“I have never seen anyone care about anything more than you care about Stevie Nicks’s social media presence” – actual quote by an actual friend
It’s no secret that I like Stevie Nicks. I’ve spent the last few months writing about her for both Bed Crumbs and Bustle. Topics included her influence on millennial women (Stevie Nicks’s Daughters of the Moon), where she and other influential women were at quarter life, and her stunning 24 Karat Gold portrait collection.
It’s also no secret that I am heavily invested in the internet and social media. How can I not be? It’s my job. I currently work in social media for Condé Nast’s entertainment division, and in the past have managed social media and PR for film and television clients a social media marketing agency in New York.
I suppose this experience makes me more sensitive to the executions of other social media campaigns. It’s easy to laugh off “social media fails” or to shrug and let things go when I see countless examples of campaigns coming close, but no cigar. However, when it comes to something near to my own personal interests, like my favorite musicians, entertainers, or brands, I feel the need to say something.
I have long respected and admired Stevie Nicks’s career, so I was excited to see her image branching out more into social media, especially Instagram. So excited that I wrote a piece for an agency blog – Stevie Nicks Joins Instagram: How Old Dogs Are Learning New Tricks – about the opportunities it presented and its potential to increase the marketing behind 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault.
In following the official social media campaign, though, I saw a prime opportunity to offer my assistance. The combination of my enthusiasm for Ms. Nicks’s career and extensive knowledge of social media would enable me to be a powerful asset.
My background and work experience are not the only things that make me qualified for this endeavor. I also studied and meticulously researched the trajectory of this year’s campaign, putting in efforts similar to deep dives I put together for clients. I pulled insights and social chatter, made note of the great executions and the not-so-great ones.
There have been missed opportunities along the way and efforts to correct them now miss the mark. The official Instagram was to be launched on Monday, August 4th after announcing the date on Twitter and Facebook, which confused many fans, but didn’t go live until a few days later. Content was shared once or twice a week, despite the fact that more frequent posting on Instagram is essential for growth.
I tracked the daily rate of growth of fans and engagement per post for a month, comparing Stevie’s Instagram to that of Barbra Streisand, which launched a few weeks later and soon eclipsed it. Both were releasing new albums within weeks of the other and appealed to similar demographics. But Barbra has 30 percent fewer Facebook fans (where the best Instagram tie-in lies) and only 17 percent more Twitter followers. But take a look at Barbra Streisand’s Instagram and you will see that the content is more robust, accomplishing what Stevie Nicks’s should have been: frequent posts combining personal and promotional.
When the Instagram launched, the location settings for the account were active, allowing users to trace where a photo was sent from on a map. In this case, it appeared to be back to the Warner Brothers offices, which not only changed the view of the account from the Stevie Nicks voice to a corporate voice, but was dangerous for privacy, as well.
As the campaign progressed, content slowed. Then, content stopped being shared on Instagram altogether just a week prior to the album’s release. Continuing to push out images and teaser clips through October 7th would have boosted sale numbers not only in the debut week, but the following weeks, too. Additionally, many newly released content, like cover artwork and official lyric videos for the singles, trended on social media long before they were officially announced or acknowledged by the official Stevie Nicks accounts. Most recently, I saw that the T Magazine feature, which was on newsstands on October 19th and shared virally on social weeks before that, wasn’t shared until October 29th.
24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault has immense social media promotion potential, and an opportunity to break news, rather than repeat it long after social chatter has died down. I believe that I can help amplify this chatter moving forward and keep the album’s longevity on the charts. Strong utilization of social media targeting young fans will be important to continue to market 24 Karat Gold easily and for little to no cost. Diehard fans will always be a sure buyer, and are the majority of people who have already bought the album. To continue sales, it is important to market to the younger generation of casual fans who are buying more music than adults.
The Fleetwood Mac episode of Glee boosted Ms. Nicks’s popularity among 14 to 25 year olds, and this past season of American Horror Story has caused her youth appeal to boomed exponentially, with a large concentration of fans gathering on social media like Instagram and Tumblr.
Reaching these audiences can’t be accomplished through things like Facebook Q&As weeks after the album’s release. Hosting one after prime Q&A engagement hours (over lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST, or after work hours, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST) on a platform with mostly older audiences is not reaching fans who haven’t bought the album or are still unaware. Strong promotion lies in little executions, like utilizing trending hashtags like #TBT (Throwback Thursday) and posting new, exclusive content, rather content that is already available on public forums like YouTube. These are simple ways to engage with the fan base on a huge level. Additionally, there is great potential to simultaneously market Fleetwood Mac’s 2014-2015 tour.