Ohio University Strategic Social Media

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Category: SXSW

Does Social Media Make Concerts Better? (SXSW Panel Discussion)

By Mira Kuhar


This past week, I had the pleasure of attending South By South West (SXSW) conference and festival in Austin, TX. For those who are unsure, SXSW is a week-long set of conferences and festivals with categories in music, film and interactive. The conference portion offers badge holders a chance to hear from a wide variety of panels on many different facets of these three industries. I was fortunate enough to attend many incredible panels that had speakers from all different sides of the music industry.

One of these panel that stuck out to me the post was “Does Social Media Make Concerts Better?” I was intrigued by the title, because at first I thought it was going to be centered around the negativity of social media and how it can be a distraction and take away from experience. However, what I experienced was the complete opposite. 

The panel consisted of three professionals: Scott Carlis, VP of Digital Social Media and Marketing for AEG Global Partnerships, Hugh McIntyre, music write for Forbes, Glenn Minerley, VP Group Director of Music and Entertainment and Craig Goodfriend, Industry Manager of Facebook. Also on the panel was Jean-Philip Grobler of the band St. Lucia who spoke to the benefits/downsides of social media at concerts from an artist’s stand point.

The discussion started off with a few interesting statistics regarding music, millennials and social media:

These statistics reflected what the panel was all about: social media truly does make concerts better. In the opinion of these professions, social media enhances the concert experience before and after the show, not just during like one would think. This gives brands and bands a way to enter the social media conversation like never before; there are so many ways to continue connecting with your audience than just through the hour or so of your show. 

Social media has done so much more than just change the concert experience though; it has in return changed the way albums are cycled, the way concert tickets are purchased, the way artists connect with fans and the way fans consume music. The pattern of influence has shifted because of social media, and the impact on the music business because of this is extremely evident. 

It has completely changed the live music experience for millennials. Now, with just the few clicks of a button (or touch screen), fans can continue to engage with their favorite artists before during and after the show, and share that experience with so many others, especially the ones that couldn’t be in attendance. Being able to connect with a show in this type of way makes the experience better for the concert attendee; they feel more connected when they’re using all the tools available to indulge in a show in this way. 

One interesting piece of information that I took away regarding a specific social media site had to do with the Instagram experience. According to the professionals and artist on this panel, Instagram is a great way for brands and bands to connect with their fans. You can easily share your photos from here and push it out to all other platforms, which makes it an ideal place to house content. Also, there are so many users on Instagram that it’s easy for fans to connect with their favorite artists. Engagement rates are extremely high with Instagram, and because of this posting content on here can carry a lot of weight when you want your fans to see what you’re doing or you want your voice/story to be heard. 

In conclusion, when social media is used to enhance the concert experience, we view brands and bands in a better light and are happy that we can continue to connect before and after the show. In all, its about being authentically cool; making your fans love the work you are doing, and showing them in a way that is real and not fluffed or made up. Social media does intact make concerts better, and it will continue to help shape live music and the music industry in general for many years to come.

Instagram & Snapchat: The New Hustle (A SXSW Panel Discussion)

By Erica Stonehill

I had the privilege of attending this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film, Interactive and Music conference in Austin, TX. My mind was flooded with information about what was next for music, as well as social media and its involvement in the industry.

Instagram and Snapchat: The New Hustle was one of my favorite sessions I attended. This panel featured Julz Goddard, best known for her huge following as a Snapchat influencer, Sheila Hozhabri, Director of Digital Marketing for Crowd Surf/Reign Deer Entertainment, and Aubrey Flynn, Vice President of Digital for Combs Enterprises.sxswpanel2

One of the main things discussed was the difference between using Snapchat and Instagram, and social media in general, as an artist or influencer vs. as a brand.

Goddard explained that as an influencer, she sees Snapchat as a raw and authentic platform that appeals to the public’s need for reality TV. She has found that she receives more engagement and replies from her fans when she pos
ts a snap asking what shoes she should wear, rather than promoting an event or product.

“People just want to feel like they’re a part of what you have going on,” she explains.

Flynn has experience on both sides of the equation, as he works alongside Sean Combs himself, as well as his many brands, such as CIROC and REVOLT.

He says it’s important to create a character for your brand that is in line with your target audience because it brings a personal, relatable touch to the company. This is simple in his case, because Flynn can channel Combs’ voice in his brands’ media.

Another great insight was one from Hozhabri who manages digital marketing and strategy for artists such as Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and Steven Tyler, among many others. When asked how important it is for entertainers to be on the forefront of social media and new developments, she said that artists don’t need to be early adopters.

“It’s all timing,” Hozhabri says. “You don’t have to be first; it just needs to work.”

Goddard echoed this, saying that as an influencer, she isn’t going to get involved with a new platform if it doesn’t feel right. You can tell when artists feel uncomfortable on certain social media, and it’s clear to fans that they aren’t into it.

There were so many huge takeaways from this panel and many other sessions at SXSW. I could write an entire book with all the notes I took. But I believe this discussion brought up great points, some of which I wasn’t able to touch on.

Many sessions were recorded for either podcasts or livestreams. If you’re interested in learning more of what I did, check out the official SXSW website!

SXSW Panel: Scandinavian Digital Marketing Secrets

by Jonathan Mackall


Late Thursday afternoon I, along with dozens of others, descended upon room 11AB in the Austin Conference Center for a panel run by Nikoo Sadr of Music Ally, entitled “Mamma Mia! Scandinavian Digital Marketing Secrets”. Sadr spent much of the panel lecturing on marketing strategies which utilized Spotify- arguably Northern Europe’s biggest digital export.

Given the fact that Spotify was spawned in Sweden, its overall share of the legal music consumption market in Scandinavia is much higher (proportionally) than in the USA. Furthermore, its use is more widespread in most Northern and Western European nations than in the Americas. Thusly, some of the most successful digital campaigns using Spotify have come from European bands and managers. Artists like Veronica Maggio and Linnea Henriksson worked with Spotify to promote upcoming releases using “drip feed” campaigns. These campaigns involve releasing a new song (often with new artwork) each day leading up to the full album’s release. This system was shown to increase back catalogue streaming 50 to 75% leading up to the new album’s release date.

Not only are artists using Spotify to increase their listenerbase, but Spotify itself uses clever campaign strategies to increase its brand awareness in various regions. Spotify uses its curation team to help create custom-tailored playlists to fit almost any event- regional or not, often times to much success. For example, Spotify quickly posted a playlist for an event in Northern England called “Drummond Puddle Watch”, wherein a humongous naturally-formed puddle was lived streamed via Periscope as it stumped those who tried to cross it.

Spotify is also working together with certain artists to help them increase their fan loyalty. One notable tactic used for listener retention is swiped from Pandora- voice messages from artists. Whether it’s about an upcoming single release, or giving more insight on a track or album, hearing the actual artist speak directly to the fan has helped increase loyalty for many. For example, Melissa Horn, a Swedish pop artist, doubled her projected album streams upon release after placing spoken word messages to fans on Spotify.

While Spotify has been used very successfully by many Scandinavian marketers, it’s not without its flaws, Sadr admitted. The service isn’t interactive at all, leaving out social integration almost entirely. Furthermore, its search engine is pretty deeply flawed (although some artists have used the broken search to their advantage for campaigns). From an artists’ standpoint, Spotify also has no built in method for tracking royalties in real-time- one must turn to outside services to gather such data.

So while Spotify has its issues, it’s a powerful tool for digital marketers, and has been proven successful in its nontraditional ability to strengthen artists’ fanbases. Marketers are able to work with Spotify as a platform/tool and with its team as a company both to create unique and engaging digital campaigns.