{grow} | The Three Most Dangerous Social Media Metrics

This is absolutely awesome. Please read…

from the {grow} Blog: The Three Most Dangerous Social Media Metrics

I remember at a (recently) former company, the social media emphasis was on the number of posts written, the number of hits et al. Unfortunately: the website of the company had fewer hits than some of the better written blogs by employees (…even, blush blush, this blog); the company’s twitter feed had fewer followers than a couple of the company’s employees’. The reason was simple, the content on the website and blog were, as you could imagine, poor….

It is unfortunate.

Website 101 for the creative types

You are a Musician. You are a Band. You are a Writer. And you want to set up a website for yourself; your book, your music, your life. Heck, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?

So I was speaking with this friend of mine from college, a musician. It surprises me that it took him this long to break away from the staid stable corporate job and chase his musical dream.

This post comes out of a couple of back-and-forth emails…. All you musicians, bands, writers: please take note.

The first point to understand is that the website is merely a tool, a medium. It’s a medium to reach out to your audience, to reach out to your would-be-sponsors, to get published, to be hired, to be loved (and your end-product to be purchased. And read / listened) by people. That’s why you are here, right? Or why are you here? Put your novel up on a blog. Put your music up on Myspace.

The second is that the website is just one of the many tools you use. An email is a tool. Your Facebook and Mypace pages are tools. Your tweets are tools. Your live gigs are tools. Your book-reading sessions are tools. Your Youtube video is a tool.

Third: What sets the website apart is that most often than not, it is the first thing that your would-be fan sees when (s)he types your name on the search page. It is first impression, and you would like to make a good one.

Okay? Now back to your website. First, answer these questions.

1.       What are you offering?

You have a band. You have had a couple successful gigs; a few fans; a stalker … You are on your way. Answer this, then. What does your band stand for? Not the simple ‘Avante-garde-pop with a bit of punk and some Ali Farka Toure influence” or the “A bildungsroman on growing up in the capital city of India”– that’s what you do. That’s what you have created. Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your promise to your audience? What should they expect from you?

2.       You are a brand. What’s that brand? What is your brand image?

You are a mystical sufi-influenced rock band. You are an anonymous writer. Then why do you want to make yourself public, like a frog? It’s self-defeating. If you are Where’s Fluffy, you should not have a twitter feed, leave alone a web-page. You understand what we are getting at?

3.       What do you want to achieve via the website? Why should you have a website? What purpose does it intend to serve you?

This is important. The first question should not be ‘why not a website too’, but rather ‘why a website’? My friend is, in my opinion, a genius; and I feel he needs to have a website. But I am a fan and a friend. He is the artiste; he is the one in charge of his image. If the website does not add to his image, then why invest the energy into it? If the website does not help in reaching out to the influencers (music producers, record labels, publishing houses et al) or the audience (readers, listeners); then why have a website?

4.       A one-liner.

Now write a one-liner about your offering to the world. Your world-view, your music, stems from that one-liner. Your website obviously is an extension. Think about the above three points, when you are getting at this. Speak with your agent if you have any. Ensure you are coherent and consistent; in all the media outlets.

Now fill in the gaps and create your website.

  • There are hundreds of places from where you can buy your domain. (GoDaddy etc are common ones)
  • There are myriad website templates that you can pick up online. Google them. Ensure that they mirror your image. A spartan wordsmith should not have an orange-and-red-and-green flames-and-popups, and a glam-rock band should not have a plain-white background, bare-details website.
  • Link all your other tools into the website.
  • Your twitter feeds into your website.
  • Your Facebook posts do the same.
  • I should, with one click, go to your Myspace page where your music could be listened to.
  • I should, with one click, read a sample story or an excerpt of your soon to be published novel.
  • You should have a homepage that gets the attention you want. And is brief.
  • You should have a page which mentions what other people are saying about you.
  • Normally, you should have a page which gives your detailed contact information.
  • If you have a blog, link to the website.

And that’s just the basic stuff.

But you are on your way already. You know what you are looking for; I don’t think you need any more advice from this uncreative old suit.

You are the creative mind. So show the creative.

Wow us!

Last Question: What is our pedigree? Why should you listen to us?

There is an option. Don’t. But we’d read through a bucket-load of information on this topic available on the internet, spoke on this to a few creative people we know, and this piece is well-researched. And well, we have been marketers. Not books, not music bands, but other things; companies, products and services.  Some of them were excellent companies, super services and mind-blowing products. Some of them were rank bad. Just like there are good and bad writers, and good and bad musicians…

And good and bad marketers.

So do some more of your own reading, and get at your website. Or don’t. But don’t go in blind, please…

Marketing Lessons from Kevin Lane Keller

Yes, that Kevin Lane Keller. (Click here for article) was the article published in Business Standard online today. Some important things were said, the first of which need sharing.

Which is that aspect of branding that most underplayed or ignored as corporations continue to chase the bottom line?
To me it is probably the product. It is one of the most important things. When it comes to branding, people sometimes get so caught up in the name, the logo, the advertising, that the image that the product, which is so central, has to take a backseat. You have to give a good product and make sure the design falls into place as well. Sometimes marketers ignore that a little bit more than I like.

The other most ignored aspect is that of channels — things like distribution, retailing, where you sell. In India, it is changing rapidly. Till now, it was very fragmented. Yes, there has been some consolidation but we will see what happens going forward. It is important to get your product out there in the right way, to the right people.

In general, if there is one area that gets overplayed, it is communication. Everyone’s enamoured by advertising, digital and social media. In the process, they tend to ignore the hugely important aspects of channels, products, and even pricing.

Look, we, as marketers (especially services marketers) get into this vortex of ‘brand, brand, promote, promote’ that we tend to forget or ignore some basic tenet.

  • Why should you do it?
  • How will the promotion help?
  • How could it harm?
  • Do we have the delivery capabilities (or a concrete  promise and roadmap for delivery capabilities) to back the promotion?
  • What does the client want?
  • Does your promotion map to the want?

Please ask yourself these few questions before you start any marketing campaign. And offshoots of these questions, which you should figure out as relevant for you ….