So I was on Twitter late Friday night, and I saw this tweet from @AmandaPalmer. It got my interest, so I did some checking. I found dozens of tweets from Amanda’s fans either gushing about her and thanking her for letting them attend the secret show, or those that were angry that they missed it.
From Amanda’s blog, here’s how the secret show was set up:
p.s. for those of you who were waiting on more info about the SECRET-BOSTON-AREA-SHOW next saturday, we put together a little contest. if you wanna come, we’re picking about 50 lucky people who’re gonna join in on our crazy little loft party in arlington, and it’s your LAST CHANCE TO ENTER. get in on this shizzle NOW:
* head over to my profile on GetGlue. you can find it right here:http://getglue.com/recording_artists/amanda_palmer
– don’t have a GetGlue profile, yet? it takes about 20 seconds and you can do so athttp://getglue.com/signup (they also have an app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, Blackberry, and Android – you can sign up on those, too)
* “Check-in” and tell us your favorite AFP-related concert memory, starting with something along the lines of I really want to see Amanda on tour this summer http://bit.ly/AFPtour or My favorite AFP-concert memory was…
– feel free to get creative about how you say that you wanna come, just make sure to include a link to the tour page
– if you haven’t ever seen me or the dolls or evelyn evelyn live, post a link to your favorite live YouTube or Vimeo clip and tell us why you’re excited to (hopefully) come
– bonus points for cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook, and for clicking “Favorite” on AFP (and other AFP-related stuff like The Dolls, Evelyn Evelyn, 8in8, etc)
and that’s it. any questions? post HERE and sean’ll get back to you, asap. we’ll be going through and contacting winners throughout tonight and tomorrow, getting e-mail addresses so that we can get your name for the guestlist, and know where to tell you the location of the show.
So Amanda created a free show for her biggest fans, with the requirement for getting in being that her biggest fans would have to share why they loved Amanda. Which is something they were already doing anyway. The lucky fans that got to attend were then treated to an amazing show, and they now love Amanda even more. The fans that didn’t make the show are now extremely jealous of the ones that did, but still love Amanda for going out of her way to connect with her fans.
Attention big companies: You usually make this ‘marketing’ stuff a lot harder than it has to be.
I will once again go back to that wonderful quote from Steve Knox:
Think about what Amanda did here. She didn’t use social media as a channel to generate sales, or connect with new customers. She used social media to embrace her biggest fans, and give them a reason to love her even more. Totally flies in the face of what most companies try to do, which is generate sales from new customers. Instead, Amanda said she was going to create something totally amazing that customers want, but she not only wasn’t going to charge for it, she was going to give it to her existing customers.
This is why we don’t call these people ‘Amanda’s customers’, we call them ‘Amanda’s fans‘. The next time Amanda has a paying gig, her fans that attended this show will be even more likely to pay to attend (because they love Amanda even more now) and they will be more likely to encourage their friends to come with them (because they want their friends to love Amanda like they do). Amanda has created a way to embrace her biggest fans, and to let them do her ‘marketing’ for her.
Why is it that companies can’t get this?
To be fair, some companies are trying. Ford recently had an event where they flew in influential bloggers to spend a day with them. The focus was on Ford and its products, but there was also live entertainment and interesting speakers such as Malcolm Gladwell. That’s definitely not the same as Amanda’s secret show, I think the focus with Forward with Ford was ‘how can we show you what we are doing and get you to like us more?’ while the focus with Amanda’s show was ‘how can I show you how much I love you?’
Which is a big reason why I think rockstars have fans, and companies have customers. Because most companies view the relationship with their customers as being transactional, while most rockstars view the relationship with their fans as being emotional.
Companies, if you want to be successful, follow Amanda’s approach: Find a way to connect with your biggest advocates, and delight them. Don’t worry about selling anything to them, create something amazing for them, and then watch as they take the initiative and promote you and maybe even gush about you to their friends and networks. The end result is that you’ll get those sales you wanted to begin with, but the added bonus will be that you’ll also create a way to excite and delight your biggest advocates in the process.
Again, y’all make this ‘marketing’ stuff a lot harder than it has to be.