Hola! Xavier here from SocialSoundSystem. We’re a boutique management, digital marketing and advertising agency based in Los Angeles. SocialSoundSystem got it’s start working with the band Iration, back when I lived with some of them while at UC Santa Barbara and Myspace was a thing. Over the years we’ve worked with a number of touring artists including Slightly Stoopid, their management company Silverback Artist Management, and Ink-N-Iron Festival.
We love being the geeks of the music industry. We like to play with the newest apps and services, break them, help put them back together, and hopefully make them better. This is exactly how we started working with Greg and the Burner team. What began as casual conversation and user feedback, gradually turned into us moonlighting in the mobile app world as brand liaison growth-hacker.
The latest technology and hottest new apps seem to change by the hour, all promising to be the next best thing in direct-to-fan relationships, but we’ve found that a simple phone call or text message still has the lowest barrier to entry and the highest value proposition for community management and fan engagement.
This post is Part One of how Burner has become an indispensable utility for our daily operations in the music industry.
BURNER FOR COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
As a community manager, working with any size brand can be overwhelming and daunting. You are the representative of the brand across their respective channels and as your followers grow, at some point, you will not be able to hide behind an account name or handle. There’s no way around it: you’re going to have to talk to your fans or followers. This is where Burner’s value as a privacy layer becomes most apparent.
First things first: create a long term Burner number specific for that particular brand or client. I have one Burner for Iration that I have been extending for over a year. My marketing assistant has one as well. We only use these numbers for communicating with and providing support for Iration’s fans.
GIVE A FAN A LIFELINE
We’re constantly running online promos, contests, giveaways, etc. to generate larger outreach and promote shows/tours. Or maybe we read a funny or heartbreaking message and want to help out a fan with free passes. We’ll confirm their names over email and add them to our guest list.
During the confirmation process we always provide our fans with our Burner number in case things go wrong. Sometimes the band forgets to add their name to our guest list. Sometimes we forget to submit their names to the official list. Whatever the reason, the last thing we want is to leave a fan standing out in the cold at the box office unable to get in. When you see a call come in on your Burner number at 11pm on a show night, PICK IT UP! Chances are it’s a fan with an issue that can be resolved with a quick text or call to the production team on the road.
“When you see a call come in on your Burner number at 11pm on a show night, PICK IT UP! “
THE VIP EXPERIENCE
Iration offers VIP packages for every show and tour. These usually include a private performance during soundcheck, a meet & greet, autographs, and some limited-edition merch items. For some fans, these VIP packages are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the management team, it can be a logistical nightmare trying to coordinate when you get your VIP list 2-3 days before the show. If the fan doesn’t receive their details, you run the risk of losing a fan for life.
As the number of VIPs per show has increased over the years it has become harder and harder to communicate the information with them. Younger fans simply do not check their emails -- they aren’t chained to their inboxes yet. Good for them! Bad for the band and management dealing with crying, angry fans who feel they’ve been ripped off. We can’t afford to lose fans like that and have them taking their negativity to social media; especially today when all the band is on social media. Fans can message their grievances direct and it’s the last thing they want to see after stepping off stage. Enter Burner!
For the past year we’ve been using our Burner numbers to text all VIPs. We tell them that we’ve sent all the details for VIP to their emails and to respond with a confirmation. In the VIP emails we also include our Burner numbers in case they have any further questions or they need to change the name on our list. This has greatly improved our process and decreased the number of disgruntled fans. We’re actually receiving a lot of positive feedback from fans on our communication and organization.
Finally,there’s the time old tradition of street teams. Over the years Slightly Stoopid has developed a large network of street teamers through extensive touring. Their team is managed in-house by their marketing coordinator Sarah Abdel. These teamers are the boots on the ground talking to people, putting up posters, handing out fliers, giving out stickers, hitting up lifestyle stores, anything and everything to promote for their favorite band. Naturally, this requires a lot of coordination on behalf of their marketing team.
This is where Sarah began running into issues. She would receive calls at all hours of the day/night working with fans across the country. They’d have questions on their orders, maybe need more materials, send in pics of them handing out promo, call begging for tickets, or maybe they just really, really wanted to hang out and be friends at shows.
Solution: Burner. Sarah started using the app to connect direct with her street teamers and centralize communication. This has enabled her to build relationships fans while keeping her privacy and personal life separate.
“Burner has been awesome for keeping me connected to all the ‘Stoopidheads’ without being too connected! I love the simplicity of the app, and that it also has a ton of useful features. The latest MMS integration allows teamers to send me photo updates of their promotional work. The Contacts list feature helps me remember who I’m talking to without having to save their information to my phone. And I love their new Reminders that can helps me to respond to someone later if now is not the best time. Thanks to the folks at Burner I have my own work line without having to get another phone.”
- Sarah Abdel
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how Burner has come to play an important role for community managers and our daily interactions with fans. We can now create multiple phone lines for different shows, tours, releases, promos, support -- the utility is endless. It’s really changed the way we connect with our fans and build relationships. In our next post, we will discuss how our artists are using Burner for direct-to-fan engagement and promo campaigns.