Social listening is important to connecting with your audience, and engaging them in social conversations. But the real benefits are clear when you see a direct correlation to increased revenue.
Universal Music Group (UMG) Nashville saw such results during a recent campaign for their artist Luke Bryan – which is the subject of our newest Success Story.
Social listening helps you make the most of huge opportunities
When UMG’s artist Luke Bryan was nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award, the label knew they had to make the most of it. Past experience told them award show wins translate into an immediate uptick in record sales – so they wanted to be sure Bryan won. And because the award is fan-voted, they needed to nail their social campaign or risk losing to another artist.
There’s a lot to consider in a case like this, where the stakes are high, and the window for engagement is narrow:
- Are you connected enough to your fans to motivate them?
- How much should you promote your campaign, and when?
- What are your competitors doing?
Social monitoring offers answers to each of these questions – if you remember to use it.
Luckily, UMG knows the country market and its passionate audience well. But knowing your audience isn’t enough. With a timed campaign you’ve got to hit your stride at the perfect moment, and that was where UMG needed a bit of help.
Trusting data over your gut
In the past, UMG had relied on gut instinct to drive their social decisions, testing to see what worked. With so much on the line they couldn’t risk such a strategy this time. Instead, they used NetBase to look back at previous campaigns to understand trends over the voting period. They also looked at each previous nominee individually to see how other labels had approached things.
This investigation yielded major results. UMG discovered other labels were front-loading their artists’ campaigns, hitting hard for the first three days of voting. This was a very different approach than the long-tail strategy UMG had typically used.
With accurate data guiding them, UMG shifted gears. They moved up posts planned for later in the campaign – which was exactly what they needed for Bryan to spike above the other nominees, and stay on top until voting ended.
Had they stuck to their original plan, they might have only caught fans’ attention when it was too late to matter. Because they were monitoring social in real-time, they were able to adjust in real-time – and positively impact their campaign’s outcome.
The spoils of smartly-applied social listening
Bryan did take home the Entertainer of the Year trophy, and the win brought a 20 percent increase in record sales for UMG. But just as noteworthy, the more efficient, data-driven approach reaped dividends in cost savings via improved productivity.
Instead of scrambling to understand why their artist wasn’t getting more votes, UMG used NetBase’s insights to ensure that Bryan’s name was in the mix at the crucial moment, when fans were on social and ready to lend their support, maximizing their efforts.
Ramping up their campaign just a day later might have meant potential votes for Bryan would have already been cast for one of his competitors – which is exactly the argument for applying social data over assumptions. Small changes can make enormous differences – and you always want them to be in favor of your brand. So you’re the one who gets to “thank the Academy.”
Image from Joe Bielawa