Through the duration of the Digital Communications course I have learned a lot about how to communicate and how to tell an emotional, effective story. How the importance of storytelling and what style of approach you deliver is extremely important.
Being a good storyteller is a priceless skill to have when you’re in marketing. Drawing potential customers in and having an impactful delivery is key to selling your product or pushing your cause. It is said that people decide whether they’re interested in a story in the first seven seconds, and when telling people your story, first impressions are everything. Hook people early and make them want to stay and listen. If you don’t deliver the story properly or if you give the wrong impression because you’ve used the wrong communication style, then all your efforts have been wasted and it’s back to the drawing board.
Content I create from here on will revolve around relating to people. Telling people either my person experiences or using my personal experiences to make relatable content. I find when you speak from your life, people resonate with your story more, because it isn’t a fabricated story to sell a product. When people see a mirror or hear an experience that they have experienced, they will listen and have the attachment.
I intend to tell stories that will make people happy and feel good. There is a gargantuan amount of negativity in the world and I hope to tell stories to make people forget about all that, even if only for a couple minutes. People need to have hope that tomorrow will be better.
I have enjoyed my time taking the “Digital Communications” course, and I am excited about the next chapter.
Being a musician in the music industry has given me more opportunities than I can count. In terms of meeting new people, seeing new places, and discovering new cultures. Although sometimes challenging, if I had to do it over again, I would.
One of the greatest aspects about the music industry is the live show portion, and with that portion comes something greater, meeting new fans. In the music industry our fans are our customers, and you won’t get many by being emotionless and unwilling to know them as people instead of just wallets.
My favorite story involves one of our “Superfans” Lesley, who lives in Sudbury. In March of 2019 after playing a show in Sudbury, before packing up I had a beer and talked with many people who stayed after the show. Lucky enough for me Lesley was one of the people I met and had the pleasure of talking to. However, after talking for a solid 40 minutes we unfortunately had to leave as we had to travel to our next stop and since we had no place to stay, the van was our hotel room. A 2001 Chevrolet Astro van is not the most upscale sleeping arrangement, I promise you. Since we had such a wonderful time in Sudbury, we knew we’d be back soon.
In June 2019 we made our way back to Sudbury on a weekend tour that to this day, is still my favorite tour. We had regular conversations with Lesley in the months apart and I had texted her when we left our prior stop which was North bay. She offered to make us lunch, but we unfortunately had just eaten. She had another offer though, free passes to Science North, which in my opinion is better than the Toronto Science Centre. This was the first time we had seen and hung out with Lesley since March. We spent about 4 hours exploring and playing with all the experiments the facility had to offer. We were lucky the building was essentially empty otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to do everything we had. Playing on the anti-gravity machine, to competing in physical strengths with each other, it was a lot of fun.
Never had I thought that a random person who I met at a show, who then turned into a fan, would then become a good friend. The trip to the science center solidified our friendship and we have had many adventures since.
There has been unanimous acceptance to the fact the world is a globe and people who thought otherwise were simply ignored or seen as delusional. However, in the last two decades the idea has been gaining constant traction, and that is all thanks to social media providing a platform in which in to speak.
For hundreds if not thousands of years now, the Earth has been known to be a globe. There have always been speculators, but they were never taken seriously, especially not in the science community. With the help of social media the Flat Earth Society has grown support for their cause exponentially; having been a society since the early 1800’s and having lost most of it’s members and interest by the late 1990’s, it looked as though this society was done. In 2004 they decided to take their efforts online and create a website, and since then membership and support behind the idea has grown tenfold.
From 2014 till 2018 I couldn’t go a week without hearing something about flat earth, whether that be on the news, YouTube, Facebook, or physical media. The conversation involved millions, with hundreds of videos on YouTube alone expressing their support for the group. The big question is, why is there such a resurgence behind an idea that has been scientifically proven to not be true? Honestly, I don’t think there is a simple answer to that question. There is a variety of ways for people to come to this “realization” we’ll call it. Without social media it is almost impossible to find like minded people without an outburst of scrutiny. With the help of social media though, people who believe in flat earth can talk to like minded all over the world from the comfort of their house. No scrutiny, no threats on their intelligence, only support for each other.
The Flat Earth Society web site has forums for people to have conversations, on Facebook the official page has accumulated 212,000 likes along with many other pages, and groups on Facebook alone, those numbers are hundreds of thousands larger than the official page. On YouTube there are hundreds of videos discussing, and even some that claim to prove it’s flat. These videos over the years have procured hundreds of millions of views and countless arguments in the comment section. It is clear to see that thanks to social media, this conversation will not being going away anytime soon.
