Photo by Marisa Aveling

The Real-Time Global Marketing: Social Entertainment Engagement panel was led by social media professionals talking about how marketing must move in real-time in order to keep up with the audience of its brands. But before diving into the discussion, the talk was preceded by some words between long-time friends Steve Ellis (CEO, WhoSay) and Larry Mills (VP, Strategic Marketing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing). “I was there when you met your wife,” the latter said to the former, whose relationship goes way back to when Ellis was a musician not interested in marketing the product, or music rather, that he was making.
WhoSay is Ellis’ latest venture, which concentrates on celebrity content and makes it easy for them, as well as influencers, to connect and engage with fans. The reasons why people utilize the services of WhoSay range from being able to control their brand to monetization of content, but the overall reason the venture started was because Ellis and his cohorts believed that there needed to be an easier way to manage these social media tools to make engagement with fans quicker and more direct.
In relation to music, Ellis said, “If you choose to be a musician today, you’re choosing to be an entrepreneur.” He views marketing as now part of the artists’ job description. Through technology, the opportunity to have an even more direct relationship with your fans is there—it’s now the responsibility of artists to run with it.
The panel at large discussed broader strategies and ways of real-time connection with fans. Monee Perry (Senior New Media Marketing Manager, Roc Nation) suggested that artists should engage with fans on things that they’re already doing—be it sharing photos from last night’s concert on Facebook to Tweeting that J. Cole’s mixtape is available for free online—and find ways to incentivize that. Emmanuel Zunz (CEO, ONErpm) said that artists should be prepared to give away at least one or more tracks for free when promoting an album, and Perry agreed, making sure that the product that you’re giving away is also of solid quality. Andy Ellwood (Director, Business Development, Gowalla) said he discovered that including an element of chance into the ways you reward fans has proved a successful way of keeping them “addicted” and sharing.
As Facebook becomes an even more powerful marketing tool, the panel also suggested that your “likes” matter, but what you do with that matters more. It’s important to have a high rate of engagement on a page so that your fans are sharing, liking and linking as much as possible. The new “X people are talking about this” function on Facebook will assist you in monitoring how many people are engaging with your brand or band.
Also important to note, said the panel, is being able to tailor your voice according to each platform. The way you speak and message on Facebook should be different from Twitter, which should be different from your website. “It should be a ‘talk with’ conversation, not a ‘talk to’ conversation,” said Perry.
And finally, it’s important to know your audience, especially since now it’s so much easier for artists to connect directly with their fans. The more you understand who you’re talking to, how to segment them and where they’re from/coming from, the more you’ll be able to give them what they want. This will keep them engaged and—ideally—ready to help you.