Who needs paparazzi when celebrities have twitter updates?

26 Oct

I was recently on holiday in America and I visited the Country Music Museum in Nashville Tennessee. Despite the fact that I had been to so many museums in the coarse of 3 weeks and seen more than enough sequinned suits and signed guitars, the exhibit that sticks with me most was the Taylor Swift exhibit.

The Taylor Swift exhibit showed a 20 minute video about Taylor, her life, and how her marketing is unique and new to this generation. Taylor has completely embraced her fans and communicates like crazy through her twitter page. She comes across as such a genuinely beautiful, lovely, sensible and kind young woman with extreme talent and love for her fans and family. The video at the Country Music Museum discussed the video made for Taylors’ song ‘The Best Day’ is probably one of the cheapest music videos ever made since Taylor made it herself using old family home movies. She markets herself as everyones best friend and girl next door, opening her world to everyone.

In January 2010 Nielsen SoundScan listed Swift as the top selling digital artist in music history with over 28 million digital tracks sold. She was the first artist in the history of Nielsen SoundScan to have two different albums in the Top 10 on the end of year album chart. It also was the first album by a female artist in country music history to record eight weeks at #1 on The Billboard 200. Taylor became the first country artist to top the 2 million mark in paid downloads with three different songs in January 2009. Those are some pretty big records to break in this day and age of the struggling music industry. Could perhaps her engagement with her fans be part of her success? I think so.

More and more celebrities are coming out of hiding and engaging with the public through social media, provide a snapshot into their busy sometimes crazy lives. Ten years ago, the only way we found out what celebrities were doing was to read interviews and see paparazzi shots.

I have mentioned this before in the music industry with some artists engaging more than others and really connecting with their fans more than ever before.

Hanson continue to connect to their extremely loyal fan base through twitter and their website an club, which I might add pays a hefty fee each year for exclusive content. The band does twitter updates, live video crosses from shows and creates special live events to connect with fans. This is good marketing. Connecting to the consumer and fulfilling their needs and desires (eg: “oh my gosh what is Hanson wearing today and what are they doing”) is smart. Hanson are particularly smart with fans because they know that the fans will pay any amount of money for anything and they milk it for all it’s worth. When their latest album Shout It Out was released a few months ago they guys painted limited edition paintings that fans paid for…. now they are selling a book with copies of each of the paintings in it…. and people are buying it. They know their customer, and knowing your customer is key to creating profit.  Hanson deserve credit for creating merchandise opportunities and connecting with fans. Since they are now an independent band, it is definitely in their best financial interest to create sales opportunities and the internet provides these opportunities more than ever before. Hanson are also using twitter to ask fans to keep refreshing their music video on Myspace so it gets more plays and thus brings more attention to it. Cheeky, but this is what modern marketing is all about, viral videos and hit rates.

Back to twitter and social media helping to propel celebrities even further into pop culture and the forefront of peoples minds.

Pee Wee Herman. Remember him? I sure do! He is back with a vengeance after fading into obscurity after some criminal charges. He is on twitter tweeting up a storm and landing tv appearances left right and centre. Twitter is building his public profile and image again.

Ashton Kutcher must be mentioned here since he is one of the kings of Twitter after posting a semi nude photo of his wife Demi Moore. He is a major influencer and points out items of interests to him to his fans. Kutcher owns a company called Katalyst Media which is a production company that mixes “squishy hybrid entertainment content, advertising, and online conversation” to help other companies build their brand. His company works with advertising agencies to build successful web strategies. Ashton Kutcher is not just a pretty face, he is a smart business man!

Twitter is the sales driver that should send readers to the website or other forms of information. The web site, personal contact or in some cases media are the sales closers. Applying this to the music industry, twitter and social media should engage the fan and get the excited enough about the artist to buy an album, concert tickets and maybe some merchandise throughout the artists career.

Note to self: Win the lottery so I can pay Ashton Kutcher to make a tweet informing the world, particularly bogans, that “youse” is NOT a word. Eg: “Are youse coming to my house tonight”. NOOOOOOOO! It could be the only way to get the message across.

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