What Rockstars Can Teach You About Kicking Ass With Social Media

by Mack Collier

Last week at Social South in Birmingham, I debuted a new presentation, What Rockstars Can Teach You About Kicking Ass With Social Media. I have to say that although this presentation combines two of my favorite topics; music marketing and social media, I was a bit worried about how the audience would take it.

Somewhat to my surprise, Social South attendees loved it. In fact, it was the most enthusiastic response I’ve gotten to any of my presentations so far. Richard Binhammer told me it was a ‘mindflip’ for him.

The presentation centers around one key question; Why do rockstars have ‘fans’, and companies have ‘customers’?  In the end, it all goes back to how rockstars approach the people that buy their products.  They WANT to interact with them, they WANT to embrace them, they WANT to be like them.  Whereas many companies see the people that buy their products as people they ‘have’ to be in contact with.  As if customer-interaction is a ‘necessary evil’.  Rockstars WANT that interaction, and thrive off it.

I think this is where many companies have REALLY missed the boat with social media. They now have these tools that give them greater ability than ever before to embrace and empower their evangelists.  But many companies are after amassing more ‘followers’ and ‘friends’ or targeting ‘influencers’.

As I said in Birmingham, find the people that are wanting to sing your praises, and give them a microphone.  Social media can be that microphone for your company.

Based on the overwhelming positive reaction I had to the Rockstar presentation at Social South, I’ve added this presentation to my Speaking page, and am now accepting requests for this topic at public and private speaking engagements.  Please email me if you’d like to discuss my speaking at your event on this, or any other topic.

Here’s the deck, I hope you enjoy it!

Karen Swim August 25, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Mack, I really like the presentation. Thank you for graciously sharing it. Tapping into the bigger idea is a fundamental element of marketing but often missed. There is a very old example that still holds true, people don’t buy hammers they buy something to hang a picture. When you widen your lens from selling your product/service to embrace not only how customers will use/interact/benefit from it but also the bigger aspect of what’s important in their lives, you create a relationship. I may buy from the store that treats me well, but will adore the store that treats me well and cares about me as a human being.
.-= Karen Swim´s last blog ..How Bulletproof is Your Reputation? =-.

Juliann Grant August 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Mack, thanks for sharing the presentation. I enjoyed looking through it and really appreciate the analogy to music. Honestly, the word “rock star” is used very loosely in the social networks, so I didn’t know if this was really about music rock stars or other “rock stars”…but I’m happy to see it’s about music.

Some musicians are doing a great job with social media, U2 is one of those bands who uses Facebook to keep fans up to date on their upcoming tour. They’ve included private behind the scenes videos, which are interesting to watch. And I just attended a Bruce Springsteen concert this weekend (and brought my 13 yo son), I was talking to him about how different performers connect with their audience in different ways. While my son didn’t know many of the songs, he said it was the best concert he’s ever been to. So it’s all those things you mention – the fact that rock stars are fans too – and that all fans want to feel part of something bigger, something exciting – even if they don’t quite understand it fully in that moment.

Companies who understand that how to apply these elements of emotion, passion, and the feeling of being part of something bigger, the more successful they will be in using the powerful tools available to them in social networking.

Thanks, Mack and nice job!

Tim Jahn August 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Very interesting idea here Mack!

Rockstars are like companies in the fact that they too must make money at the end of the day. But unlike most companies, rockstars have one important driving factor: passion. Many rockstars started off doing what they do for many years for no money. As a result, money is not the most important reason behind what they do.

Companies could be the same way, but most of the big companies we think about don’t give a shit about passion or people. They care solely about money and it drives most everything they do.

Great food for though, Mack and it’s really interesting when you think about it. Two entities that need to make money but one treats people much more like people than the other. And yet can be massively successful.

David H. August 25, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Great presentation! It was definitely one of the highlights of my two days there.
.-= David H.´s last blog ..Social South now, Mardi Gras later =-.

Mack Collier August 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Juliann you’re right the term ‘rockstar’ does get thrown around an awful lot these days, but in this case I was talking about music artists. Thanks for the comments guys, this was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had with a deck and presentation, so I’m really pleased that everyone liked it.

Maranda August 27, 2009 at 10:12 am


I really like the presentation. Tim Jahn brings up the same thing that came to my mind. Rockstars have passion. We should have passion, no matter what we do, how will we ever truly support a product if we don’t believe in it? The saddest part is that while there are tons of people out there who do have incredible passion, their passion gets buried beneath corporate speak. I am all about being a rockstar! Thanks for the great post.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: