Why would a music icon, and the lead singer of the one the most successful bands of all-time decide to finally step into the world of social media in mid 2013? Because it is important for ANY musician to use social media platforms as a tool for their music career. I have said it many times over and over in numerous of my blogs; using social media as a platform to engage your fan base is important. It is not only important, it is essential for the life and sustainability of your music career. Not only is it mandatory to use in building a fan base and launching a music career, it is also necessary to connect and engage with existing your fans. If you ignore the primary ways fans connect with each other regarding music, then don’t expect to stay relevant over time. I cannot over emphasize the importance of using social media for musicians, bands, rappers, or anyone trying to launce AND maintain a career in the music industry. But I stress, it is not just BEING on social media, it is also knowing how to properly use it as a tool for your music career. Just being on social media sites, but not properly using them is just like going to a gym, but not working out.
As seen with legendary front man of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, there is no cut off age for a musician to be able to benefit from and understand the necessary use of social media for their music career. There can be a learning curve for anyone just starting to use social media, but the small amount of work it takes someone to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the music business is more than worth it.
Older more established artists are notorious for avoiding social media. It has take some time for established artists from a different time of the music industry to embrace social media as an essential part of their continued music career. But that has changed over the last year. Plant has officially entered the new millennium of the music industry. Just recently it was announced in this article featured on Rollingstone.com that Robert Plant’s digital “store front” has gotten a much-needed facelift. He has finally started his own “official” twitter and instagram accounts, as well as becoming a Google Plus user. This is all coinciding with the re-launch and redesign of his personal website. His website, robertplant.com , also has some new songs, as well as exclusive content just for fans who connect with him via his personal site.
Following Robert Plant on twitter will not only give you a direct connection to mythical rocker himself, but the first 25,000 followers of his twitter account were rewarded with an exclusive download by his new group the “Sensational Space Shifters.” The exclusive content his followers on social media will receive includes some pretty cool versions of some Zeppelin classics, like a new renditions of hit Zeppelin songs like “Black Dog” and “What is and What Should Never Be.”
Here is their version of the Led Zeppelin hit “Black Dog.”
Here is their version of the Led Zeppelin classic “What is and What Should Never Be.”
The goal with social media and artists’ personal websites is to use them as promotional vehicles for upcoming shows and releases, and to have a direct connection to their fans. Robert Plant is unveiling some new multimedia projects like his upcoming 10-part documentary series, which documents his trip to Mali. He is also using the site to share some archived photos, interviews, set lists, and many more things that both Zeppelin and Robert Plant fans have been clamoring for years to obtain.
Any artist, even at Plant’s age and point in his storied career, can benefit from being in the digital age. But there is also a bit of downside, even if it is just a downside for the artist. Robert Plant will ultimately face some of the typical questions from his long time fans…like will there ever be an official Led Zeppelin reunion? Fortunaltely for the fans, you get to ask the man himself. Due to his commimtment to staying relevant, develop relationships with new fans, continuing to engage in the longtime ones, and standing out in social media, he will most likely answer those questions directly.
Plant is not the only established artist from an older generation to use social media to rebrand themselves in the new digital realm of the music business. The orginiators of metal, Black Sabbath, just released their official reunion album with Ozzy Osbourne, after an over 30 year sepearation. In order to create more buzz and awareness of the new record, Sabbath released the first single “God Is Dead” on youtube on April 19th, 2013. This helped their new album be their first #1 album record in the United States, and helped the album sell over 155,000 albums in it’s first week.
“America’s Band,” and legendary Surf rock group “The Beach Boys” have included the use of some newer social media platforms to promote their upcoming career retrospective. To promote the box set, “Made in California”, The Beach Boys are giving fans the opportunity to contribute to the production of a music video for song “California Feelin”, via social media platform Tongal (which is a rich social media platform that facilitates video content by constructing creative work through collaborations in contests amongs fans). The Beach Boys are also using Tongal to offer fan the chance to submit a lead guitar track for an additional song called “Goin’ to the Beach.” The winner of the competition will have their mix of the song released online through all of the Beach Boys social media and band site.
Make sure to check out the Tongal website. It is pretty cool what they do.