Consider this: You’re a musician, the next McCartney, Bowie, Springsteen. You live and breathe your art; passionate only scratches the surface of how you approach your vocation. But then a gut-check: Passion only means so much when it comes to how successful you’ll become. How do you get your name out there? Building traction and selling albums without the marketing muscle of a record label is Sisyphean. Like most, you resort to what’s financially feasible and readily accessible to the largest audience: social media! You figure the more times you tweet, post video updates and snap pics of you and your handsome band mates, the better your odds are to attract fans and go viral. All good instincts, 20nine says, but it takes more than that. A focused strategy needs to be established, content needs to be relevant and current, and fan interaction should not be limited to just your own site. You must step outside your Facebook and post on similar artist’s pages, get involved with forums and comment on blogs. Go that extra mile, or ten. This is your passion, right?
Let’s say you took some of that advice. You’re becoming an expert at social networking. You’re getting followers, friends, fans—you’re so popular. So what? Where’s the money? Well maybe Billboard’s launch of their 50 Social will give you some motivation. It’s the newest ranking chart for the most active artists online based off traffic on every social media platform, analyzing page views and even song plays. Most importantly, it’s a glimmer of hope at making a chart appearance, engaging new fans, generating web traffic, defining your persona and perhaps getting your big break.
Now back to reality. This lifestyle may seem impractical to you our dear reader but take a closer look. The same approach needs to be taken when building a social presence for your business or brand. Instead of converting strangers into fans, you’re finding business prospects, new talent to hire, brand loyalists and a community of advocates. Those who stay connected and have a voice in their industry create dialog and an outlet with their end consumer. It’s no coincidence that the artists atop the 50 Social are also climbing the Billboard 100’s as well. Success for these artists is all about the community they built, and depending on your industry, marketing through these channels can be a major driving force for you as well.
Billboard’s 50 Social recognizes that music marketing has changed forever, and that the most relevant and effective way to distribute and promote artist’s albums and tour releases is through these online networks. As a brand marketer, maybe you don’t have a chart to map out the success of your campaign compared to competitors but there are vast resources of analytical tools available to help you track and follow your progress. With ad spending progressively being allocated to digital platforms, charts like the 50 Social and other tracking tools will become increasingly more important in finding if the mediums you’re using are effective and providing a return on your investment.
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