Monday, May 12, 2008
Open letter to big labels/artists
Dear Gigantic Label Representing Megapopular Artist:
In a few weeks, many of the top artists in the country will begin their big summer concert tours. So now's the perfect time to talk about your social media strategy for promoting your artist's big summer concert tour. What? You say you don't have one?
That's what we need to talk about.
We both know that your revenues are falling like a rock, and at least one of us knows whose fault that is. But regardless, we also both know that concerts and the merchandise sales that come with them, are a big cash cow for the industry.
So why aren't you guys using social media to maximize excitement and bring the experience of live music to as many people as possible? Have something better to do like suing your own fans?
Let's try something different. Let's create a social media strategy for you that will empower your fans to capture and spread the excitement of a live concert, to as many people as possible. Here's a 4-point plan for getting a social media campaign off the ground to promote your blockbuster summer concert tour:
1 - Start up a blog that will run the length of the tour. Get a staffer, or (shudder) a FAN to write the blog for you. Blog about the towns you are going to, the fans you meet. Take pictures of the fans, take pictures of the town, take pictures of the artists backstage, on stage, under the stage, EVERYTHING! Shoot videos of the band rehearsing and post them to the blog. Give us the 'behind the scenes' look at what it means to be a big-time rock star on a huge summer concert tour. And for extra points, actually let the artist write a post. It won't be the worst thing they've ever done while on tour, will it?
2 - Live Twitter the concerts. Give updates on Twitter BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the concerts. Tell your fans to do the same thing in your email newsletter/blog/MySpace page. Give each city its own hashtag, like for a Foo Fighters concert in Asheville, you could make it #ff-asheville, then the next night in Raleigh, it could be #ff-raleigh. Twitter is EXCELLENT for giving real-time updates at events, ask anyone that's read the updates from conferences on Twitter, and has wished they were at the event after reading how everyone was Twittering about it. Start a Twitter name for this and encourage your fans to follow you, and follow them back when they do. If you do this for the length of the tour, the excitement and number of people tweeting about each concert, will only grow.
3 - Take a gazillion pictures of EVERYTHING at EVERY concert, and post them all to Flickr. Also make your fans aware via email (or a blog/MySpace page, etc) that you will be doing this, and encourage them to TAKE PICTURES AND ADD THEM as well.
4 - Give Flip Cameras to fans at the concert and tell them to go crazy! This is your home run waiting to happen. Give Flip Cameras to say 10 fans at every concert, and tell them to record whatever the hell they want. Explain to them that after the concert they'll return the camera and meet the artist/band backstage (So this pacifies the 'But they'll steal the camera!!!!' fear. ). Tell them that you'll give them a copy of everything they record, and do so.
But you can also use all the footage recorded to post to your blog, AND YouTube. Added bonus: You can also use the footage that your fans record to create a concert DVD to sell! When the DVDs are ready to sell, have the band/artist autograph and inscribe a copy to be send to every fan that shot video for you.
End result? You'll excite the hell out of your fans, and will give them the incentive to create videos, take pictures, tweet, and blog about every concert on the tour. All of this additional social media buzz will create a groundswell of excitement for your tour, and the ripple affect will seriously be felt as the tour comes to an end. And you'll also get bloggers like me that don't care about your artist, blogging about you anyway, because it will be so damned cool to see an artist and label that's actually smart enough to embrace their fans to promote them.
But of course the punchline that you are waiting for is.....you'll sell a bunch more tickets and merchandise.
Now let's see how many labels and artists are smart enough to actually do this.
Pic of Foo Fighters via Flickr user Lola's Big Adventure!
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing