Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About Michael: Michael Brandvold is a freelance music industry consultant based in Northern California. Having launched Michael Brandvold Marketing to leverage his years of experience to provide direction to large and small clients in the areas of online & social marketing as well as e-commerce and customer acquisition and retention. Michael has also managed the online efforts for KISS, Greg Kihn, Motley Crüe, Rod Stewart, Madonna, Ozzy Osbourne, Madonna and Britney Spears to name only a few.
1. How did you get started in social media?
I got started in social media before that term even existed. In 1998 I was hired to build and manage KISSonline.com, the official website for KISS. From the beginning I wanted the fans deeply involved with the site and this meant developing techniques, tools and content that allowed for the fans to engage with each other, and for the band to engage with the fans through the website. I have taken that experience and applied it to everything moving forward. Social media is simply talking and listening to your fans or customers. More than anything they want to know they are being heard. Social media has always existed, but today sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it much easier to accomplish and manage.
2. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?
I always put myself in the shoes of the user, the fan, the customer. Remembering what it is they are looking for, what they want to read about, the simple problems they want solved. And most importantly, what would it take for me to pull out my credit card and buy something or give someone my email address. If something is too complicated for me to deal
with, it will surely be above the heads of the average user. I may have worked with KISS, but the KISS principle is important… Keep It Simple Stupid. I like to deliver content that is easy to digest. Content that applies directly to a real problem or concern. Content that is easy to act upon. Don’t speak above the customer, speak to them.
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?
I have six suggestions: Best advice I could give is do what you love, be passionate about what you do, and stick to what you believe in. I feel influence comes when others see you really believe in what you are talking about. As you get more influential you will find more people who don’t agree with you, that is fine, but you need to have the passion to stand up for what you say. I have always loved the George Bernard Shaw quote, The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.
If you’d like to hear more from Michael, you can follow him at @michaelsb on Twitter.
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