Billboard Country Music Summit, (day two) enjoyed lighter crowds for the morning segments, but featured four excellent content segments covering songs, research, the International marketplace and social media. My favorite was Artists And Social Networking: How Effective Is It Really?
Moderated by BubbleUp Interactive’s VP Brand Strategy, Pinky Gonzales, the panel peered into the social media space to try and discern the relative worth of various strategies and networks. Speakers included Warner Music VP Consumer & Interactive Marketing Jeremy Holley, Thrillcall Co-Founder Jonathan Leone, VP Artist Development/Marketing & Web Initiates Heather McBee, Host/Creator #CMchat Jessica Northey and BandPage Founder J Sider.
Gonzales opened the session by illustrating the difference between having lots of Facebook fans and actually engaging with people. “When we say ‘social media’ most of us think Facebook,” said Gonzales. “It’s my job at BubbleUp to connect dots. What does engagement look like? We define engagement as what happens when people respond to a linked update and click, share, comment, or like it. The combined total of all those actions is what we call engagement.
For a single post engagement averages .5% per post across the board. That means about 1 in 200 of the people following you will actually engage. So if you have something important to say and plan to express it in one status update just be aware that you are really only saying it to 1/200th of the people who are already following you.”
“Rihanna has about 56 million friends,” he continued. “A .5% engagement per post for an artist with 56 million FB fans is 280,000. But if you only have 100,000 that equates to about 500 people per post that might engage. Some posts are more or less popular. The aggregate for all unique clicks, comments, shares and likes across one’s entire followers is 5% per month. That’s still 95 of every 100 followers you have that will not interact with you in any way during an entire calendar month.” Putting it in perspective Gonzales said, “I’m not here to say that Facebook isn’t worth doing, it’s important. Just have it in context when you are spending money and time managing an account and its content. If your marketing costs are $1 per follower, you are really spending $20 per follower in terms of results.”
Gonzales introduced Jessica Northey as a “Twitter powerhouse” with almost 400,000 Twitter followers. Northey’s country music artist chats (#CMchat) has given her a strong following. “Everyone on Twitter is also on Facebook,” said Northey. “But they are active, hyper-posters who often have their own blogs. My experience with Twitter started out using it as if I was an advertiser on a radio station. I thought this is my broadcasting channel. I can talk about whatever I want. I was really bossy, telling everyone how to use social media. I thought I knew everything. Eventually I turned into more of a brand evangelist for country music. I also blog and write for All Access. My only advice is, be yourself. Many male artists want to tweet like Blake Shelton, for example. But who you are and what you might say to your best friend, that’s the kind of stuff that sharing online is about, and the house that built me on Twitter. There’s no wrong way to do social media or Twitter, there’s only not doing it.”
Northey did cite the fact that many artists don’t take advantage of the profile web site link which appears at the top of their Twitter page. “Make sure it goes to your website or where you want people to buy things,” she advised. “So what’s the ROI on social media? It’s Return on Influence,” Northey smiled. “Half of what I’m wearing and holding comes from people who want me to use their stuff. I have influence and they see that. That didn’t happen overnight, it took years.”