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Online Conversations Offer Opportunity For Conversion

This guest post is by Brian Thompson, the man behind Thorny Bleeder Records.  He's a Vancouver based rock n' roll brand architect, marketing consultant, blogger, podcaster,  industry speaker and artist manager.

image from www.thornybleeder.comThe Power Of Networking & Engaging In Online Conversations
Everyone is telling you to step-up your use of social media to connect with fans and to reach them where they congregate, online. Yet many of you don't. You still post nothing but a steady stream of spammy type status updates such as: Listen To This! Buy My CD! Order Now! Like My Page! We're Awesome, Tell Your Friends!

Be honest, when you see postings like this appear in your social stream, how do you react? You don't. You tune them out.

Messages like that are nothing but advertising... and no one likes to be advertised to. Trust me, you won't get anywhere using that type of approach.

You've most likely heard marketing people say something similar to this: Engage With Your Fans! But, jeesh... that just takes so much work doesn't it? Well suck it up, your fans are people too and they need to be treated as such, especially if you want them to become a customer. Customers need to be interacted with!

So perhaps you just need to change the way you look at social media. Consider conversations as moments of conversion ('conversion' is marketing-speak for turning a potential customer into a paying customer). Each and every time you speak directly with a fan (in-person at a show, at your place of business, on the phone, via email, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or in your blog's comments) you earn points with them and are creating a relationship. I know, I know... that's such an overused term in marketing. But it's true. It's this relationship that causes a fan to pay more attention to you, and when the time is right... that relationship can be monetized.

Without engaging your fans and the people who are talking about your brand, you're missing out on crucial moments of conversion.

Here's an example of a brand who's doing it right and who has created the perfect opportunity for a sale using Twitter; Cold-FX, a Canadian herbal supplement for preventing and curing colds.

It started with a reply tweet that I sent to a friend who was suffering from a cold:
image from www.thornybleeder.com
Within 30 minutes we both received the following tweet from @COLDFXSupport:
image from www.thornybleeder.comHow cool is that? By simply LISTENING to the social web and participating in conversations about their brand, the company has just made two potential sales by offering both of us a valuable $4 Off coupon! And it was simple to do, and cost them nothing in 'advertising'. They simply monitored the social web (in this case, using the saved search feature in Twitter, for their brand name) and interacted with each person who mentioned them.

Now for bands, I'm not suggesting you high-jack every conversation you stumble upon that's about Rock Music so you can spam your songs to them, but hopefully you get the gist of the idea. By treating everyone as individuals and taking the time to talk to them one-on-one, you create an opportunity for a connection... and in turn, a potential sale (or a 'play', or a 'Like', or a referral to a friend).

Turn Casual Conversations Into Profitable Relationships

Do you have any similar examples of bands or brands who are using social media wisely?

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