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Millions watch it every week and LOVE the show.
I am not really a huge fan of it, but I do appreciate the talent. They have discovered some great talent, including Carrie Underwood, Kelly Pickler, and Kelly Clarkson. (Yes, I do like country music having originally lived in Texas.)
What can we learn about Social Media though from American Idol?
Plenty. As American Idol has many components of Social Media Marketing you may not be aware of. There are 5 Things we all can learn from the show and will help make you a better social media marketer. If you are familiar with the show, then you know how it works.
They audition across the country for talent, and then take what they see as the best and put them on the show and then the best talent- (sometimes) wins.
Social Media Marketing is much like that. And it does somewhat mirror what American Idol is about.
What are the 5 things we can learn?
1) You must put yourself and Message OUT THERE.
Social Media Marketing is about getting out in front of the public and possible prospects and letting them be the judge of what is of good value- or not. Many times what we think is good- the public does not. Many times what we think is GREAT- they masses think that it is not.
Many a singer on American Idol thought they were a good singer- but found out differently according to the judges. The masses in social media are the judges too. But do NOT be afraid of getting yourself out there and letting your message stand on it’s own. You just may hit a home run.
2) You Message or Product must be “Audience Magnetic” and stay that way.
The masses in social media must LIKE your Message and products, and be drawn towards it. It must be something that will get their attention- and KEEP IT. It MUST pull their attention towards your blog post, podcast, video or note- and KEEP THEM THERE.
As my mentor taught me- “Getting some one’s attention Doug, is easy. Keeping it is a whole different story.” The same thing happens on American idol. Many singers start strong, but end weak. Many singers come out blazing- only to flame out eventually. They simply did not END STRONG.
That is the secret to American Idol as well as Social Media. Each song you sing- and each post and video you put out there- END STRONG. Keep pushing it to a whole new level. Keep getting better. Keep pushing the envelope. Keep trying new things. And make sure that the “audience” continues to “vote” for you, and virally market your posts and messages, which in turn will drive traffic to your sites and blog.
Make sure that your message is “Audience Magnetic.” In SOCIAL media marketing- that is critical- as on American Idol.
3) Your Presence MUST be Powerful and Impactful.
This is another critical issue on American Idol. Many singers had great voices- but little presence. Many social media marketers have a great message- but little presence online or on the social sites.
What makes a powerful presence?
CONNECTION with the audience. The powerful singers on American idol CONNECT with the audience and do NOT disconnect. They continually drive the connection deeper and relate to them stronger. YOU must do the same thing in social media. Connect with the masses with a message that resonates with them strongly and then start conversations with them. Get personal. And make sure sure that you contribute GREAT VALUE , GREAT IDEAS, and GREAT CONTENT. This is a must as well. American Idol audiences LOVE the attention that singers give them when they move out front and sing to them.
You must move out front and get to know your audience and impact them with your presence. Do not be afraid to move closer. It works.
4) Promote and Cheer Everyone on- even if you are not on a Roll.
One of the things I have seen is that on American Idol- at least the times I have watched it- the singers cheer each other on and are promote each other. Recently the singers went to Detroit to record at the old Motown recording studio- and all of the singers were promoting each other to the press. I was amazed. Each one was talking about how good the others were doing with old Smokey Robinson songs.
You need to do the same thing. Be a team player no matter where you are in the mix. That is what I love about Chris Brogan, Scott Monty, Timothy Carter, Zna Trainer, and Adam Urbanski. They are team promoters- not just players. There are many others as well like Carrie Wilkerson, Valerie Maltoni, John Fogg, and Jackie Ulmer.
All are Team promoters. The same thing seems to happen on American Idol. You need to promote other people’s blogs, podcasts, tweets, videos, articles, and notes. It just elevates you as someone that is worth listening to, and also appreciates sharing great information.
Yes-there are those that are not team Promoters and only cheer themselves on. But you always want to cheer everyone on. That is what Social Media Leadership is about- and everyone wins with that mind set.
5) There will always be a Simon Cowell lurking somewhere-like it or not.
Brutal. In your face. Hurtful. Devastating. No tact. No care. That pretty much describes Simon Cowell. But you cannot argue with his Success. But I wish he was a little nicer at times.
That can be the same way in Social Media. There may be folks that totally disagree with you and on your blog and may post a brutal and devastating comment. That is there right if you “put yourself out there.” Yes, you do not have to approve it, but then you lose integrity. People have a right to think like they think. So does Simon. People can be very much like Simon Cowell and be hurtful at times.
Do not lower yourself to argue your point. I have seen this happen publicly on twitter and even facebook- and everyone loses. It just does not work. Thought Leaders in Social Media BUILD UP- not tear down. They EMPOWER- not enable. Just thank them for their opinion and move on. If they have a valid point- and many do- learn from it.
Many singers that are a part of Simon’s vile comments -simply take it and learn from it. Do NOT take it personally. I never have. There have been those that have disagreed with my opinions- and very vocally. But hey! They are entitled to what they think- and in social media- you hold yourself to a higher standard. That is what leaders do.
Simon may be lurking somewhere. Get to know them. I did. And it made all the difference in the world.
American Idol is an interesting show- and a cultural phenom. Social Media is a phenom as well. These are just some of the things we can learn for our Social Media Marketing efforts- from American idol.