The scoop on flavorful approaches to social media
ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
NAME: Karen Allen
COMPANY: Karen Allen Consulting
Karen Allen began her career as an artist manager and was an early adopter of all things digital. Currently, she is a sought-after consultant who advises digital entertainment startups on their overall strategy and business development. She helps brands develop strategic partnerships and new clients to further their success. Past companies have included the RIAA, Mobile Entertainment Forum, TAG Strategic, and N2K. Allen also runs the production company Glory & Thieves and has recently partnered with Television 4 to produce “Riffing With,” a music interview show that is available on Hulu. Additional outlets including Amazon Instant Video and Virgin Airlines In-Flight Entertainment, will soon carry the show as well. The “Riffing With” podcast launched on December 3 and can be heard on PodcastOne. Interviews include Annie Lennox, Brian Wilson, Perry Farrell, Incubus, John Lydon and more.
SOCIAL MEDIA URLs:
LINKED IN: Karen Allen 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: I start every day waking up to Facebook on my iPad, in bed. It gets my mind moving without having to actually think about work just yet. I’ve groomed my newsfeed so I mostly see articles about culture, my industry, politics, and current news. My friends are in the digital entertainment industry, so we have similar interests and get into discussions about what’s happening in our industry and our world.
I get a handful of newsletters by email, which I’ll read for headlines. Media Redefined, Digital Music News, Hypebot, CrunchBase Daily, Magid I-FACTS, and LA Tech Digest are all daily reads. For general news scanning, I have a bunch of blogs and magazine feeds set up on Feedly.
Q: How do you use social media?
A: Social media is the main way I keep current on my existing network and how I grow my general footprint. I’m only on a few platforms; I find any more than that spins my wheels.
I use Facebook to stay on top of existing relationships and I only add people I’ve actually met. It’s helped me deepen connections with people I may have only known casually, and organize social activities with people in my inner social circle. I post more personal things here than I would on Twitter, and I’m more apt to reply to posts than anywhere else.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with Twitter this year. I’m using a tool called Fanbase to strategically grow who I follow and who follows me. My goals here are different than on Facebook. On Twitter, I want to meet as many people as possible, be a part of larger conversations (via hashtags), and generally grow my influence in my industry. I am interested in connecting with digital entertainment startups, VCs, tech reporters, the LA startup community, and with digital music people, and I see a much wider range of post topics than on Facebook. I’ve made some great connections on Twitter – the IDEAS LA conference asked me to be on their advisory board, for example. I went on a NASA Social through a post I found on Twitter and got a killer insider tour of Vandenberg Air Force Base, met the head of NASA, and attended a satellite launch.
LinkedIn is strictly for networking and business development outreach. I never got in the habit of posting or reading other people’s posts and the groups have largely been spammy. I’d like to discover which groups people find to be valuable on LinkedIn.
I use Instagram and Pinterest sparingly. It’s really just for non-work fun, to look at pretty pictures and not think.
The newest one for me is YouNow. It’s a gamified, monetized live-stream platform. Like Periscope, with a strategy. Most of the users right now are teenagers, so the content is not always of interest. The model itself, much like Twitch, is what’s interesting. Broadcasters are making real money and developing real followings. This is the next social media platform to watch.
Q: How has social media changed your life?
A: On a professional note, it’s made staying current with people so much easier. I know when they’re on vacation or at a conference or when they’ve changed jobs. It’s helped them get to know me better. Social media makes it easier for me to tell people what I’m up to and call out for help when I need it. I’m not in my 20s anymore. I don’t go out every night and see everyone on a regular basis. Neither do my friends. Conferences only come around so many times a year. Social media is how I stay connected to what’s happening in my industry and who’s making it happen.
Q: Do you think social media has enhanced or diminished our personal relationships?
A: For me, it’s completely enhanced personal relationships. My family is almost all on Facebook and we talk more than ever. I plan social events with my friends, like the adult sleepover at the Natural History Museum, which ten of us went to and was epic. I started a group about the TV show Nashville called Let’s Talk About Nashville where all my industry friends talk about Nashville. It’s awesome. We are all busy adults, but our social media addictions help us keep in touch with each other. I don’t even mind when friends post about politics; I like seeing all views and I like that they care about what’s happening in the world. I rarely unfriend anyone. If I don’t like what you post, I just remove you from my news feed or take you off a Twitter List (I only read Twitter posts if they are on a List I created).
For professional relationships, previous social media interactions help as a conversation starter when I see someone in person. I can reference a recent trip they took or a new product they released. I feel like I have a bigger picture of them, so I am better finding common connections between our interests.
Q: What organizations, brands or personalities do you follow? What makes them worth following?
A: On Facebook, I love A Mighty Girl, which posts about strong women in history as an example for young girls; Humans of New York, which lately has been going on trips to the Middle East and just did a whole series on Syrian refugees; I Cannot Go To Bed- There is Epic Shit Happening on the Internet, which is exactly what it says; and Upcoming in LA, a loose group of people who post cool stuff happening in LA.
On Twitter, I like Edward Snowden, for awareness of citizen’s rights; Los Feliz Daycare, a brilliant parody account with the best hipster baby names ever; Ryan Adams, because he is awesome; Patton Oswalt, because he gets into it with people; Neil deGrasse Tyson, because every fifth post reads like he wrote it high; NASA, because SPACE!; The Oatmeal, because he’s a brilliant digital-to-physical content creator; and ManWhoHasItAll, because yes to everything (s)he said. This is all for fun. I have loads of people I follow in all parts of my industry for business, organized by Lists.
Q: What kinds of posts spark your interest?
A: I like new information about my industry, science, politics, and pop culture. I like to see what my friends are spending their free time doing. I’m a sucker for cute animal posts.
Q: What is/are your favorite social media platform/s and why?
A: Facebook is really my go-to for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. I’ve also spent the most time curating that feed. Twitch and YouNow are the ones I’m watching closely, followed by Periscope.
Q: Favorite hashtag or one you’d like to see?
A: Hands down the best hashtag I’ve seen in a long time is #renoirsucksatpainting on Instagram. It warms my heart that with all the crap going on in the world, someone has taken the time to troll Renoir on the internet and people are actually organizing for the cause.
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: You really have to pick and choose which platforms you bother developing a following on, because it’s so time-consuming. For Riffing With, I’m only doing Facebook and Twitter, and of that mostly Twitter. Facebook penalizes you for a large following by charging you to reach your audience. It’s good for general sharing, though. Twitter is good for going wide, but you need a smart strategy for growing audience (see Fanbase). We’re not doing YouTube at all, aside from a few clips. There’s just no money it in unless you’re huge and we’re not going to post enough content on it to attract a following.
In general, consider who you are trying to reach and then build a presence on what platform they are on. Pinterest is mostly women over 30 planning weddings and decorating their houses. YouNow is all teens. So is Snapchat. Instagram only works if you are very visual. Periscope, YouNow, Meerkat, Twitch, etc are all good if you can be engaging with an audience over 1-3 hours. With any of these, you have to post frequently and it’s very time-consuming, so really play to your strengths.
Q: If you could follow any historical figure on social media, who would it be?
A: Dorothy Parker. I think we’d be fast friends.
Q: Cone, cup, or straight from the container?
A: Straight from the container, always.
Q: Favorite flavor?
A: Ben & Jerry’s Americone Dream.
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 JANUARY 5, 2016 when our guest on Ice Cream Social is Chip Schutzman, president and founder of Miles High Productions, an online music marketing and promotion company whose past and present clients include EMI America, Capitol Records, Blue Note Records, Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers Entertainment and more than 150 recording artists.