Hello, Xavier from SocialSoundSystem again! In our first blog post we discussed how we rely on Burner for social media management and community management for the band Iration. Today I’d like to share how we’re using the app for direct-to-fan engagement.
A PRIVACY LAYER FOR THE PUBLIC LIFE
Burner is a privacy layer for your life. For artists, celebrities, and other public figures this is a huge value proposition. To expand on our use-case in the music industry, Burner gives artists and band members the ability to engage with fans and the general public without compromising their personal phone number. Our artists can now create and manage multiple phone numbers for press interviews, calling contest winners, saying hi to sick fans in the hospital, or even ordering a pizza from Papa John’s if you so desire.
The easiest way for public figures to engage with fans and followers is through Q&As. Reddit AMAs have become hugely popular and more celebrities are starting to use Meerkat, but all of the platforms that enable this kind of engagement still require fans to be a member of whatever network they are using. With a Burner number, you’re able to use the one thing that everyone has, a phone number! Simply create a new number and post it to your sites and socials. Answer fan questions or calls that come in. Then burn the number when you’re done! PS you have the ability to turn off notifications in the app for calls/texts so the artist’s phone doesn’t explode when posting
I came across this use-case the other day and thought this was a pretty ingenious way of using the app. The CTO of Citrix, Gunnar Berger, was giving a presentation at conference and included a Burner number to field questions:
In October, Burner added support for MMS and you now have the option to create an MMS specific number. So far we’ve heard a lot of positive support for this feature from the Etsy community and other online stores. For Iration, MMS gave us the ability to run some flash fan engagement campaigns. While off tour Iration started recording their new album in Santa Barbara. Iration posted lyrics to an unreleased song they were working on in the studio and asked fans to send us pics of what the lyrics meant to them. It helped pass the time as they responded to fans and enjoyed learning what the fans thought of the lyrics.
DIGITAL MEETS PHYSICAL
Using Burner allows us to bridge a gap between the digital and real life. Iration doesn’t always hide behind the phone number. I’ve seen them use the app to find surfboards, a copy of Cabin Boy, want to know where to go for a local hike or play golf, or even local “greenery” because everyone knows you NEVER carry anything across any I-10 border checkpoints from Arizona to Texas (SERIOUSLY). In all instances, it’s a chance for the band to connect with local fans and hook them up with tickets.
Another fun way we like to use Burner reminds me of all the old rave days. Remember when you used to have to call a phone number to call another number to meet at a certain place/time to follow someone to that underground party? No? Well, it was a thing. In any event, sometimes we like to do similar promos using Burner. Since you can add custom voicemail greetings for every number, it’s very easy to create a new number in any tour market for fans to call in to find out what the “Burner mission” of the day is (should you choose to accept it). We’ve had fans meet us at a certain local landmark, bar, or restaurant to give away merch, autographs, or tickets. When the guys are on the East Coast and the waves are firing, they’ll tell fans to meet at a certain beach and bring boards for them. They once asked for a copy of Cabin Boy for the tour bus that only had a DVD player. A new favorite is doing flash ticket giveaways. We’ll post a Burner number with the stipulation that we will delete the post once someone has claimed the tickets.
SOURCING FAN CONTENT
This is one of the main reasons SocialSoundSystem started working with Burner. One of the first campaigns we developed with Burner allowed us to source fan content using voicemails. Burner helped us build a direct integration with Soundcloud. Fans could call into a special Burner number and leave a voicemail. We QA the calls and upload our favorites to our official Soundcloud account. In doing so we are able to learn more about our fans while rewarding them with some social currency considering our Soundcloud account alone has 100K followers.
Over the years we have received messages from sick fans telling us how our music is helping them. Sadly it’s occurring more and more frequently. Jorge Santana (from above) is an example one of these fans. He won a pair of tickets for the Fillmore San Francisco show and couldn’t make it because his doctors wouldn’t let him out of the hospital. He sent his kids instead and the lead singer, Micah, gave Jorge a call in the hospital telling him to fight the good fight. We’ve since stayed in touch and they’ve been out to a few shows. I met him in person last year at the Greek Theatre Berkeley where he and his wife told us backstage that he was 100% cancer free. It’s the little things like this where we can give back to our fans that really makes an impact on what we do. The smallest bit of effort on our part really can change a life
A more recent experiment we’ve been playing with is a Burner Message Board. We set up a basic site on subdomain Messages.IrationMusic.com and attached a Burner number. One of the band members recorded a voicemail inviting fans to text, send a pic, or leave a voicemail for them. Text and audio are transcribed and show up almost instantaneously on the page. Fans receive a notification if someone favorites or leaves a response. Everything occurs anonymously on all sides. The band loves how easy it is to use and fans love seeing their messages on one of our official sites.
For all the hoopla over the latest and greatest apps (we’re looking at you Meerkat), we truly believe that phone numbers will continue to play an important part of our personal and professional lives. They have the lowest barrier to entry, fans do not need to download anything, and 99.9% of the world knows how to make a phone call or send a text.