A presentation of:blog setup, design andmanagement | creative socialmedia solutions | communitymanagement and contentgenerationfor B CITY COLLECTIVEKarenKiely.com@kazkiely
SUMMARYHere is a presentation of the establishment andmaintenance of an effective online presence for a collectiveof Birmingham-based musicians ahead of the release of acharity single in September 2011.The social media solutions provided for the client includeinitial setup of a blog, Facebook page and Twitterpresence, and the subsequent community managementand content generation. The services provided aimed toreflect the “real” side of the group, using a combination ofbehind-the-scenes content and live updates fromrehearsals, video shoots and concert appearances.The development, implementation and results of aFacebook competition focusing on fan engagement arealso presented.
A GROUP OFINDEPENDENT CONTEXTURBAN ARTISTS B City Collective is a group of solo artists who banded together aiming to give Birmingham’s urban music scene nationalTRYING TO PUT prominence by releasing a single independently. TheBIRMINGHAM Collective consists of singers and rappers and is backed by a team of volunteers including filmmakers, label owners, cameraON THE MUSICAL MAP crew, make-up artists, PR professionals and photographers. The group’s charity single ‘Out The Box’ - a song with a message urging youths to break away from society’s negative expectations of them - was released on 4th September as a download across digital channels e.g. iTunes, Play, HMVDigital.com, with all proceeds going to three youth charities in Birmingham - Reflex, Creating Higher Heights and the Letisha and Charlene Education Awards. I got involved with the Collective through a mutual contact that I made at a networking event in early May. I was assigned the role of online communications coordinator, initially tasked with establishing a blog and associated web presence to accompany the Collective’s marketing and public relations efforts and at a later stage, using my initiative to implement a creative Facebook campaign to satisfy the coordinators’ objective of developing further interest in the Collective online.
“IT WAS REALISED EARLY ON THAT B City Collective’s ultimate goal was to get into the UKTHE MAIN COORDINATORS LACKED singles chart by selling at least 1000 downloads. In May,THE ONLINE NETWORKING SKILLS when I first met with Chris Hytch and Damien Morgan, theNEEDED TO PROMOTE THE PROJECT project coordinators, B City Collective had no onlineSUCCESSFULLY. THANKFULLY, WE presence, besides a Facebook event where coordinatorsWERE INTRODUCED TO KAREN, WHOSE themselves invited friends and family to be a part of a video shoot in July at The Drum Arts Centre. Additionally, theTALENTS AND SKILLS IMMEDIATELY project coordinators had already attempted to create aBECAME APPARENT.” - Chris Hytch, Facebook page by setting up an additional personal profile to administrate the page from. Coordinators each had their own talents that they contributed to the project with, but no one had the skills or experience to manage social media, as evidenced by the inappropriate approach to having a Facebook page before I joined the team. There was also a clear need for a website/ blog and a Twitter presence. There are many Birmingham arts organisations active on Twitter, so there was a possibility for lots of interest and interaction. In addition, following the initial setup of the online presence and management of its activity, the coordinators saw a need for increased Facebook fans ahead of the single release date. As well as communicating to the coordinators the importance of amount of engagement over numbers of fans, and the fact that fans need a concrete benefit made clear toPROBLEM them before they click ‘like’, I resolved to provide a creative approach to increasing fans, providing value for them and increasing interaction as well as numbers.
Facebook was to be the key hub of social media activity for the REAL PEOPLECollective as the target audience for the Collective’s single -teenagers - were understood to be heavy users. As well as that, FROM URBANmany musicians and bands have, in the past, run successful online AREAS DOINGcampaigns through Facebook, so taking inspiration from those, I SOMETHING INSPIRINGaimed to use the platform to generate some excitement around thegroup.Being part of a team that also had professional photographers and B City Collective’s mainvideographers, I had access to vast amounts of media resources to message was to urge youngpresent the Collective authentically online. people to break away from negative lifestyle choices. The fact that it was made up APPROACH of “real” people from Birmingham who are using their talents to carve a productive and positive path was something that informed the social media presence I cultivated for them. By sharing behind-the-scenes photos and videos, live updates from events and, ultimately, a side to the group would be showcased, that wasn’t unlike the youth audience they were targeting.
LIVE-TWEETINGTo appropriately accompany any mentions as soon asthe Collective’s blog and they came in, usingFacebook presence, I used Tweetdeck on my phone.Twitter to send live updates U s i n g Tw i t t e r f o r t h efrom rehearsals and video Collective on a continuousshoots with a focus on basis, I helped garner newbehind-the-scenes followers as well as someinformation. With my past interaction from keyexperience liveblogging from Birmingham figures,events, I knew that there including @IAmBirminghamwere benefits to providing a - a Birmingham-basedlive commentary online. I video hub, @jonwalker121,aimed to provide a steady, political editor of thevaluable stream of content Birmingham Post and Mailso potential followers would and @the_drum Artssee an advantage to Centre. Overall, the Twitterfollowing. I made a point of strategy - to present whattagging users e.g. rock band goes on behind the@underscored_101, rapper Collective - was a success@damien_morgan and and complemented thevenue @the_drum, posting whole online presence veryphotos and keeping track of well.
