Jennie Sager, Director of Music Entertainment at Twitter, has recently attended the Mumbrella Entertainment Marketing Summit in Sydney, Australia. She shares her views on how artists could maximise their efforts through the powerful resources of social media and in this case Twitter, the world’s most active site for opinions and trends in the making.
Q: Your experiences seem vast and incredibly impressive. How did you come to join Twitter? I started my career in television, but music always played a huge part in what programmes I was producing. For example, in the early days of my career, I produced a nightly variety show for NBC in the US, where we had bands play live almost every night. Everyone from Good Charlotte to Metallica to Hilary Duff appeared on that show.
Right before I moved to Australia, I was working as an Executive Producer at MTV Networks in NYC. I created, developed, and produced a live, daily entertainment show which highlighted the biggest entertainment stories of the day, but also included in-studio guests and performances. One of my fondest memories of my career is the day I shut down Times Square to have Rihanna perform live.
While I was at MTV, social media was starting to cement its place in television, and it was quickly becoming impossible to be successful talent in music or TV without a strong social media presence. There was a direct correlation between what people were talking about on social media, mainly Twitter, and television ratings. This is when I decided to make the switch from TV to Twitter.
Q: Twitter has obviously been an incredibly useful platform to launch an artist’s single and album. How is this way evolved/changed over the years and how do you foresee artist make more use of Twitter in terms of marketing their work? I’ve seen major changes in the last two years. Labels, agents, managers, and the rest of the industry are now looking at Twitter to discover the next big thing. They know that music is one of the most popular topics on Twitter, and they are watching who is driving that conversation.
This is great for emerging talent, we’re like new global A&R scouts. People often think we only work with the most popular artists, like 5SOS, but that’s totally incorrect. It’s quite the opposite: there is so much we can do for emerging and upcoming talent to help them expand their reach, grow their profile, and kick big goals.
Q: Tell us about the case study presentation that you will be presenting at Mumbrella’s Marketing Summit. One of my favourite recent campaigns was one we did with Aussie singer Reece Mastin last year. He’s an independent artist who was coming out with a new album. Together, we developed a global first campaign where he revealed one track off the new album everyday for 13 days exclusively on Twitter using our audio card technology. The song with the most Retweets became the first single. It was the first time an artist had given the power of picking the single to his fans, and it was a massive hit.
Reece saw an increase of 142K impressions a month to 3.5M impressions, and there were more than 8K Tweets with his album hashtag, #ChangeColoursAlbum during the campaign. The campaign also resulted in 96 pieces of media coverage, including several TV interviews. In addition, we teamed up with Sydney’s #1 radio show, which got exclusively first play of the single. This was a win/win for everyone, as Reece’s interview and the single did so well on the radio network.
Q: How can artists maximise their reach/visibility through Twitter? My first tips are always to be authentic and Tweet what we call rich content. Content is the key to success on social media. Tweeting photos, videos, GIFs, etc directly within your Tweet (no external links!) will greatly increase your engagement.
And when I say ‘be authentic’, be true to yourself. Don’t try to do something you’re uncomfortable with because you think it might work. Just be you. The majority of music artists on Twitter manage their own accounts, unlike other platforms where it is usually the manager or label doing the posts. Music fans know this, and this is why they come to Twitter, so embrace the authenticity. I also recommend Tweeting 2 – 3 times a day, and don’t forget to engage and interact with other people’s content. Retweet and Like! And if you really want to broaden your audience and expand your reach, look at live-streaming directly within Twitter via Periscope.
Q: Do you have any advice for artists/brands on how they could further promote their works through socials? Develop a long-term content plan. Where people go wrong is trying to accomplish too much with one hit. Treat social media like you would any PR/ media plan. Think about your long term and short term goals and write up a plan.