The rock star approach to social media marketing

POSTED BY Stacey McGurk - 11.26.12 - Social media


straight no chaser The band Straight No Chaser embraces the rock star approach to social media marketing by turning fans into loyal advocates. (Facebook)


Have you noticed how celebrities, sports figures, singers and rock bands have rabid fans that will follow them anywhere? When you’re marketing your business through social media, you should follow a similar strategy to get and keep raving fans of your product or service.

Social media marketing should be a part of every business’ marketing strategy, but don’t think of social media customers as just another transaction. The experience a customer has with a business, product or service is much more than that. To be successful in social media marketing, be more like a rock star and treat your customers like the fans they are.

Mack Collier, author of the upcoming book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies that Turn Customers into Fans, says companies can learn a lot from rock stars by watching how they interact and engage with their fans. Successful rock stars have an emotional and personal relationship with their fans. This rock star/fan relationship turns into concert tickets, albums and product sales for the rock star. Collier recommends that companies use these “rock star” strategies in social media efforts.

The end goal is the same: companies want to sell more products and services and artists want to sell music and perform at sold-out shows. However, the approach is slightly different. We’ll call this social media strategy the "rock star approach."

The rock star approach

During his presentations, Mack often uses Taylor Swift as a prime example of how stars connect with their fans to create a personal and emotional relationship. Swift embraces and rewards fans in a variety of ways – interacting with them on live chats, autograph and meet-and-greet sessions, special perks for fan club members and she even delights concert goers by performing at the back of the venue during part of her show so the people with the worst seats in the house suddenly have the best seats.

Taylor connects with her fans on an emotional level – and she’s rewarded for that in record-breaking album sales, awards, sold-out shows and loyal fans. But why should Taylor Swift continue to focus and spend so much time on her current fan base? After all, these people already purchased her albums, merchandise and concert tickets. The reason is clear: These fans have become "Taylor Swift Brand Advocates" -- her biggest promoters! "She will get new customers tomorrow because she delights her existing fans today," says Collier. Companies can (and should) take this same approach.

Acquiring new customers typically costs a business approximately seven times more than it does to retain existing customers. Your goal as a social media marketer should be to bring in fans and then focus your marketing efforts on your brand advocates.

Loyal fans will market for you

A real life example of the Rock Star Approach happened to me at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids at a Straight No Chaser concert. Waiting for the concert to start, a large projector screen encouraged the audience to check-in via FourSquare, like them on Facebook and Tweet using the #SNCLive hashtag. Why would they do this? Well, it’s essentially FREE marketing. We, the fans, promote them through our social networks, influencing our family and friends.

Before taking the stage, an announcer encouraged the audience to take photos and videos of the concert and share them on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst or Instagram. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy – let the audience to do the marketing for you. They can share their experience and connect with the a capella group through social media.

The minute Straight No Chaser took the stage, I snapped a picture and tweeted it. At Intermission, it was only natural to grab my phone and check Twitter. I was impressed to find that that during the intermission, I received a reply to my Tweet from one of the singers, Randy Stine. What did I do? Told the people around me and sent out a couple text messages to friends. The group asked us to follow them and use their hashtag and there was a reason for it – they want to connect with fans on a personal level. This is an example of the rock star approach in real life – and it worked!

In the short amount of time between leaving the stage and coming to the lobby to greet fans and sign autographs, Straight No Chaser added three photos of the sold out crowd to its Facebook page.

They embrace fans and have created loyalty by rewarding those who are already attending concerts and buying music. The experience the band provides for its fans at its concerts is the same experience it wants them to experience through social media. Straight No Chaser has created something amazing for its fans.

Connect with your biggest fans

Most businesses want new customers and they want to increase sales through social media. Most rock stars want the same thing but they want to connect with their biggest fans. Some companies make it harder than it needs to be or focus on incenting a new behavior trying to get new customers, while ignoring their loyal customers.

Fusionfarm uses the rock star approach when we manage social media campaigns for our clients -- because it works. We can create something amazing for your company through social media – those that love you will love you even more for it.

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Stacey McGurk

Stacey McGurk

Stacey (Stefani) McGurk is a Product Manager for social media, reputation and email marketing at Fusionfarm. She is passionate about marketing and helping businesses grow through digital marketing strategies. For a girl who could never stop talking, it’s no surprise that she frequently writes on Fusionfarm’s blog.

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