Willie Nelson blew it.
Since I normally direct my marketing tips to musicians and bands who are still on their way up, you may wonder why I’m talking about Willie. The fact is he just missed a great opportunity to connect with his fans. And my point applies to a band or musician at any point in their career – even Willie Nelson.
Willie performed last night at House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. This morning I get on Twitter and I notice a tweet from Willie (I’m following him):
Day off today. Reminds me.. Have you gotten your copy of Naked Willie? #nakedwillie
Instead of thanking his North and South Carolina fans for coming to the show, Willie wants to know if you’ve bought his newest CD. Keep in mind here that his fans shelled out $45 during a difficult economic time to STAND UP all night and listen to him. Folks seated in the pews upstairs ponied up $103.
Here’s what he could have said instead (in under 140 characters each):
• Thanks to all the MB fans who came out to HOB last night. We had a blast!
•Shout-out to Jamey Johnson, who played with us at HOB in North Myrtle Beach last night. Great job, thanks
• To the pretty lady throwing roses on the stage at HOB in Myrtle Bch – HUGE thank you from the band
• Played HOB, North Myrtle Bch last night. Thanks for great response to #nakedwillie (no I didn’t streak, that’s the new album!)
Anyway, you get the idea.
Please, please, please … give your fans the props they deserve. If you’re already a household name and a national star, your fans helped make that happen. If you’re just beginning, there’s no time like the present to develop good habits. And this isn’t just the polite thing to do. It’s a smart business move.
A word of caution here. Be genuine. Don’t say things you don’t mean. If you think your opening act wasn’t up to snuff, don’t lie about it. Choose your words carefully, but don’t lie. Or say something else. If you hated the venue, say something nice about the fans instead.
If you’re going to use a social network like Twitter.com, which I totally recommend (See Ten Reasons Why Musicians Should Be On Twitter, darielb.wordpress.com –Music & Marketing March 12, 2009), don’t leave it for your minions to do. If you just don’t have the energy or time to twitter your own tweets, at least keep tabs on it and make sure they represent you in an acceptable manner.
BTW, I haven’t heard Naked Willie yet, but Willie and the Wheel, featuring Willie Nelson with Western group Asleep At the Wheel (Bixmeaux Productions/ February 3, 2009) is super!