I went to college at the University of Miami, which probably contributed to my love of electronic music since the city hosts one of the largest electronic music festivals, Ultra. It's funny to me that anytime I mention where I went to school and my EDM obsession, people automatically assume I am also into the perceived lifestyle of hard drugs and constant all-nighters. I am proud to say that, to this day, I've never even tried a drug--> not even marijuana. Yes, people, it is possible to go to a "party" school, love electronic music, and stay drug-free. FYI.
This is where Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5) first wins me over in the below interview. Being a fan of the Toronto-based DJ since my freshman year of college, I am shocked to hear that he also is not for the drugged-out reputation of the electronic music scene--> Awesome. As if that is not enough to send me to super fan status, Zimmerman then touches on his use of social media and crowd sourcing. Here is a multi-million dollar DJ that spends time not only answering his OWN Tweets, but going as far as using a fan's vocals on "The Veldt" track that were obtained through crowd sourcing.
What really gets me is that Zimmerman never associates his social media efforts with personal gain, or views them as a money machine. When asked why he feels a need to be so engaged with his fans via social media, deadmau5 responds with a "why not?" attitude, and then hits on a very important point --> He comes from low-income roots, and believes that what money comes in, must also go out. He does not want to "hoard" all of his success, but rather give back to a community that has done nothing but support him. There is absolutely no "How does social media contribute to my sales?" BS here. Bingo.
Zimmerman's humility in the video below is astounding, and every social media professional could gain from taking a similar approach to their brand. Your fans are on your social networks because they want to learn more about your brand. You've already won them over to some extent, or they wouldn't be there. So stop approaching social media as if it is some task that you have to check off your list for the day. Stop acting as though you are doing your fans some huge favor by even having a presence on social media. Social media isn't about you and your brand. Social media is about your fans, and the community they created because they connected with you on some level. If it wasn't for these fans (aka consumers), your brand would not exist. Do social media because you love your fans, and you genuinely want to hear what they have to say about your brand, and about their own lives. You'd be surprised what you can learn about your brand and consumers by listening to your fans' conversations about their lifestyles and daily routines.
It's time that social media pros, and brand social networks, reflect the humility of Joel Zimmerman. No matter how big your brand is now, it stemmed from nothing at some point, and you owe your growth and millions to all of those fans wanting and needing to be heard on your social networks.
I know this video is a year old and super long but, believe me, the watch is incredibly worth it.
Video Rights: Studio Q/Joel Zimmerman
-Marji J. Sherman