The scoop on flavorful approaches to social media
ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
NAME: Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz
COMPANY: The “Weird Al” Yankovic Band
Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz has one of the shortest bios in the entertainment industry: He’s been the drummer with “Weird Al” Yankovic since 1980, and is seen and heard on all of Weird Al’s albums, videos, concert and television performances.
He performed with Al on more than 110 concert dates in 2015, and is gearing up for the second leg of the Mandatory World Tour starting June 3. This 80-plus date tour includes classic venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Radio City Music Hall, and a return engagement at Wolf Trap. Dates are listed at www.weirdal.com/tour.
SOCIAL MEDIA URLs:
FACEBOOK: Bermuda Schwartz on Facebook
LINKED IN: Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz on Linked In
Q: We have access to so much news on a daily basis. What kinds of information do you consume at the start of your day?
A: Morning TV network news/entertainment and local news are always on at home, but serve as background noise while I surf the ‘net. Facebook begins and occupies most of my day, and email is my preferred personal communication medium; I don’t really like Facebook’s message system, but I also understand that many of my ‘friends’ don’t have my email address. I often take those conversations to email anyway. News radio is on in the car when driving, and I subscribe to the local newspaper but rarely read it.
Q: How do you use social media?
A: I mostly react to it, rather than exploit it for my professional benefit. I’m more likely to comment on friends’ posts than to post my own photos or stories. But, I manage to make at least one post a week, just so I don’t fall off the radar for the handful of friends who care to see my ramblings and images. When I’m on tour and there are more places and events to talk about, my post count increases somewhat.
Q: How has social media changed your life?
A: Reconnecting with old friends and schoolmates, bandmates, and former coworkers has been the best outcome for me both personally and professionally. I’m not sure that any of it has resulted in measurable changes in my life, but it’s almost always nice to catch-up and get an answer to the question, “I wonder what ever happened to…?”
Q: Do you think social media has enhanced or diminished our personal relationships?
A: A little of both, and I think it depends on the dynamic of that relationship in the first place. I’ve had personal relationships become relegated to so many Facebook PMs, while some Facebook acquaintances have become genuine friends. In the end, my strong relationships have remained stable.
Q: What organizations, brands or personalities do you follow? What makes them worth following?
A: I typically follow friends, and affiliated equipment companies, such as Ludwig Drums, Sabian, Vic Firth, Evans Drumheads, all on Facebook. They convey just enough digestible information so that I don’t spend my entire day in front of the screen. I cheerfully un-follow time-wasters, although I don’t normally unfriend them.
Q: What kinds of posts spark your interest?
A: Anything that my friends are doing is usually of interest, and typically involves what they’re doing in music. If someone’s posts aren’t interesting to me, I un-follow them in order to keep my timeline more pertinent.
Q: What is/are your favorite social media platform/s and why?
A: I focus on Facebook for more balanced interactivity. Twitter and Instagram depend primarily on the account holder generating information, and I don’t really have that much to say.
Q: Favorite hashtag or one you’d like to see?
A: So far, I’ve managed to avoid using or following hashtags. I’ve never felt the urge to explore beyond the post at hand.
Q: What advice would you give to a brand about how to get started with a social media program or make their existing one more effective?
A: Conveying enticing information is job No. 1, many of the classic marketing strategies apply as they would in print and other media. Social media also requires constant effort in attracting followers, and maintaining their interest. A lack of fresh info may foster disinterest, while a relentless barrage of posts can be a turn-off.
Q: If you could follow any historical figure on social media, who would it be?
A: It’s hard to imagine any figure being more interesting than the memes attributed to them, but I guess there would never be a dull moment with Confucius.
Q: Cone, cup, or straight from the container?
A: Cone for retail, container for home use.
Q: Favorite flavor?
A: Cookie dough
Have something to add or share? Please leave a comment in the section below. Feel free to like and share on social media. And be sure to join us next week when our guest on Ice Cream Social is: Mashable Reads Editor, Chris Taylor.