Lori Lewis wrote a great column this week for “Merge” that appears in All Access. We’ve excerpted her story to run as today’s JacoBLOG post. It’s all about harnessing the power of social media for music brands – and the analogies to radio are obvious.
As we know by now, social platforms give brands opportunities to connect with fans in more meaningful ways. But sometimes brands have a habit of looking at these various touch points in a “What can they do for me?” way, while neglecting the bigger questions, such as “How is each channel designed” and “What can they do to help us achieve our goals?”
One artist that’s been an early adopter in this social space and has always somehow used these channels in the way they were designed is Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas.
A large part of Rob’s social presence involves his fans. It’s not so much about what he’s doing (or selling) as it is about how he’s offering a visual peek behind the curtain. He gauges what to share by listening to what his fans are talking about and he does his best to respond.
So it wasn’t surprising when I stumbled upon his latest social efforts to generate buzz over Matchbox Twenty’s upcoming release, “She’s So Mean.”
As I studied what they were doing, the goal is clear: drive interest on some of the more popular platforms they’re on by getting fans involved with the actual song. This was such a great idea, and they made it fun!
Here’s how they involved fans in their new music: “In order to hear a clip of the new song before it’s released, try and figure out some of the song lyrics by dragging and dropping potential words to create a correct line from the song.”
So I tried it out:
“She Drinks Like A Boy” was my guess. Now, in order to hear the :30 second sneak peek audio clip, I needed to share my guess socially. (This is a key move. Fans will share this stuff! Those who don’t are the types you have not built motivated relationships with anyway.)
(The clip was fantastic, by the way.)
But then something happened that took my fan experience to a higher level – something we discuss here on Merge quite frequently: “Acknowledgement” happened.
My phone started buzzing more than it typically does so when I finally picked it up, I saw that Rob Thomas actually re-tweeted my silly guess on Twitter, and then his minions re-tweeted him, re-tweeting me.
To be acknowledged by Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty gives me the exact feeling that I preach to Jacobs Media clients every day – it deepens the connection, as well as reinforces and validates why you liked the brand in the first place.
Many brands simply have a problem with the “A” word. Perhaps it stems from a few things. In radio specifically, many times folks fall under the thinking “You only matter if you’re a diary or meter holder.” But, in reality, every person counts – especially in this digital and social space.
Something else that is just as strong is going behind the scenes, and here’s where radio and musicians like Rob Thomas are very similar. Matchbox Twenty started uploading videos on YouTube to give fans an insider/backstage type feel to the making of this new album:
And because I was running into Matchbox Twenty nearly everywhere, including Pinterest, Fancy, etc… I thought I’d give “Airtime” a whirl.
Why not? I already got lucky connecting with Rob Thomas via Twitter – maybe he would magically pop up on this new video chat roulette site you may have heard about.
So I clicked “Talk To Someone,” and this is what I got….
A panda bear.
No Rob Thomas.
Oh well, maybe next time.
Here are the takeaways from Matchbox Twenty’s use of social for their new release and CD:
- Learn how people use each platform first and foremost
- Speak in a singular voice on each platform to reinforce brand identity and to tell your brand story
- Give fans a piece of you
- Reflect the passion of your brand
- Get them involved
- Fans are your best word of mouth asset so acknowledge them
The biggest part of any conversation involves fans. The art of dialogue on these social and digital platforms lies within truly knowing them, where they are, recognizing why they use their preferred platforms in the first place, and getting them involved by crafting messages that ask nothing or very little from them.
How can radio station brands pull off similar levels of engagement? How can you use the power of your station, your music, your personalities, and your connection to your community to motivate social sharing and involvement?
Feel free to call on us to help your brand achieve some of these goals and benefits. It starts with a strategy, and Lori is excited to sit down with your team and unleash the social power of your station’s assets.