The world’s leading global communication and measurement company, Nielsen, just released their newest report, State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012. While the continued growth of social media is no surprise, there are several new trends that musicians should be aware of.
First, there is the idea of “the global living room” or “social tv.” TV-watching has transformed into a new immediate and shared experience. Over 33% of Twitter users actively tweet about TV-related content, making it a shared experience on a larger scale. People especially love to engage real-time during broadcasted events. TV programs are responding by not only taking in the immediate feedback, but writers are adjusting scripts based on what trends, TV shows promote hashtags for viewers, and they sometimes broadcast live tweets (if appropriate for the program).
Second, social media is transforming customer service. Over half of U.S consumers are communicating with brands through social media. One in three users say they prefer social media to the phone for customer service issues.
Third, more people are shifting towards mobile and more sites integrate social features.
Finally, social media is continuing to impact marketing in a number of ways. Not only are customers more proactive about interacting with other customers, but they are also better informed than ever. Some customers don’t mind seeing ads tailored to them based on their profile information in social media sites now.
What Musicians Can Learn From The Social Media Report
It’s important that any business (including your music business) learn about consumer trends because it affects your career. As consumers are becoming more mobile and more social, we need to be able to meet them there. Consider the following suggestions:
- Mobile compatible website: You might not have a website just for mobile users, but you should definitely have something that loads quickly and is to scale for mobile users. The amount of traffic coming from smartphones and tablets will only continue to grow and if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, people will look elsewhere.
- It’s all about engagement: I can’t stress this enough. The content on your website and social media should create engagement. Talk about things that interest your target audience. Give them a call to action. Don’t just post a link, but create some conversation around it.
- Make your own global living room: Try scheduling live “tweet-ups,” where you and your fans can interact. It can be using a hashtag and talking about your new album or it can be about a tv show/film that you all enjoy. Get creative and get them talking. Consider having a dedicated hashtag for your show or tour and promote it!
- Use listening tools: TV programs are using social media tools to listen and you should be, too. You can use free services such as Google Alerts, Icerocket, Social Mention, Topsy, or Hootsuite and search for posts about you/your music. See what people are saying and interact with them. If you see good ideas, learn from them.
This is your music career so you should be investing the time, energy, and money into making the most of it. Marketing yourself in a way that your target audience appreciates and understand is just a part of that picture. Check out the report on Nielsen and see what ideas you can come up with!
Simon Tam is the President and Founder of Last Stop Booking, author of How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements, and performs in dance rock band The Slants. Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at www.laststopbooking.com. He is on Twitter @SimonTheTam