies have equal access to free channels of marketing, namely social media, even the small guys, which in the music industry’s case can be an indie musician, can beat out a musician that has backing from a label, in terms of virtual popularity and engagement.
Diane - There are inherent risks by publicizing yourself using social media, so if you’re not ready to engage with your listeners, for example, if your message exchange is a one way street, don’t use social media. It’s important to keep a dialogue between your brand and your followers.
If you’re a band, talk to your fans. Keep a discussion going. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal, thinking that your fans are unworthy of your time.
Kristen - MTV began Tweeting in 2007, and they brought down the corporate wall by creating authentic messages. What Kristen found was that keeping an emotional connection with your followers is crucial. An effective strategy is to find ambassadors of the messages that you’re sending out and interact with them to compel these ambassadors to continue spreading the word. They are the crucial few that will consistently share your brand’s messages with their own friends.
The power of social media is apparent. The news of Beyonce’s baby announcement sent out larger and more far reaching shock waves than did the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death in the social sphere.
Free vs Monetized Information
In the Q&A session after the panelists had their chances to speak, a question was brought up about whether information wants to be free or monetized, from which the question was based off of the book “Free” by Chris Anderson.
What was concluded was that information wants to be monetized and not free. There must be a ROI in all the marketing pursuits that you’re doing for your brand. At the end of the day, the effort that you’re putting into marketing is not just for “the hell of it,” but rather, you should place a value on information, which does not necessarily need to come from a financial standpoint.