Sunday, 21 June 2009

Sofia Talvik On DIY Social Media Marketing Strategy

This posting is an interview from LA based Swedish musician on how she manages her own social media marketing strategy.

I've only done one interview on this blog before notably with the founders of the Tweet Tweet Club. I was motivated to get in touch with Sofia due to the innovative way in which she was using Twitter to promote her summer single Strawberries.

The MP3 single is what Gerd Leonhard would call a "feels like free" solution. Fans pay for the single by having to send out an automated Tweet advertising the single, alongside a unique hasthag.

What struck me was not just how savvy Sofia is in terms of an artist promoting herself, but also how her digital strategy seems to be light years ahead of the marketing departments at major record labels.

1. I initially decided to get in touch with you due to the Twitter campaign for your new single, Strawberries. Whose idea was it to use Twitter to help market the single, and what has the feedback from the campaign so far been like?

I've been working a lot with social networking sites such as twitter lately. 9 million people use twitter so when you want to spread the word about something it's a great place to start. People have really appreciated that telling their friends on twitter as a payment for the single, even now when everyone can download the single for free, people still push the twitter button.

2. Has the issue of users having to input their Twitter passwords to access the download been much of an issue? This is a concern which I raised on Twitter but to your credit you were very fast to respond to this.

There's been one or two who opposed to the idea. I can understand that it may feel unsafe to enter your password, but like I've stated on the site and when people addressed me on twitter, no information about logins or password is ever saved on our servers.

3. It’s interesting to see that for the Twitter campaign you aren’t actually asking fans to sign up to a mailing list. Is this a conscious shift on your behalf away from “push” marketing to “pull” marketing. (In “pull marketing” consumers are the ones who decide if they want to create or extinguish a relationship i.e. the follow/unfollow option on Twitter)

Well the good thing is that when you ask someone to thell their friends on twitter, this message goes out to hundred or thousands of people as opposed to the one email address I would get for my newsletter,which by the way is easy to unsubscribe from. That way my music can reach so many more people. In a way you can call it pull marketing, but at the same time each person automatically helps me to pull all their friends too.

4. You seem to be very active on a plethora of social media/social networking sites. I actually remember a couple of years ago you requested my friendship on Last.FM. How do you decide which networks to build a presence on?

It's pretty easy to see if a network is functional or not. You test out the usability of it, and the popularity. Tons of social networking sites pops up every day, and I guess as many disappear every day. And they also have to be compatible with things like and iLike. If I would keep track of 15-20 sites each day, doing updates and stuff I wouldn't have time to do any music. If I post a blog on iLike it's published on all my accounts, facebook, twitter etc. I've also just released an iPhone app through iLike. It's a great site.

5. Do you do this all of yourself or do you have people to build and manage these platforms for you?

I do most of it myself. I have some technical help from my husband who is a wiz on finding new usuable plug ins and have a lot of cool ideas that we try out. If the question really is - is it me writing stuff on these pages the answer is yes. You'r not chatting with a marketing department ;-).

6. It’s interesting to see that you are on Linked In as I only know a handful of musicians who are. What is the split in how you use this in terms of managing the professional side of your music career alongside networking with fans?

It's very different. When it comes to fans you want as many as possible. I almost never denu anyone friendship on facebook or myspace. When it comes to the professional side of it, you want to gather connections to a handful talented people, not everyone who works with music in some way or another.

7. Your connection with Bernard Butler on MySpace has been well documented. Have you formed any other connections online with people who have had a significant effect on your music career?

The talanted musician Joszef Nemeth who played the piano on my second album was also a myspace find, not to mention all the great artists who contributed to the Street of Dreamix remixes. My new american label partner also found me through the internet, it's just an easy way to connect with people.

8. Have you got any favourite tools for monitoring your own online buzz? I.e. Google Alerts, Addictomatic etc.

I have Google Alerts, Twitter search etc. But I mostly search for stuff about me when I release something.

9. The likes of Montt Mardie and Hello Saferide have written lyrics or whole songs about the internet. As a fellow Swedish artist, is this something you would consider?

I would never say never, but the thought hasn't struck me yet. Music is still very organic for me, and the internet isn't.

Thanks to Sophia for giving up her time to be interviewed. You can download the Strawberries MP3 here
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