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Ariel Hyatt on Music & Social Media: So, What Else Have You Got?

Here is  CyberPR maven Ariel Hyatt at the recent MIDEM conference in France talking about using “social media”  if you’re trying to build a ‘sustainable creative enterprise’ on and/or off line:

Mostly, what Ariel is talking about is the familiar, “use Facebook and Twitter to grow your fanbase…” But the bigger lesson here is “we show artists how to be engaging.” Translation: it’s not enough that you’re a performing musician with great songs, a great stage presence, and table full of desirable merchandise: you might need to dig in  a little and open up about other aspects of your existence —  as opposed to standing across the proscenium and hiding behind your “art.”

While speaking specifically to  complexities of all these Internet “tools,” Ariel provides the essential agreement of the secret sauce.  Citing the example of a band that used Twitter to land tour sponsorship  from the Sonic Drive-In chain, she says

Leverage the truth and make it an asset…  Take something you are passionate about – even if it’s silly, like ice cream – and make it part of the experience with your fans….”

As Ariel infers, the fading broadcast media paradigm conditions

artists…to think in ‘macro’ numbers. You don’t need millions to create a life for yourself, you just need hundreds… like a thousand true fans.

Share a tiny bit about what you like and what you do. It may seem stupid in an isolated event — like ‘I like Sonic ice cream’ — but the result was huge.

In the networked ecosystem, your “business” has to be about more than just your “art.” Maybe Bela Fleck said it best: “You gotta figure out what you want to teach everybody.”

“Social Media” ? Give It a Minute…

…or more like a coupla/few of months.

I’m always intrigued when somebody professes to be an expert in “social networking” because I figure an “expert” is somebody who’s been at something for a while — you know, like, years — which is really longer than “social networking” has actually been around.

But in the endlessly evolving environment of digital media, an “expert” is really somebody who knows…. just a little more than you do.

Bill Seaver

By that (admittedly low?) standard, Bill Seaver is somebody who has lately focused his attention as a marketing expert on social media, so it warrants our attention when he says:

In my experience it takes three or four months for most people to begin to see positive results in any of the above areas. By they time they cross the six month mark, however, they tend to feel like they really have momentum going for themselves and the sky is the limit.

Amen.  The post is worth reading — but bring with it the understanding that there is going to be a lot of diligent “hand-cranking” of these “high-tech” tools before you’ll see any meaningful results.  It will take at least four months, maybe six, maybe more before the effort pays off.  So add the word “patient” to the expression “hand-cranking.”

And don’t be surprised if the skill sets you acquire at the outset of that period are entirely different from the skill sets you wind up with at the end.