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9 things Lady Gaga can teach us about community management

This week, Lady Gaga became the first person to exceed 20m followers on Twitter.

These are huge numbers, but volume rarely means anything on its own. The interesting point here is that this community really are her 'followers' - in namesake and in the way they respond to her.

They are more loyal than a brand could ever dream of, but there are some lessons that we can all take on board and implement when trying to build a community either online or off.

  1. Look at existing behavior and run with it One of the biggest mistakes brands make when entering into the world of social media is a lack of response. Whether we’re talking about social customer service, or just engaging with people who love your brand;  it’s very hard to do either well without there being some kind of interaction.
  2. Invest and incentives Not only has she personally invested in Backplane, a technology-based community platform, but she also uses Fancorps – another platform from which she leverages a street team of over 25,000. Fancorps incentivises people to share the word of Gaga both online and offline, people are rewarded with points to be used against tracks or albums, tickets, collateral, virtual gifts and more.
  3. Show your flaws Instead of taking this popularity, and shying away from it, keeping things behind closed doors – she’s embraced it and flung open the doors. There are messages from her bedroom, videos shot backstage, interviews where she’ll open up about being scared about performing. The whole shebang.  
  4. She's true to her brand It might be ever-changing, chameleon style, but Gaga’s brand knows itself like no other. It know its stance on equality, sexuality, friendship and more. These might not be issues that every brand needs to consider, but working out what your social voice is.  
  5. Change Keeping people engaged for longer periods of time means exciting them. Sadly, attention spans are much shorter than they used to be, and so there’s a need to create a richer content plan now more than ever.
  6. Authenticity There are no holds barred with Gaga. What you see is what you get, she’s the one doing the talking.  You can tell this by the candid images and videos, to the way she talks online. She’s the one running the show.
  7. Targeting like-minded people To properly build a community, a scattergun approach will not work. There are too many forums, networks, games and apps for people to get involved with, and suck up their time.For years, the benefits of mass-niche communities have been shouted from the rooftops, but now, this is tipped to be the 'future' of networked society. 
  8. Gratitude Without a doubt, the power of Gaga is her fans. Her crazy, loyal, would-do-anything-to-support-her fans. She knows that, and she tells them regularly. It’s the most simple aspect of her community management, it’s free and it takes no time at all.
  9. Collaboration Co-creation and collaboration is the name of the game at the moment. Well, it has been for a while really, but it’s matured enough to be of real use to a brand. Nokia’s just announced that it will centre a large of its international marketing strategy around this, just to show you how it’s evolved as a concept.

See the full article on econsultancy.com

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Artists from the hype machine

An interesting article on Economist.com about new born artists raising up from the internet:

AMERICA’S well-documented independent music scene once valued tour-van mileage, lean living, anti-commercialism and a layer of sonic inscrutability. The DIY work ethic of the 1980s and ‘90s meant everything from booking your own gigs to pressing your own debut single, if necessary. Would-be scribes wrote criticism in Xeroxed zines, published in copy shops. It was more concerned with a grassroots revolution in sound than SoundScan figures—the pre-internet gauge of sales.

In the past decade, indie music blogs—often American, each fancying itself like a mini-NME—have become increasingly influential. Pitchfork and Stereogum, in particular, had the power to break bands from independent labels with every thumbs-up they give. Acts such as the Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes owe much of their commercial viability to enthusiastic online editorial coverage. The online hype machine—which drops new tracks and videos along with breathlessly excited text, plus the usual reviews and interviews—can easily make a musician that has never played a live concert a buzz-worthy act over night. Often the more mysterious the act, the better for the site that breaks it. Traditional media blogs have restyled themselves along the same lines—Rollingstone.com for instance. In this day and age, that online hype may not translate into massive sales, but it can mean a career in music with potentially lucrative touring and licensing. Publishing and live performance are the profit centres in the industry these days.

Nothing illustrates the conflict between the power and influence of the blogs and their romantic notions of an indie music work ethic better than the Lana Del Rey affair. In short, indie music blogs initially championed her “Video Games” single/video via YouTube and covered her as a rising star in the tradition of Cat Power, an underground darling. But then they outed Del Rey as an ambitious pop-star wannabe, who had already released an album to little fanfare under her given name. She had management, a label and the business savvy to reboot as Del Rey with a signature look (a retro brunette bombshell that rarely smiles) and the blogs felt duped. Del Rey wasn’t the undiscovered organically grown rare orchid they had hoped. Rather, she was nurtured in the corporate hothouse. But it was too late to put the genie back in the bottle: Del Rey was already on the way to a major label release, an appearance on Saturday Night Live and a number one album on iTunes in 11 countries.

