Nashville Markets Itself Well
Two years ago, I went to see a show at the Ryman Auditorium downtown. I began chatting with a girl standing in line behind me, who was mostly there to see the opening act, an electro-pop performer named Wynter Gordon. Later on, I happened to be standing near my new friend and Gordon when they met, and it turned out the singer recognized my standing-in-line buddy from their previous interactions on Twitter.
Social media has given fans and artists an entirely new way to connect with each other, and in honor of this relationship, we’ve decided to cover some of the top marketing strategies from Nashville’s local music scene.
My So-Called Band
Much like the ‘90s jams they play, this cover band pops up only every now and then at Nashville’s venues. But they pay a great homage to their theme with their retro website (hosted by Angelfire) and its simple design, collage of ‘90s pictures, and the website visitor counter at the bottom of the page. Their marketing efforts aren’t stuck in the past, however. Their Facebook engagement includes posting set lists from past shows, asking fans what songs they’d most like to hear, and holding contests for free tickets. This last act is a smart idea: MSCB’s a popular outfit here in Music City, so tickets sell out quickly.
A mix of rock, soul, and R&B, Alanna Royale’s music is as sharp as its marketing. The band posts lots of visual content on their Facebook, showing pictures of fans and images of behind-the-scenes peeks at band members having dinner, riding in the van, doing photo shoots, etc. Other pictures also show what they sights they spot on the road and let fans see what they see. But best of all, they interact a ton with their fans on Twitter, ReTweeting their mentions and responding to their Tweets about the band.
Radio’s often shaped by its listeners, and Nashville’s local independent music station realizes that. So on Facebook, Lightning 100 asks its followers to contribute song requests and suggestions for interviews. But besides reaching out to listeners, they actively promote each artist they interview, each concert they host, and each sponsor they work with, supporting the community that helps the station run. It also gives fans a glimpse of the faces behind the station. Pictures of the staff let listeners see what their favorite DJs look like.
Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes
Here’s a pop band that makes a great use of the meme bandwagon, posting memes to add some humor to their Facebook page. But they also mix in some extra personalization by wishing their fans well on holidays. The boys score extra points for holding caption contest stories and encouraging comments by asking questions like, “Tell us a Waffle House story!” They also reach out to fans living in other cities by posting photos overlaid with the city’s name and the concert date, making these items their own little love letters to their non-Nashville fans.
An electro-pop transplant from Chicago, Kyle Andrews uses best practices on his Facebook. He asks questions like “Who’s seen Pacific Rim?” and also updates about his life (“She said yes!”). Currently, Andrews is also tapping into Instagram to interact with his fans. To promote his new single, “The Way to Wonder,” he’s asking fans to submit a photo of one of their summer adventures with the hashtag #TheWaytoWonder” onto Instagram. The winner will win the same model camera Andrews used to shoot the song’s music video, which Andrews filmed in outer space. Sort of. (He attached an iPad with footage of him singing the tune and a GoPro camera to a weather balloon that reached 110,000 feet in the air).
This band’s Facebook shines the spotlight on its individual band members, with “Meet the band” posts that feature one member’s picture, as well as info like their sign, occupation, and spirit animal. The members respond personally when fans reach out, and they often give shoutouts to other bands. They’re also a band that uses YouTube to their advantage. They post videos of behind-the-scenes moments with the band and live performances, on top of featuring their music videos. Lead singer Margo Price also often posts herself, which gives the band an even more personalized voice on social media.
In a city that’s as serious about music as Nashville, these bands know that they need to stand out onstage as well as on social media. Regardless of your own industry, you can learn from these artists by developing ideas for contests, humanizing your brand with personal posts, and posting pictures that express who you are, what you do, and what you see on a daily basis. You’ll collect your own brand fans in short order.
photo credit: SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent) via photopin cc