The purpose of these case studies is to examine a few artists that have successfully used and integrated social media marketing efforts. I feature both major and independent artists to show that anyone can use the tactics for success. I define social media as not just a social network, but any content or component that facilitates fan interaction.
The major-label artist Katy Perry is a heavy user of social media. Her website prominently displays her social media connections at the top of the website, including links to Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and iTunes. She has a blog-type breaking news section which allows fans to leave comments. She also has a fan forum that allows for interaction. There is a link for subscribing to an “exclusive” email newsletter.
Katy’s Facebook page, with over 25 million fans, includes streaming music and a link to purchase the music directly from iTunes. She frequently posts status updates that include news, photos, videos, and promotions. Each post receives thousands of Likes and hundreds of comments. She has several custom links on the side menu, including links to purchase music and merchandise.
Katy is well-known for her Twitter activity. She is a very heavy tweeter and has almost 7.5 million followers. She will use hashtag keywords in her tweets to promote viral growth of her promotions as trending topics on Twitter as fans retweet her postings. She’s been known to distribute music videos exclusive to her Twitter audience. Her main website includes her Twitter feed and advertises her current Twitter promotion as well.
Esteban Aristizabal Vasquez, known as the artist Juanes, was recently featured for his social media efforts on the blog, The Heretic. He is a rock artist from Columbia who performs his music in Spanish. He was in a well-known band called Ekhymosis. Because of this, he has a celebrity status for building his fan base upon.
His website includes social media connections at the top, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Like.com, Myspace, and the site’s RSS feed provided by Feedburner. The top of the site also includes a Facebook Like button for quickly connecting the site to fans on Facebook. His site has a video blog, an email newsletter subscription sign-up form, and a community section for fans to interact.
A really neat aspect of his website is the Fan Wall. Fans can upload a photo of themselves which is then included for creating a photo mosaic that combines all the fan photos. Put together, the photos create a picture of Juanes himself. Random photos of fans are also included on the homepage.
His Facebook page has over 3 million fans. There is a cool upcoming concerts feature that not only displays the schedule for upcoming concerts, but allows for purchasing tickets and sharing the event on Facebook. His status updates link to Twitter which he uses for frequent updates. He receives a high number of Likes and comments on each post.
He has about 2.5 million Twitter followers and tweets on a consistent basis. His Twitter feed is also included on his main website.
Independent artist Mr. Robotic was recently interviewed about his social media efforts by stupidDOPE.com. The social media links on his website are a little difficult to find at first. They are text links located on a side-menu about halfway down the page. They include links to his blog, email newsletter, Facebook, iTunes, Myspace, Twitter, and YouTube. The main menu at the top of the page also contains a link to his blog and the site displays a link to the newsletter below the slideshow header of the page. His Twitter feed is nicely displayed using cartoon speech clouds.
His Facebook page has a little over a thousand fans. He makes frequent updates and receives feedback on most of his posts. He has almost 4,500 followers on Twitter.
Those numbers are small in comparison to the first two artists mentioned, but that doesn’t mean he is not successful. Mr. Robotic’s music has found placement in various television productions. This has helped with building connection. He told Ariel Hyatt in an interview for Ariel Publicity that he has “about 112 that would buy anything from me.” That’s about 10% of his connections on Facebook.
It’s not always about the number you have, but more about the quality of the number. Focus on building social media connections that will actually be a true fans and purchase product. Don’t worry about the overall numbers.
These are just a few examples of artists using social media. Examine their sites and marketing efforts. Look at other artists as well. Then take the good ideas you find and apply them to your own efforts.