Trent Reznor’s (from Nine Inch Nails) recent announcement that he is leaving Social Media because of trolls sums up the need for all business to- “have a plan”. Whether you are a musician or a corporate giant – a Social Media marketing strategy with a clear map to real business objective is necessary.
Reznor (@trent_reznor )says: “The reason no record label knows how to market anything to new media is they don’t live there. They don’t get it because they don’t use it. What you’ve seen happen with the marketing and presentation of NIN over the last years is a direct result of living next to you, listening to you, consuming with you and interacting with you. Directly. There’s no handlers or PR people here, it’s me and my guys – that’s it. There’s no real plan, even – it’s just trying to do the right thing that respects you the fan, the music, and me the artist. That’s the goal – a mutual and shared respect.”
He is right! In a perfect world he could engage his fans transparently and be free and clear of negative sentiment. But the fact remains- transparency will lead to as much negative as positive. But to combat it, businesses need the resources to answer to both the negative and the positive. Reznor’s comments are nothing more than a call for help- not a white flag!
Here are 5 action items that Trent can do to remedy his troll problem and create a solid foundation fora true Social Media Strategy Plan:
- Hire a Social Media Director – I am sure there are a great deal of recent college grads that would kill to put Nine Inch Nails Social Media Director on their resume. I am also sure this person would work on the cheap! They would be in charge of monitoring, responding, engaging, and consistently push/pulling relevant content to Nine Inch Nails. Essentially being the overseer of the NIN brand in Social Media channels. Instead of Trent doing it, this person will carry out tedious tasks and put the most important content in front of Trent daily to respond to. Everything between the good ideas to negative sentiment! This essentially removes the trolls and lets Trent focus on making great music. Lastly, this person will work under NIN’s PR folks.
- Purchase a Social Analytics tool– these tools help track, reply, document and recognize real ROI. For $500-$750 per month a business can have a birds-eye view of their social media presence. I recommend Techrigy – although the marketplace is becoming flush solutions. I would suggest demoing several and deciding what would work best for a music artist.
- Migrate to Modlife: Because Modlife is fee service for fans to join, it eliminates trolls and allows musicians to create almost their own safe market research community. They can share, test, and interact with passionate fans. My suggestion is to utilize Modlife as a musicians center location, and use Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Social Bookmarking sites to push information, take information- but most importantly to draw in the “real fans”. The innovators if you will- NIN’s very own market research community. Look no further then what Angels & Airwaves have done here: http://modlife.com/angelsandairwaves Perfect for NIN!
- Create a Recognition Rewards Program– Use meet and greets as a way to build a group of online body guards. Dangling a “meet Trent Reznor opportunity” is a stellar reward for being a pro-NIN presence that pushes the band in the social channels. This is enabling and empowering and can be done with nothing more than a bit of organizing and a brief shining of the spotlight on these do-gooders electronically. It is amazing what a simple tweet from rock star can do from an ego perspective.
- Build a Content Schedule & Engage– Start doing chats on TinyChat. Conduct monthly webinars and podcasts where fans get to hear new material or offer feedback on what artists NIN should tour with. The content schedule should be focused on the business goals of fan feedback and innovation to their voice. When you give your customers what they want, you will win their business repeatedly. Once again, the content schedule is geared towards enabling, empowering and organizing NIN’s own market research community. It is no different then what Barack Obama did to get elected.
My life as a social media consultant consists of creating plans such as these-although much more in-depth than this blog. But every business is different in their needs, desires, and objectives. In fact, how each business measures ROI is vastly different. In Trent Reznor’s case, his ROI is to be able to engage Social Media effectively so he can listen to his customers (the fans) and innovate his music based on their feedback. His desire is no different than a billion dollar corporate empire- to be able to go direct to consumer with new products-thus lowering marketing churn, while having a product that is created based on the voice of the customer. Trent just needed a strategy plan….