TwtrSymphony is rapidly gaining a fan base by leveraging social media. Here's how:
We can be found on Twitter (of course), also on Facebook, Tumblr and the web. Our klout score is at 45 and growing. Several major orchestras are following and socializing with us. Other industry professionals are checking us out and even some record companies have expressed interest in our project. We don't have sponsors yet, but we haven't released our first track either. Everyone is waiting to see what the results of our experiment will be.
How have we gained the attention of all these people in the classical world? Social Media. But it's not only our own tweets, facebook and tumblr posts that are causing all the stir. The real momentum behind the project is our enthusiastic musicians. This blog, for example, posts an article about TwtrSymphony and the musicians mobilize. A TwtrSymphony article has three to four times as many hits in a single day as pretty much any other article I post. Interchanging Idioms posts news about a lot of different classical music stars, but it is TwtrSymphony articles that get the most attention. Our Facebook or Tumblr page don't have thousands of followers yet, but we have more people checking our pages on a daily basis than we have musicians, so it isn't just our musicians who are making all the hits. The news is getting out to a host of other people. With less than 100 fans on Facebook, we typically have a reach of 3-5k people. Just imagine when we have 5,000 or 10,000 fans, how far our reach might be?
A look at these statistics made me wonder --are orchestra musicians normally this enthusiastic, or did we just get lucky? A number of professional and semi-professional orchestras on Twitter and Facebook have a far bigger following. Although it is not uncommon to have musicians comment on their own orchestra's facebook page, I rarely see musicians tweeting about their upcoming performances. Most major orchestras perform two to three different shows a month. Each orchestra has 70-100 musicians for these performances. If only 10% were talking about upcoming shows, that would still be a LOT of chatter. The best part about this kind of chatter is it's honest enthusiasm for the artform.
Still thinking that maybe TwtrSymphony musicians are unique in regards to social media I ran a small survey --The Power of Musicians. In two days I had almost double the number of responses I expected. Beyond that, the responses were glaringly lopsided: musicians clearly want to promote their performances. The "advertising" of the survey was done on social media alone, so already I'm talking to a select group of musicians, but of those that replied +80% are semi-professional musicians or better, 98% of them have a facebook account, over 90% would use their personal pages to promote not only groups they are performing with, but even promote these groups when they aren't performing. Many more musicians replied to this survey than just TwtrSymphony musicians, so I think it's safe to say these statistics aren't the anomaly, but rather the norm.
The key is inclusion. The musicians are not employees of TwtrSymphony; they are TwtrSymphony. Any success we achieve is a direct result of the hard work and enthusiasm of the musicians. With no real product to sell, we are creating a buzz in the industry. When our music does become available, this 'buzz' will only serve to further promote who and what we are: Musicians promoting their Music.
In the final analysis it seems that ownership is key to enthusiasm. When musicians feel invested in an organization's success they are enthusiastic about getting the word out.