What Del Rey illustrates is that indie cred, and indie values and credential checking is a useless exercise in this day and age—if indie was a private party, the bouncer has long since left the building. Del Rey wasn’t the first career-oriented songwriter to reconfigure herself with an indie scene-friendly look; acts like the Drums had already done that. And the artists that are given carte blanche on the hipster blogs are just as likely to employ powerful publicists and booking agents, and license tunes commercially as those working the industry showcase circuit and toiling away with songwriting teams. And music industry insiders, who once might have ignored bands playing the basement-show circuit, are combing the blogs, SoundCloud and of course YouTube looking for the next sensation. The walls have been broken down for years, and it is a good thing that they are unlikely to go up again.

Del Rey’s new album isn’t quite worth the kerfuffle. Outside of the unique and downbeat “Video Games”, which contrasts a schoolgirl fantasy of glamorous life with a humdrum chore of keeping a boy interested, "Born to Die" only bears modest fruit. We’re given a heavy dose of Gangsta Nancy Sinatra on songs which wed trip-hop beats, sweeping strings and near-raps. Often, she’s playing a gold-loving, retro-styled vixen that savours the thrills that come with bad boys but ends up bored and conflicted. The lounge filler in “Diet Mountain Dew” and elsewhere lends itself to a gangster moll storyline, but altogether, Born to Die is more pop curiosity than a youthquake. Never fear. With the hype machine humming along 24-7, something else will come soon.

(via Economist.com)

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Anthm: make your own jukebox with friends

Just recently I was in a situation where I was discussing with a friend that it would be cool to have the Jukebox option at a party. Well, here is one solution to it! Anthm is a nice little app that lets you start a song queue where friends can throw in their records chosen from Rdio's library of millions of songs. Perfect would be if the app at least also inter-operates with the Android OS.

Check the video to see how it works.

 

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MGMT's new track

The new song by psych-rock duo MGMT features flutes, horns, and about seven different sections that reference doo-wop, old school rock'n'roll, electro balladry, Ariel Pink-style lo-fi, wall-of-Spector pop, and the Beatles at their most high. All in four minutes and sixteen seconds! (Via MGMT's site.) Listen to the song on pitchfork.com

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twitter your album review

Twitter all over the place right now. Everyone has his twitter feed and idem do artists. Consequently, today's musicians have a myspace page, a facebook group/profile, a blog, a last.fm profile, a flickr photostream and a twitter feed. .. and probably an official web page.

Moby just released his 9th studio album ("wait for me") and let fans write reviews via twitter. Twitter users just post your review starting with @thelittleidiot and ending with #waitforme. Further, the most creative review wins an original 'Wait for Me' artork by Moby!

(via moby/journal)

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groovy dancing girl

While browsing through Daft Punk videos I found the following video through synopse. It's a girl dancing along Daft Punk's track "Harder Better Faster Stronger". This video made me laugh - great! ... makes the track even more groovy. :) [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr2JneittqQ]

(via synopse)

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1. Swiss Music Awards: Vote Now!

Who thinks Switzerland is too small for its own Music Awards is wrong: On 27. February 2008 the first Swiss Music Awards are going to elect the best Swiss artists on the Kaufleuten stage in Zurich. However, the Swiss Awards emerged not without any reason are just because it is fancy to have Music Awards. In my opinion, since a while there lies some kind of strengthened "Swiss-feeling" in the air. This may come from our national football team which do not play too bad at the World Championship in Germany last year or because of the forthcoming European Championship in Switzerland. : ) But most of all it emerged from the risen quantity of quality music material of Swiss artists as it can be seen from the Swiss charts where our Swiss rockstars are placed more and more in the top ten. 'Nuff said - Vote!

sma

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Really big sound

Everyone knows the white earbuds delivered with the iPod. But have you ever seen speakers which are 500 times the size of the original iPod earbuds? How cool is that!

 

(via swissmiss)

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Moby's new style

This morning I watched the new video for "Alice" by Moby on last.fm. This video is so weird, not to say satanically coloured, that it just does not align with the previous videos of Moby. And the track itself is just boring. Moby will release his sixth studio album "last night" on 31st March (uk) & 1st April (usa) 2008. moby alice

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