. Interchanging Idioms: Social Media and Classical Music Succeeding Together

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Social Media and Classical Music Succeeding Together

Music is by its very nature a social art form. Therefore it only makes sense that music would do so well with social media


I look around a some of the big names on Twitter and realize music has an huge influence on our community. Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Shakira have over 200 million fans combined. Granted there are probably a fair number of these fans who follow more than just one (if not all) of the above noted names in the music industry. Still, their combined reach is estimated at over a billion people. IF you could get all seven of these 'stars' to tweet about the same thing you'd be reaching nearly a sixth of the world population. Wow, the power of music!

Seven of the top ten Twitter feeds are directly related to music. Twelve of the top Fifteen Facebook pages are music personalities. That shows the importance our society (and as a result social media) places on music. If music is this important to us, and the people that make the music that popular, it only makes sense that classical music should be leveraging social media to get the word out.

And it is

Name a major orchestra anywhere that doesn't have a Facebook page? While not all of these have twitter accounts, the number of major orchestras that don't are rapidly dwindling. Major solo artists from Lang Lang (@Lang_lang), Sarah Chang (@sarahchang) and Wynton Marsalis ‏ (@wyntonmarsalis) to opera stars Renee Fleming (@reneesmusings), Deborah Voigt ‏ (@debvoigt) and Thomas Hampson ‏ (@thomas_hampson) are active on Twitter. Chamber ensembles like eighth blackbird ‏(@eighthblackbird), Paragon Ensemble ‏ (@ParagonEnsemble), and Bang on a Can (@bangonacan) are more than just active. You can get updates about where they are, what they're playing, and even glimpses into the struggles they face. Numerous string quartets thrive on twitter. Emerson String Quartet (@EmersonQuartet), JACK Quartet ‏(@JACKQuartet) and Raven Quartet (@ravenquartet) are just a few of the hundreds of string quartets sharing their travels with fans on Twitter.

Why? Because music is nothing without an audience. Today's audience is talking on social media so there is no better way to connect with the audience than by being where they are.

Part of what makes social media work is the cooperative nature of it. Social media isn't just advertisement (although there are plenty of organizations that do nothing but); it's about making connections. When fans feel connected, they share that connection with all the people they know. The reason the top seven twitter musicians can reach over a billion people even though their combined fan base is only 200 million, is because those 200 million people will help spread the word. That's what social media does!

TwtrSymphony is a new concept in the symphony orchestra. It isn't just an orchestra of musicians from all around the world. We are that, but much more. TwtrSymphony is also a collective of musicians, composers, technicians and fans all working together to create something larger than the sum of our parts. We have just over 200 fans on Facebook, but regularly are reaching to over 2000 people. Our 1800+ Twitter followers give us a reach of 50k and more. The reason our videos are so successful isn't just because the music is good (ok, I'm a bit biased on that count). It's because everyone, from musicians to the fans are eager to spread the word whenever a new piece is released. TwtrSymphony is leveraging the power of social media through the combined efforts of everyone involved.

Just like Lady Gaga is not for everyone, TwtrSymphony isn't for everyone. Not everyone we run across wants to be a fan. We're ok with that. But if you like what we're doing and think what we're doing is worthwhile, connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Get to know us and let us get to know you.

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