Building Relationships Online: The Musicians Who Are Doing It Right

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| 22nd January 2015
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This week’s blog post is a day early as tomorrow I will be out of the office, heading to Wembley with my sixteen year old nephew for his (and mine) first ever Slipknot gig, supported by Korn.

(For anyone who doesn’t know who Slipknot and Korn are and what kind of music they make:, they are essentially very noisy.)

So today I’m taking a look at how bands use social media and other methods to generate interaction and excitement, and generally make as much noise online as they do on the stage.

Fan Involvement

When I think about celebrities who are good at using social media, the first person I think of is Jared Leto. The 30 Seconds To Mars frontman is great at getting fans involved in everything his band does, both online and offline. At every Mars gig I have been to (three so far), Jared has brought people on stage with the band for the final song. And not just one or two lucky people – by the time the last chord has rung out, the stage is packed full of delighted fans who fancied crowd surfing their way to the front of the audience and joining in with the final chorus.

This is great as it’s clearly not just part of the marketing for the band, and it manifests itself literally on stage.

Another great example of this is Taylor Swift, who sends her super-fans Christmas gifts. This goes down pretty well, as evidenced in this video which is titled “swiftmas”.

Make Your Customers Part of the Product

Fan participation isn’t only limited to the stage; in the process of creating their This Is War album, 30 Seconds To Mars invited fans to sing on the album by sending recordings of themselves or by attending sing-along summits where thousands of people were recorded. This Is War also had 2,000 different album covers as fans submitted photos of themselves to be used as part of the band’s Faces of Mars campaign.

Jared Leto was also part of the panel at the Grammy’s Social Media Rock Star Summit in 2010. Unfortunately I can’t find any clips of this to show you, but it was streamed online and it was very interesting – you can find out more about what was discussed on this blog. Meanwhile online, the band has a strong presence on Twitter and they also hold live video chats to connect to their fans for a unique and special conversation they would otherwise not be able to experience.

Repeat Yourself

Lady Gaga is also very good at using Twitter, particularly to generate excitement. Her Tweets leading up to the release of her Born This Way album proved that it’s okay to repeat yourself on social media, by saying the same thing in a few different, entertaining ways. This way you can connect with anyone who didn’t see you Tweet the first time, without getting annoying and repetitive.

Build Anticipation

Slipknot and many other bands use social media to release new material a little at a time. Instead of releasing everything at once, they reveal snippets of what’s to come to build suspense and excitement, holding people’s attention with sneak peeks and teasers as they wait for the release of the full product.

What Do You Want Your Customers To Be?

For 30 Seconds To Mars, fans are a huge part of the band in every aspect, and rightly so. Music lovers are not just people who buy albums – we are much more than that, not least because we are emotionally invested, and we should be treated as such.

In the same way, if you treat your customers just as people who buy your product and nothing more, that is all they will ever be. But if you treat them as valued individuals who bring a positive contribution to your company, they won’t just be customers – they will be loyal advocates for your brand, and as they share their enthusiasm online, they will begin to multiply.

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