The music business has switched from a one-way relationship to a collaborative dialogue, and musicians have had to learn faster than anyone social media’s value to foster relationships with their followers.
Last year, Ellie Lawson, a folk-pop singer and songwriter based in South London, decided she didn’t want to go to the studio alone. She wanted to take her fans with her.
Ellie Lawson’s fans are helping create her album. Using her website and Facebook page, Ms. Lawson embarked on a project she calls “Create My Next Album With Me.” For a fee equivalent to three trips to Starbucks, fans can be part of a group who choose which tracks appear on her next album, suggest changes to songs and listen to new material as it’s being made. Each person gets a final copy of the album before its release and earns a credit in the liner notes.
“It’s a big experiment,” said Ms. Lawson, who was formerly signed with Atlantic Records and counts Ellen DeGeneres among her biggest supporters. “I just love them engaging and getting back to me and telling me which bits of songs they like and which they don’t. And I think they like that they’re listening to material that nobody else is listening to.”
The music business has switched from being a one-way relationship to being a collaborative dialogue, and musicians have had to learn faster than anyone the value of using social media to foster relationships with their most-vocal fans. Ms. Lawson is one of many artists who spend hours on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms and know their biggest fans personally.
The simple but effective strategies that bands employ for customer-relationship management could serve as a lesson for brands.
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