Good Social Strategy
Many people believe that managing your social networks can be as easy as having an intern or assistant post status updates or tweets. Oftentimes when I ask clients what their social media strategy is, the most common answer I hear is that simply posting updates is more or less their game plan. Ultimately, though, a good social strategy is more than just "shouting" online and hoping someone out there will hear you. A well-planned strategy can lead to new customers, good press and an open interaction with clients, customers or fans. Dolly Parton is one of my favorite examples of how beneficial a good digital strategy can be.
When I first began working with CTK Management/Dolly Records back in 2009, Dolly's online presence wasn't much more than her official website http://dollypartonmusic.net. Her Facebook page had less than 5,000 followers, her YouTube channel only had a few music videos and her Twitter account was non-existant. I knew I needed to make a change, but the big question became "what do I do with a country music icon who will not be the one to come up with her own posts?" The answer came when a "daily Dolly-ism" calendar that was in the works had to be put on hold. We had a collection of Dolly's well-known funny and inspirational quotes, and I decided that posting them on her social networks might inspire people and make them laugh. And, in an effort to utilize YouTube, we created "Dolly's Video Diary" series. Because she was not going to be on tour for two years but still wanted to connect with her fans, we got her in front of the camera to directly address her fans about what she was up to. I knew that if we could get enough people to retweet or share the "Dolly-isms" and video diaries, then more and more of her fans would realize she actually had a presence online.
Now, only three years later, Dolly has received significant online exposure from the digital strategies that were put into place. Her Facebook page has acquired over 700,000 likes, and it will soon hit one million. Dolly's tweets have been retweeted by countless people all over the world, including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Perez Hilton and Jessica Simpson. The 100 millionth tweet through HootSuite was sent by the Dolly Parton account and was talked about all over various music and technology blogs. With 1.6 million Twitter followers, she is only one of two country music acts to boast having more than one million followers. Dolly has even grown quickly on the new Google+ social network and already has 1.5 million people who have added her to their circles. Most recently, Time Magazine named Dolly one of the "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012" (http://techland.time.com/2012/03/21/the-140-best-twitter-feeds-of-2012/#dolly-parton).
Although I have since left CTK Management/Dolly Records to join the MCN team, they continue to use the strategies I developed to help her connect to her fans online. Dolly's Video Diary has received more exposure in tech blogs and other media outlets than they could have ever hoped for. The social strategies have helped increase her exposure to a younger audience who are finding new joy in both Dolly and her music. And the best part for me is when friends of mine around town tell me that when recommending to young new artists what they should be doing online they use the phrase "Dolly does it".
For more information on Dolly's latest comings and goings, check out her official website.