Social Marketing: A Touch Of Celebrity
I don’t think local celebrity Denise Ho aka HOCC will be happy to see her name on the top searched keywords chart this week on Yahoo Hong Kong.
But I do think that’s the way of the entertainment business, people care more about who you are hanging out with or what your sexual orientation is rather than the work you have done.
In fact, HOCC has done tremendous amount of work more than most local singers.
Not only is she running her own music label, an e-commerce website where you purchase her merchandises and music products, a series of charity works (she recruits her fans as volunteers), but also becoming a one-woman marketing machine of her own brand via various social media platforms.
“Ten Days In The Madhouse” is a Music + Documentary + Free Concert + Event + Schools touring seminar project concerning the society’s outcasts initiated by HOCC last December.
This I consider an ambitious yet respectable project that hasn’t got much attention from the mass media, however, if you are one of the many followers of HOCC in the social media sphere, you would have felt the heat among her supporters.
One of the latest initiatives she did was that she distributed her new song “Old Testament” over the web on the same date with the rest of other mass media channels which used to have the exclusive right or the first priority to air new songs from the artists.
From HOCC’s Facebook Fan Page, she wrote, “Please spread the link from where you can download my new song. Share it among your peers via Facebook, Twitter, Email, and etc. There are over 9,000 members in this group and the viral effect can be profound. This is the era of internet and we should leverage it as much as we can. We should no longer rely on the mass media to promote our works. No more insinuation is required.”
The daring effort she has made to connect with her fans and potential audience on web could make most so-called social media gurus feel ashamed.
When I was still working in Yahoo!HK and witnessing the birth of the most populated local blog platform, I already learned how most celebrity blogs actually worked and I realized most of them just consider it as a new “OUT” tray for their press releases.
However, according to a source close to HOCC, I learned that she is 120% dedicated to managing her blog and considering it is an important channel for her to listen and talk to her fans (in marketer’s term, loyal customers).
Therefore, all the posts she has uploaded are written by herself rather than a shadow writer or her assistants. I was curious to ask how she can spend so much time updating her Blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts during her hectic working schedule.
The source said she literally considers this is part of her job. Moreover, in the entertainment business, as there is so much idle time between gigs, HOCC always considers such social media activities a good way to kill time and escape from the paparazzi distractions.
Early this month, I wrote an article for Hong Kong Economic Journal about HOCC. At the end of my article, I urged marketers to learn the 5C (Content, Conversation, Community, Collaboration, and Connection)* from HOCC about her social media marketing tactics (I don’t think she is consciously following them).
A friend of mine argued with me that it is easier to say than to do so. At least HOCC doesn’t require multiple layers of approval processes for any of her posts like we do in the industry. She is both the decision maker and content contributor.
However, the point I am trying to make is that jumping into social media is like signing up for a gym membership. You shouldn’t think that after one year, you will be done.
It will become a continuous effort and you need perseverance to keep doing it. Of course you (marketer) can hire a personal trainer (a social media consultant or ad agency) to assist you.
But at the end of the day, you will be on your own. A perpetuate commitment and initiative within your company and yourself are more crucial.
Therefore, if you think you are done after a while and stop exercising, think twice, because your shape might end up not only back to ground zero but also fluffier. It can also be applied to your company’s social media exercise.
*The 5Cs of Social Media Marketing – Lessons from Denise Ho
Content – You don’t need to be a celebrity like HOCC to start a blog, a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account or a YouTube channel. The most challenging part is whether you can generate enough interesting content to share with people who have already joined your network. Not just your boring one-way sales pitch but interesting content that can generate further conversation and maintain their attention.
Conversation – If you walk into a party (social network), you would be better off to make more new friends and find someone interesting to talk to. You wouldn’t just drop by and make an announcement and then boom…gone in 60 seconds. Try to observe the way HOCC interact with her fans whenever she is online. The conversation is not always just about “herself”.
Community – Haven’t your parents told you to do good things for the society? If you want to build a successful brand community, you shouldn’t just focus on your products and services. Cause marketing is one thing but you can always find different ways contributing to the society while demonstrating what value your brand is stand for. HOCC recruited like-minded fans to form a community for charity volunteer works. Does your brand have this brand power to form a community?
Collaboration – People are the media. HOCC invited everyone in the web community to share her new song via different online channels. The challenge is that you can’t just walk into a party and expect everyone is willing to collaborate with you at once. You have to make friends in advance and build the relationship first. Marketers might think incentive is crucial to attract netizens for participation. But in fact, most netizens might not be as pragmatic as you think.
Connection – How does your social graph look like? How well you are connecting with other like-minded personalities or networks? Are you generous enough to help support others or spread the words for your peers when needed? How often are you willing to share interesting information unrelated to yourself but your peers?