Monday, July 25, 2011

Social Media and Rock and Roll...Building a Better Experience

Summer time means for me a slew of outdoor concerts. So far I have been to at least 7 live shows over the course of July. Something that I have noticed at these live shows is the growing use of social media on mobile devices. A number of the shows have had large flat screens along each sides of the stage running live Twitter stream feeds and Facebook updates with their event hash tags. These streams were representing fans trying to engage with both the performers and the audience. I saw several shout-outs for birthday wishes, requests for reactions such as “let’s all scream when this hits the screen”, (no one ever screamed though) and even a marriage proposal (did not see an acceptance tweet). Apart from what I would call “spam like” tweets and status updates, I also saw a lot of interesting conversations happening between the fans and the bands themselves performing on stage. This to me is where we can truly see a shift in the music culture happening, much like what we are seeing in the shift to social business in the Enterprise world. The wall between rock star and fan is slowly coming down with the use of social media. This was duly noted in a blog post I read this weekend here.

"As music blogger Bob Lefsetz pointed out that historically in music there has been a buffer between star and audience, but thanks to social networking sites the barriers were coming down. "It was like everybody with a media profile had a coach. And if you disobeyed him, you were booted from the team," he wrote. "But now, through the magic of the web, through the magic of Twitter, a celebrity can speak directly to his audience; can tell his side of the story, sans the reinterpretation and the agenda of the media."

More and more, artists are starting to see the power of building stronger connections with their fan base and the power behind giving the fans what they want. They are going beyond just the top down fan club approach and creating that VIP customer experience by building conversations with their fans through tools like Twitter and Facebook. They are harnessing that power to turn that experience into a more engaged fan base; which can turn into a larger fan base and at the end of the day, can also become a vehicle for selling more media(songs, CD’s, t-shirts). The beauty of this is that this is all happening organically and without the help of the big record labels themselves.

What I find of interest here is that social media is leading the music industry into a new business model, one that is driven by being more social and more open. We are already seeing this happen in the business world as we drive more social collaboration into our business process, but it is nice to also see this happening across a broader perspective and driving change in other areas as well.

Where else are you seeing this happening? Let’s socialize our thoughts….


  1. Hey Kimberly! I haven't gone to many concerts this summer but one area where I did see this type of social interaction in place was at the TechConnect Ohio conference my company (Northwoods Consulting Partners) attended. In the main exhibit area they had a projector with Twitterfall running on it, showing all of the tweets going out from the attendees and exhibitors. I loved your post and the title of your blog is completely accurate- social media isn't a buzzword, that's just the label we're applying to a shift in how we're using the internet to communicate more effectively. I'm subscribing now but take care and keep making great content!

  2. Thanks for the comment Joshua! I have seen this happening at a lot of conferences as well. It is a great way to get better connected with the participants as well as to the content that is being delivered at these events. Next though I want to see more use of QR Codes at these events as a way to collect content. :-) We will get there.