Constance Aguilar is a social media strategist and account manager at Abbi Public Relations, where she oversees client strategy on both social media channels and through traditional media relations as well as event producing. You can follow her on Twitter @ConnieAguilar and read her blog posts at The Abbi Agency Blog.
Digital music and music streaming are more than just social novelties. There are many platforms for creating playlists, streaming artist stations and discovering new music on the Web. Last year we saw the explosion of Spotify, a Swedish-based streaming music service that became the first music service to fully integrate with Facebook, allowing users to share music with their friends.
Social media music services have the ability to integrate into social media and marketing plans, giving us all an opportunity to use music for exactly what it was intended: Bringing us together. Here are five reasons businesses should consider using digital music services to enhance their marketing efforts.
1. Give your customers a take-away. Playlists built via services such as Spotify and Grooveshark have a chart-topping aspect — their ability to be shared. Using services such as Grooveshark or Spotify’s partner ShareMyPlaylists.com, businesses can create compilations for patrons to reinforce the memories from an establishment. By giving a public link to the playlist or posting the URL to subscribe, what was background music then becomes a reoccurring thought in your customer’s head. It reminds them of a delicious meal, an invigorating workout or that really sassy outfit they purchased while in your place of business.
If you can harness the power of music to allow your customers to associate with you every time they hear a particular song or artist, they’re going to be much more inclined to revisit.
2. Showcase your personality. This is a great way to let your colors fly. If you own a little coffee shop and want to keep the atmosphere filled with calm and easy vibes, you can take an evening to compile songs that you feel best fit that climate. That can help you draw your ideal crowd and also introduce new customers to your brand personality. This strategy can also apply to ethnic-themed businesses; a playlist of South American world music not only playing for customers, but offered to them after they leave the business, can help keep their flare for your delicious Brazilian cuisine alive. You can also let your customers know ahead of time if your place fits the mood they’re looking to sync with; if I’m choosing a new gym to join, I’d like to know if it’s a “C+C Music Factory” type of atmosphere or a “Nickleback” one.
3. Show off your local support. If you host an open mic night, feature regular live music or allow local musicians to sell their CDs in your establishment, making a digital playlist around one featured song of the artist can help spark interest from customers and create new fans. If I’m in a bar, hear a great song playing over the speakers and the bartender can tell me it’s a local band whose CD they happen to have for sale behind the bar, I’m more likely to buy it. If your business can be the catalyst of that process, your reputation will grow and you’re bound to see positive reactions to your community support.
4. Create shareable content. Making playlists, as GQ demonstrated, gives you content to share among multiple platforms. GQ creates a playlist for Spotify, but hosts the link and song list on their popular Tumblr. Grooveshark playlists can be shared via Facebook and Twitter and even embedded on a number of sites such as StumbleUpon and Reddit. Spotify playlists submitted to ShareMyPlaylists.com have direct links that can be published to all networks as well.
5. Involve your employees. One way to build a personal connection between your employees and business and allow them to really feel a part of the operations is to let them organize the music played during work hours. Similar to the ways wine shops allow employees to recommend bottles or book store employees to have a recommend section, you can do the same with music. This can help spark conversation between workers and the customer and those relationships can be the seed of customer loyalty. People are more likely to revisit a business if they’re comfortable and familiar with the people who serve them.
This kind of bonding can really bring together franchises as well. Say, for the sake of argument, an Ann Taylor store in Los Angeles compiles a playlist based on the employee’s tastes. That playlist could be passed onto the New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, etc. stores, and soon a bond is created and all of the stores want in on the action. If you can make people feel connected to the place they work and part of the structure, they’re more likely to not only stay with the company, but truly be excited about their jobs.
So there you have it! Digital music might not seem like the most obvious tool to implement into your social media or marketing plan, but if done correctly and with pride and purpose, it can create unique content to share across your networks that gives your follower base an opportunity to indulge in something a little different.