"The biggest mistake artists in the region make is their absence from social media," says Martina Andjelković, Serbian social media advertising expert. MM talked with Andjelković, an owner of digital agency Snajka de Madre, at Ment conference in Ljubljana.
Three day festival and conference Ment, that focuses on the music industry and creativity, provided a variety of lectures and workshops. One of them was Martina Andjelković’s lecture “How to Be a Rock Star on Social Media”, where she talked about creating an online marketing plan to optimise artists’ presence on social media. She is a digital entrepreneur, head of digital marketing and former journalist, who is working on (among others) Exit festival’s Facebook advertising and Serbian employment search engine Infostud.
Social media presence of artists changed drastically since MySpace dominated the field. Today, musicians can share everyday experiences with their fans: live videos, their work from the studio, etc. What’s your take on these changes over the years?
There’s a lot more opportunities. Social media developed dramatically and individual platforms invented their own advertising systems which was not present in the MySpace era. Targeting today is much more effective and cheaper. You can reach up to 20 thousand people for less than 30 euros. Can you imagine, for example, the costs of billboard advertising on a good location? And let’s not even start how hard it is to measure results. Social media is totally different. When you launch a campaign, you know exactly how many people saw the ads and how many people clicked on the ads. Furthermore, you can create new campaigns based on the data you collected from previous ones.
Social media users are bombarded with photos, exclusive song promotions and videos. What is your recomendation to musicians to really stand out?
Firstly, I would recommend them to reach to their audience and find out who is their average »listener«. What do they do? Why are they doing it? What are they listening to? When you find the answers to these questions, you’re half done. Let me show you an example. Inside every major music festival there are different segments of listeners which enables you to adjust your advertising. Some people like rock, others are techno fans. You can serve information they find interesting in any of these segments separately. This increases your chances to obtain a reaction from the audience by 90 percent. And that’s the biggest value of the business. Their reaction on social media is seen by their friends (and friends of friends). Secondly, artists, festivals, and music industry need to provide exclusive content, something that has not been seen before. Facebook is typically used for posting of beautifully designed photos and videos. Why not using other platforms? Instagram Stories can be used for posting a little bit more informal content. What I want to say is, you will get the best results with serving relevant information to relevant audiences alongside following the latest trends in social media. And let me tell you something. I work on Facebook up to 12 hours a day. The user interface can change in a matter of an hour. You really don’t want to miss a single thing.
If you compare social media activites of musicians that have a social media manager with those who don’t or do their own thing, can you spot a difference?
Yes, this difference is huge. The social media manager knows the rules of every platform. And with this you avoid a lot of sanctions, if you did something incorrectly. Facebook, for example, gives a negative feedback to pictures of “fit” people because apparently this negatively affects other users. People don’t know that, but that exists in a form of terms of service. Additionally, you as a musician can send authentic content to your social media manager. Let’s put ourselves in Hardwell’s shoes. We make a deal we will start posting stories on Instagram. Consequently, we also make a deal he will send us 10 pictures of his daily life. I, as a social media manager, can make a good post from all of the material he sent me. If he attached an emoji or wrote a location, doesn’t really matter. He is a musician, he should be creative and take care of his music. My job is to create relevant posts.
Facebook is »the« platform right now, yet Snapchat and Instagram keep changing the rules of the game. With the latter two, fans have a feeling they’re there, with an artist. What are the biggest mistakes artists make on Snapchat and Instagram?
The biggest mistake by artists from the region is their social media absence. The next big mistake is their way of thinking they can do it alone. Well, maybe they can, but it is nearly impossible without consulting with a professional. As musicians, you’re obliged to provide your fans with information, which is followed by third big mistake. Musicians are convinced their friends can operate their social media profiles. You know, “He’s a developer, he will figure something out”. What does development have to do with social media?
Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular. What’s the future of this function?
We can only expect more of live streaming. In 2005, we’ve got YouTube. We could upload videos and thought we’d just experienced a revolution. Fast forward to 2015 and there was Periscope. You push a button and you are live. Right now, Facebook Live is exploding. It’s only a matter of time when it will start serving ads during the live stream. However, at this very moment, you can hire a team of freelancers who will make your live stream on social media look like you’re in the middle of coverage on television. This puts pressure on film professionals and video production experts. Let me give you another example. Me as a social media expert and my technician friend can easily form an agency. An agency which is specialised in live streaming via social media.
Live streaming provides you to do so much more, like providing exclusive content.
I totally agree. When we worked for a small festival in Serbia we wanted to speed up sales of festival tickets with a pre-party. We all know what that means. A lot of additional costs. We decided to do a Facebook Live. We gathered DJs in a room and drank sponsors’s drinks. You get it, product placement and things like that. In a moment, one of the DJs grabs a mic and says something like “discounted tickets are still available”. It was a massive success I really think live streaming has no boundaries.
So we can expect more phones in the air during shows?
Absolutely. Everyone can buy gadgets for 50 euros or so which help you limit shaky and noisy footage to a bare minimum. You can make videos with a worth of 300 euros and the videos will look like they’ve been filmed by a professional. And there’s no need for editing, a 360-degree photo is on your phone in a moment. As I said in my lecture, social media content is hyper production, in-the-moment thing. Of course promo posters need to be beautifully crafted. But there is no need for social media content not to be a little unedited if you can post it right away.