I’ve always used social media since it became the norm, in fact, I’d say I probably knew more than most about it. Recently I have gone from having a passing interest to being a total obsessive, for many reasons. The main one being how clearly beneficial it is to both my work with PokerNews and obviously for my upcoming book.
More so, I came to the realisation at the exact same time that Bill Rini and Kim Lund have produced several great blog posts on the subject, that social media is being vastly underused in the poker industry. Most think just “lets post a link and wait for the money to roll in”, I must admit, that was my view for a while too.
Read both Bill and Kim’s blogs because they are very good, I can’t offer anything new, but I can think of something that happened to me this week which perfectly illustrates the reason to use social media in marketing. I was listening to Radio 6 (The best radio station in the world btw) and one of the guests on the breakfast show was an Irish Improvisational Comedy Freestyle Rap Act (Yes, that’s what they actually were, never thought those words could go together). They were very funny but I didn’t catch their name.
So I sent the Radio 6 breakfast show a Tweet asking their name, a few hours later instead of getting a reply from Radio 6, I got a reply direct from the band (They were called Abandoman and I advise you check them out). How cool is that? I was listening to them on the breakfast radio show and before lunch they had contacted me directly.
Now I knew their name, I wanted to see more of them, so I went to their website and then their Facebook page, which had several funny videos of their act. I also checked out their listings and didn’t see anywhere near my hometown of Sheffield, so I posted on their wall asking if they had any plans on coming? They replied quickly saying no, but could I recommend them any venues?
Just as quickly I sent them a couple of venues as well as a link to the website for the Sheffield Comedy Festival in October. They had never heard of that particular festival, but loved the look of last year’s line-up and as a result, are now in talks with the organiser to play there this year. I for one will be the first to buy a ticket if they do (Actually I will push for a free ticket being as I pointed it out to them).
What a truly satisfying experience it was for both me, the consumer, and them, the artist. Thanks to social media my passing interest in Abandoman was quickly converted into enthusiasm because they contacted me in person, allowed me to find out more about them, and even get the smug satisfaction of possibly organising a gig for them. They in turn have got a new fan, find out about a new gig, and I have already started sending links to their stuff to all my friends, potentially creating more fans.
I am currently reading Tribes by Seth Godin and in it he says that, because of innovations like social media, to market a product you only need a small, dedicated group of fans who will do the marketing for you through word of mouth – all you have to do is engage them. This was a great example, Abandoman engaged me and I am now passionately spreading the word, in part because they have given me an extra reason to like them beyond their act. I would have certainly forgotten about them by now if not, but because they took 2 minutes out to engage with me, it could help create them a new fan base (You are going to check them out after all, how can you not now?)
The lesson, social media is not about spamming and converting and monetizing – it is about conversations, engaging and entertaining (Which if done well, can lead to converting and monetizing).
With that said, please follow me on Twitter and we can have a nice chat. I promise I won’t mention my new book unless you ask me.