Social Media Lessons Learned From The Audience

Last night I attended a fireside chat where Vince Thompson interviewed The Audience founder Oliver Luckett.  His company manages social media from major brands including artists, athletes, entertainers and super-cool companies.  (His co-founders are none other than Ari Emmanuel and Sean Parker).  

Every month, The Audience reaches between 600million and a billion people with their branded content.  He thinks of the company as a modern day Factory (think Warhol, not Demand media) that produces objects for brands to publish for their followers and key stakeholders.  During his comments, a few nuggets of gold came out for any person, company or entity that wants to leverage social media to build deep and profitable relationships.  

1.  Marketers Should Think Like Publishers – His point is that marketers need to feed their followers content that resonates with them, so they will embrace/share it.  They should not think of social platforms as a bullhorn to make announcements.  Sure, at some point when you've fed your followers enough great stuff, you can interupt the content-banquet to let them know about an opportunity to interact with the brand (concert tickets for his musician clients, movie release dates for actor clients and so on.)  Takeaway:  Develop a content schedule that's consistent, well times, contains objects (pictures, videos, essays) that enrich the life of the follower.  

2.  Measure Everything – Oliver was a key member of the Disney marketing team, helping to launch movies like Toy Story 3 and building brands like Dory, who is now even more popular than Nemo! He learned that if you measure the effectiveness of each object you publish, you can improve future effectiveness by "orders of magnitude." For example, he learned that if you post a picture of rapper Pit Bull in a pink shirt, it gets shared by followers exponentially  more than if you posted a picture of him in any other colored shirt.  (Apparently, pink makes Pit Bull come off more sensitive and improves his carriage with female followers.)  Takeaway: Test different versions of content, and mesure the results.  It's not just about measuring likes, it about optimizing your content strategy! 

3. Don't Tell Your Followers What To Think – When working on Toy Story 3 at Disney, Oliver noticed that declarations like "Isn't this great!" (captioning a movie poster) were often met with comments like, "No, it sucks!"  When the content was reposted without a declaration, it was met with enthusiasm.  While this was targeted at teens and young adults, the point is obvious: Don't sell people, serve them and let them sell you.  Takeaway: Content doesn't need to have a call to action, it needs to resonate, excite and delight followers.  You need to trust that they will reward you with loyalty and consideration.