Went to a very entertaining talk this morning by social media agent provocateur Jon Morter, famous for bagging a Christmas no.1 for Rage Against The Machine, helping save 6 Music from closure by the BBC and being part of the team behind the Justice Collective.
A few pointers I jotted down...
- Whatever platform you are planning to use, whether Facebook or the Top 40, know the rules inside and out. Because then you can bend them to breaking point. For instance, RATM only secured the no.1 over Joe McElderry because, at the last moment, people who had already downloaded Killing In The Name Of were persuaded to do the same with an obscure live version. And chart rules say if it's the same artist and title, it all counts towards total sales.
- To help your social campaign reach critical mass you may well need to create something out of nothing in the early days. You will have to be ready to blag it, embellish the truth, and grab every opportunity that comes your way (no matter how obscure, you can make something of it). Or you've got to fake it to make it, as Jon put it.
- Don't just chase likes. Volume has a role to play. But fewer, engaged followers are more potent than large numbers who aren't that bothered. And the engaged will always engage others anyway.
- Make what you want people to do very simple. And explain it very clearly. And simply. Don't be afraid to spoon feed, because if it looks hard people won't do it...and if it is complicated, they will make mistakes.
- Although mistakes are not something to be feared. Actually, you should be ready to make them. Because it is better to do lots of stuff, even if it goes wrong. As long as you learn the lessons. So in 2008, Jon tried to make Rick Astley the Christmas no.1. The campaign tanked big time, as Rick reached the giddy heights of no.73. The problem was the campaign broke too many chart rules (see pt1), such as multiple downloads invalidating sales. But in 2009, they worked the rules to their favour with RATM.
So there you have it. Go out and play.