While traditional advertising, public relations, and direct selling still exist and remain essential, social media is becoming an increasingly important tool used in the promotion of a music star image. According to Nielsen, active adult social networkers are 75% more likely to be heavy spenders on music compared to the average adult Internet user, therefore promotion via social media is crucial to an artist’s and, in turn, their record label’s success. Mangold and Faulds (2009) suggest “a new [communications] paradigm that includes all forms of social media as potential tools in designing and implementing [marketing] strategies.”
Promotion via social media is similar to that of traditional elements of the promotion mix in that it enables companies to communicate messages to their customers. In terms of the music industry, it allows artists and record labels to talk to their fans and customers. Messages published in social media are consistent with the artist management’s promotional strategy and design of the star image. Management also controls the content, frequency, timing and medium of this communication (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).
Advances in social media have significantly reduced the communication gap in distance and time between an artist and a fan. Various types of social media “enable instantaneous, real-time communication, and utilizes multi-media formats (audio and visual presentations) and numerous delivery platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and blogs, to name a few), with global reach capabilities,” (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). An artist is virtually able to communicate instantly with thousands of people over a number of media platforms.