In the past three weeks, I have had the pleasure to sit in on a few Product and Artist Management classes, which the professor jestingly refers to as the mini SXSW. It has been remarkable having distinguished professionals in the entertainment business share their experiences, expertise and honestly, taking the time off to talk to young up-and-comers such as ourselves. It was especially an honor meeting and listening to the senior VP Southeast House of Blues and the International Marketing Coordinator, Sony Music Entertainment. Because of my interest in artist management and live events, these two encounters were very helpful in creating and shaping business strategies for my clients.
Another influential guest speaker, Greg Jackson, a Social Media Community Manager at Walt Disney World provided food for thought for this article. It is clear that social media marketing has become one of the most popular avenues for corporations and famous entities to reach their fans/customers in the hope of gaining new clientele. What was once a way of friends finding friends, sharing views and homemade videos and making plans has become a strategic marketing tool in today’s business generation.
According to Greg, there are three ways of ensuring your social media marketing works for you and not against you. First, is ensuring that you are relevant to the platform. The smartest way to think about this is to be aware of your market and the demographics on each of the sites. For example, what might work well on Facebook may not be received as well on Pinterest. No one would be delighted that his or her posts are seen as an intrusion of privacy. However, this calls for subtle marketing tactics.
Secondly, ensure you are relevant to the brand and audience. Any information that you put in the public domain has to draw the viewer back to your brand and what it stands for. Walt Disney World is known as ‘the happiest place on earth’ and every post on each platform should be able to reflect back to that brand positioning.
Lastly, you should be able to take risks. Social marketing today is as a result of an unintended side effect of the global acceptance of the Internet as a marketing tool. Forward Internet Group, a UK-based technology company, taught its staff to work on projects that usually started based on the management team’s hunch on the market’s direction. They literally made stuff up as they went and this is a great example of taking business risk on the World Wide Web. If the first two are on point, the risk will almost always pay off.
As easy as it may seem to create social media content for artists with the aim of pushing sales and converting audiences into diehard fans, without intruding on their cyberspace, it is always a calculated risk what the reception would be. Therefore, understanding your brand, audience and brand positioning and remaining relevant to those will ensure a successful social media presence.