The sharing capabilities of social media can produce beneficial mass publicity that is consistent with the promoted star image. However, bad publicity can be detrimental to a star image. In the past, music stars and other celebrity personalities have argued that they have been misrepresented in the media and often employ publicists to monitor and control the type of media coverage artists are receiving. The increasing speed and extent of social media conversation between consumers will certainly make controlling publicity a much more difficult job (Ferri, 2010). In his book, The New Influencers (2007), author Paul Gillin explains, “Conventional marketing wisdom has long held that a dissatisfied customer tells ten people. But that is out of date. In the new age of social media, he or she has the tools to tell 10 million.” With the power now in the hands of the consumer, publicists and managers must attempt to control social media publicity to coincide with their promoted music star image. While successful promotion efforts should stimulate good publicity, maintaining an effective presence in social media is the best way to control publicity overall, both good and bad.
Artist management should provide social networking platforms that develop communities of social networkers that center on shared interest in the artist (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Aside from artist Facebook pages, managers could also create Facebook groups that give fans and critics a place to communicate with one another. Some artist websites have a forum section that encourages registered users to post discussion topics to which other users can post their responses. Foo Fighters is one band that employs this tactic. By registering to the Foo Fighters Postboard, fans can share their opinions on Foo Fighter-related discussion topics with others. Allowing users to submit feedback results in a closer artist-fan relationship and engaged a wider fan base. To encourage use of similar forum or discussion platforms, artist management may provide registered users with exclusive benefits, such as being able to hear songs before they are released to the public (Mangold & Faulds, 2009).