SXSW kicks off next week, and NetBase is heading to Austin for a number of events in the area – starting with Brand Innovators Mega-Trends on March 11. NetBase CMO Paige Leidig will join Tony Grotticelli, Director of Digital Development & Analytics at Universal Music Group Nashville, who’ll share how UMG uses social listening to leverage fans of new country artists and turn them into household names.

Grotticelli’s presentation will outline exactly how UMG monitors fans on social media and adjusts their marketing strategies, specifically for awards shows like the Academy of Country Music Awards. It’s really a great case study, since each year, fans themselves vote for the Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year Awards. This past December, UMG was able to bring home the gold for country artist Luke Bryan. How’d they do it? By getting to know his fans.

Striking the right chord with social media listening

Not every product gets people chatting on social media, but music is one that does. When a new track or album has everyone jamming, they want to talk about it. Real-time social media monitoring allows Grotticelli and his team to see if their artists are hitting home for music fans – and to give them more of what they want. Marketing an artist like Luke Bryan, for example, means sharing exclusive tracks, getting him on the shows his fans are watching, and having the artist himself (and his team) interact with fans.

Without social media listening, it would be guess-work, but with these insights, UMG can cater personally to their artists’ fan bases, while introducing newcomers to their music as well. How? By using social monitoring to reveal what else users are listening to, buying, and sharing, and leveraging that information in brand messaging. Are fans on YouTube or Spotify? What are similar artists doing to connect with fans?

Answering these questions is key to crafting a successful marketing strategy when it comes to musicians – or any other “commodity.” And it’s what sets you up for success when you need the fans to give a helping hand.

Putting your audience to work

When you cultivate that fan love with authentic, individualized social messaging, you build an army of dedicated soldiers willing to act on your behalf – when you ask the right way. You’ve got to talk to your audience on their level, about the things they have a passion for.

When you use social sentiment analysis in this way, you can not only discover fans you never knew were there, but you can identify influencers to help get the word out when you need people voting for your brand. Grotticelli will talk about how UMG did this to get to the ACM awards. It’s easy enough when you have the right tools – and know what moves your fans to act.

Love can move mountains

Social users don’t just do what they’re told for the sake of it. Their actions are inspired by intense sentiment – be it love or hate. If they hate you, they’re going to complain, loudly, on a number of channels. And if they love you… well, that’s a great time to ask for a favor. That’s why it’s so important to know how they’re feeling – even if they’re talking in code.

Emojis and slanguage are a huge part of the emotional conversation between social users, so you’ve got to be able to decipher both. When you do, you gain a dimensional understanding you can act on, meaningfully. Without that, you’re shooting in the dark – and wasting your efforts.

But don’t take it from us. Take it from Grotticelli, and Luke Bryan fans. They’re clearly speaking the same language. And they’d like to thank the Academy…

To hear from Tony Grotticelli first-hand, look for us at Brand Innovators Austin, or reach out for more about our social monitoring

Image from Cliff


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