If social media is indeed the new word of mouth, then it is important to keep in mind that the ‘rule of 22’ (that a person with a complaint will tell an average of twenty-two people) also applies, and that artists promoting themselves online need to be careful to avoid missteps.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Last week I discussed in a post about how social media is really only word-of-mouth. That’s important to remember because word-of-mouth is really the most important kind of advertising available to us, but it has both on a positive and negative side. That brings us to something outlined in my Social Media Promotion For Musicians 2nd Edition handbook known as the “Theory of 22.”
“While people may tell three to five friends about any good news, a study by Ford Motor Company found that something negative can spread even further. It found that a person with a complaint will tell an average of 22 people! Something that’s merely displeasing may be communicated to only between five and ten.
This is why it’s important that you learn to promote online the correct way, since any misstep can quickly get out of control and can potentially do more harm than good. This is one of the few cases where sometimes you’re lucky if you’re simply ignored.
That said, when it comes to marketing just about anything (including you and your music), social media should be a priority since it’s an effective yet inexpensive platform for getting the word out that consumers deem credible.”
So to break it down:
• Good experience – 3 to 5 people told
• Displeasure – 5 to 10 people told
• Negative experience – 22 people told
What that means is a negative user experience can travel a lot further and faster than a positive one. That’s why you have to be on your toes when anything negative crops up online. If it’s a legitimate problem, it’s wise to fix it for your fan or follower as soon as possible. Even if it’s not (as sometimes things can get blown out of proportion), it’s worth considering fixing the problem in the fans or customer’s favor anyway. It’s too easy for the Theory of 22 to kick in and make the negative experience go viral.
You can read more from Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.