BCITYCOLLECTIVE.CO.UKAs online communications coordinator, one of the largest tasksassigned to me was the management of theBCityCollective.co.uk. This involved initially setting up a blog-based website on Wordpress and subsequently posting updatesto the blog and updating page content.Project coordinators often sent updates via email, which I wouldtake, edit and craft into suitable blog posts. I researched andinstalled various plugins to enhance the blog, including NetworkPublisher to push new blog posts to Twitter and Facebook,Google Calendar Events to give readers an interactive calendarof upcoming and past appearances and Automatic YoutubeVideo Posts to pull video uploads from Youtube into new blogposts.As well as that, as the project was constantly evolving, withadditional support coming from different parties, new peoplejoining the creative team and further testimonials andendorsements coming from key Birmingham figures and musicprofessionals, the website needed to be updated accordingly.Resulting from my work on BCityCollective.co.uk is a websitewith all important information about the Collective as well asregular, insightful updates and behind-the-scenes photographsand video content.
FLYOVER the Flyover Show on 20th August - to generate interest in theSHOW Collective and give people anFACEBOOK incentive to go onto thePHOTO Facebook page, like it and shareCOMPETITION with their friends. I proposed the idea to the coordinators and advised on theAs well as setting up and best approach to logisticalmanaging the Facebook page for aspects. I designed promotionalthe Collective, including materials to have on Facebookpopulating photo albums and in the run-up to the competition.custom tabs, I implemented a On the day, I spent time meetingphoto competition to generate with audience members,more buzz around the page. informing them of the Collectives work, the competition and theThe project coordinators were opportunity to win a gift card,keen on improving the number of and inviting them to enter byFacebook likes. I wanted to having their photo taken by oneprovide an intervention that of the photographers.meant not only would likes beincreased, but those likes would Although I met some resistancebe valuable in that they would to the idea, mainly from thosecome from fans that felt a not keen on having their photoconnection to the Collective. I taken, we got more than 20devised a strategy with this goal photographs which werein mind. It consisted of using an uploaded to Facebook thatupcoming concert appearance - evening.
Using a third party application - Easypromos - to execute thecampaign within Facebooks guidelines, I used the weekfollowing the show to invite fans to tag and enter theirphotographs. During that time, likes increased and many fanstagged and commented on their photos from the day. I also tookresponsibility to wrap up the competition and announce thewinners across Facebook, Twitter and the blog.
OUTCOMEINCREASE IN FANS ANDINTERACTIONSFigure 1 shows an inflation in page content feedback, Figure 1most notably between Saturday the 20th - the day ofthe show - and Tuesday 23rd. One of the contributoryposts was the new album of photos for thecompetition.Figure 2 conveys a peak in page views in the daysafter the show. Figure 2Figure 3 illustrates the peak in new Likes. Bearing inmind the previous graph, it’s clear to see that thepeak in views correlates with an increase in Likes.Although not as impressive as anticipated, it’s clearthat there is a correlation between the Flyover ShowPhoto Competition and a climb in a variety of valuableinteractions on Facebook. This clearly shows thebenefits of a Facebook campaign consisting of faninteractions and a real-world intervention. Additionalinitiatives of this nature would help the Collective Figure 3further build likes and interactions.
BEHIND-THE-SCENESCONTENT & A “REAL” ANDAUTHENTIC PRESENCEWanting to showcase the Collective not just asmusicians, but as real people coming together to dosomething positive, I picked some of the bestbehind-the-scenes footage to share through socialmedia.This strategy helped show the Collective as a groupof people with personality as well as talent and with adrive and passion for what they do.Additionally, having an album of photos of fanscontributes to this “real” image, as fans andmusicians share the same space online.My execution of this tactical presentation of theCollective online helped put across the overall sellingpoint of the Collective, as well as creating an archiveof content for future fans to browse.
“Karen has been an invaluable member of the B City Collective team! It was realised early on thatthe main co-ordinators lacked the online networking skills needed to promote the projectsuccessfully. Thankfully we were introduced to Karen, whose talents and skills immediatelybecame apparent.She built a website which she continues update almost daily. Karen then took over our Facebookpage, giving us invaluable advice as to how to best use this platform to promote ourselves,including a recent competition devised solely by Karen...thus driving traffic to our page! Karen hasalso proved invaluable with her knowledge of Twitter and has tweeted all our exploits regularly.On top of this Karen needs to be commended for her speed in responding to our requests and tothe use of her own initiative. Very often Karen has not needed to be asked to do things-herenthusiasm has been such that she has regularly posted blogs before the co-ordinators eventhought to request her to do so.“TO PUT IT SIMPLY,WE REALLY COULD } NOT HAVE CARRIED CHRIS HYTCH (PROJECT COORDINATOR)OUT THIS PROJECTWITHOUT KAREN.”
ABOUT KARENKaren is an online media consultant and designer,specialising in creative approaches to social mediafor businesses, arts organisations, individuals andgroups, with a focus on authenticity andindependence.Portfolio and BlogKarenKiely.comEmailkaz@karenkiely.comTwitter@kazkiely