My personal opinion on the matter is, I know the Earth is round, science has proved so. However, I think the fact people believe NASA and every country on Earth have conspired together to lie to them is a deeper underlying issue. The issue of people not having trust in their government, and this topic alone you can see the disconnect in the rawest form. It shows there has been some sort of trust that has been broken along the way. However, for those who believe the Earth is flat, we shouldn’t belittle them, we should sit down and have conversations, and listen to their reasonings behind their beliefs, because the worst way to educate someone is to scream it in their face. That will only cause discontent and the unwillingness to learn.
My questions to you are, what do you think? Is the Earth flat or is it round? Would the Flat Earth Society have dissolved if not for social media? For those who believe it is flat, please provide some links for access in the comments so I can further understand.
For slightly over six years now I have been in a couple of bands, playing mostly in Canada and a little in the United States. I love that I have this opportunity to pursue my dream of being a professional musician. I am meeting new people constantly and have developed friendships all over the world. Over these six years however I was building my personal brand. In the beginning it was accidental, but I am known in the music community under two alias’, those are; “The Happy Drummer”, and “Dipps”. The nickname “The Happy Drummer” came almost instantaneously as I had stage fright at my first show and when we started playing, to calm myself down I started smiling and making stupid faces. I can thank a healthy mixture of anxiety and adrenaline for that reaction because it worked. Although we only played a couple of songs, people loved my energy, telling me that they’d never seen a drummer so ecstatic to be on stage, and I loved their reaction. It was completely natural and that’s why it worked so well for me.
I’ve played about 300 shows at the point of writing this, and “The Happy Drummer” nickname has followed me all over. Promoters have advertised my band’s by saying; “Come see the happiest drummer in the world!”. What makes me stand out compared to most drummers is; that I don’t look bored on stage. At a punk show you need to have energy, I feed off the crowd’s energy and the crowd feeds off mine. Most drummers, however, sit there with a straight face, looking like they’re not enjoying what they’re playing.
The nickname “Dipps” happened more recently because, I talk about my love for breakfast foods non-stop. On top of that I also have a shirt that says” I (heart) Dippy Eggs” in big letters right on the front of it. After wearing that shirt to many shows without realizing it, I acquired the nickname. I have since used that nickname to start a breakfast themed brand/charity called “Dippy”. The goal of “Dippy” is to sell clothing merchandise such as; t-shirts, sweaters, etc. and donate half of the revenue to local food-banks in my area. The reason for choosing food-banks being; that growing up my family needed help from the food-banks every so often, and I want to give back as much as I can as those have helped me so graciously in the past. This will help me to stand out because, everyone loves breakfast foods, and I want to share my love of breakfast and helping others, all while wearing a huge smile on my face.
The following video is but a minor taste of how the shows I put on feel:
As most know, June is pride month. A month where the LGBTQ+ community gets to celebrate all the strives they’ve made over the years in equality, and judgement. But to not forget what hardships were faced in the past because, as George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
Social media has had an immeasurable impact on pride month and the LGBTQ+ community. Helping spread news of events going on during the month and year-round, but it also helps the spread of the unfortunate occurrences such as; the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida in June 2016. Where 49 people were shot dead and at least 53 people were wounded. This showed the world that there was still hatred and discrimination against this community and its people. To this day there still is discrimination and hatred against the community but this event and the coverage it got across social media brought to light that this fight is far from over. This is the second worst shooting to happen in United States history.
With the awful events we see, there are some good. Started in 2010 in the United States, the It Gets Better movement has reached out and helped millions of LGBTQ+ youth worldwide. Like most movements, the It Gets Better movement had a sad beginning; A pandemic of teenagers in the United States were committing suicide because they were bullied and cyber-bullied for being gay and there needed to be a stop to this. The three words “It gets better”, so simple yet so impactful. Letting those who need it most, know that the bullying and discrimination is temporary and that yes, it is rough and hard to believe it gets better, but it does. Gaining support all over social media with many companies, celebrities, politicians, and average people making videos, expressing that the feelings of doubt are natural but stating the importance in the youth’s lives. Years later the It Gets Better movement has expanded far from the United States with chapters all over the world. Impacting the lives of those who need it most, and it all started on YouTube.
With sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Discord, people in the LGBTQ+ community are able to find their communities and others like their’s, all over the world. Making it easier than ever before to feel included and accepted for who you are. Seeing these online communities and being able to be a part of and participate with them is essential for younger people who are “coming out” because it is not always an easy thing to do. Some seek guidance and advice on the best way to do it and seek further help of what they can do if their families do not accept them for who they are. But also, with being able to find out about events such as the Pride Parade. Without social media the search for this advice and these answers would be increasingly tedious.
There is a subject that is widely speculated with Pride Month, and that is the inclusion and promotion of large corporations. I hate to think of corporations only being on board with Pride Month and the parade as a type of promotion for a demographic they largely either ignore or want no part of, but the reality is that it happens. This is known as “Rainbow Capitalism”. It is where corporations only advertise and make products specified at the LGBTQ+ community in the month of June. Companies such as Budweiser UK, made special pint glasses with the different flags of the community saying they have their support. This however, received much backlash from the community with people saying Budweiser was only making these in order to make profit off them.
Even the candy Skittles had an ad campaign involving the change of the colours of the candy. Making all the skittles white with the slogan “During Pride, only one rainbow matters. So, we’ve given up ours”. This ad campaign received mixed reviews all over the web, some saying it uttered exclusion rather than inclusion because of it seeming so ingenuine in their efforts and simply wanted to capitalize on the month. While others genuinely loved the ad campaign calling it subversive and humble, posting photos online with their love for the idea.
What most don’t know about Pride Month or the parade is it’s origin. It all started on June 28th, 1969 in New York City. A raid of the Stonewall Inn- a local gay club – involving the arrest of 13 patrons on questionable charges. This infuriated the community resulting in riots. Riots that were started by a black transgender woman named: Marsha P. Johnson, who threw the first brick and was one of the biggest activists. For six days the rioting and protesting lasted, outside of the bar, and neighboring streets.
That was merely a brief history of the origin. The entire story is a blog post unto it’s self. If you’re interested, here you can find the history of Marsha and other things she was involved in.
Also, what is your opinion on large corporations utilizing this month to obtain extra revenue? Do you believe their support is sincere or do you believe they exploit it and use it as a trend?
It is hard to run a business that involves teaching others the drums, especially when so many of your lessons are free online. Drumeo, through years of trial and error have nearly perfected how they run their business, and how they stay connected and involved with their customers, and communities.
Drumeo draws in people’s interest by providing free videos and lessons on their YouTube channel, Instagram, and Facebook, showing potential consumers what they offer. They don’t push their products on those videos either, it is up to the consumer to take the initiative and find out what Drumeo offers themselves. The way they draw people in is by offering: Free online video drum lessons, having a podcast where their guests are drummers of all sizes, and by having a Drumeo festival; a two-day festival including drummers from around the world.
One area they need to improve upon is that they don’t really have any fan interaction on their social media sites. However, when you buy their product there is an immense amount of interaction on their website, but that is only when you are a member. When you are a member you get to speak one on one with real people, being able to ask questions, and have private lessons. They also offer closed video lessons where they will have a special guest and throughout the lesson people are able to follow along and comment to Drumeo, all while being responded to in real time by the hosts and guest, making their fans feel like what they say really matters.
Besides little interaction I do believe their approach is working considering the fact they have: 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube, 837,000 likes on Facebook, and 641,000 followers on Instagram, with hundreds of comments on their posts.
Social media having the huge impact it does, has the ability to change and empower protests like never before. With the recent Black Lives Matter protests going on worldwide I thought this seemed like an appropriate topic to speak of.
Disclaimer; I have zero firsthand experience with the horrible dealings that black people and people of colour deal with everyday. As a white male that was raised in a middle-class environment I was never exposed to any sort of negative interactions and am absolutely aware of my privilege and how I can help. I support the movement 100%.
The impact that social media can bring to protests is immense. It is impossible to go on any social media site at the moment and not see the discussions, protests, riots, and unfortunately the ignorant people as well. The spread that it provides is nothing like we’ve seen in protests prior. Allowing more people to see proof of what is happening without relying on journalists or news broadcasters to provide it. Journalists and news broadcasters unfortunately don’t always present images without a biased opinion. That is where the power of social media comes in, allowing thousands of people to show firsthand experience without having bias on the topic.
Sites such as; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok to name a few, provide resources to people trying to spread the message. Facebook specifically allows people to create events for marches and protests gatherings. Facebook and Instagram provide the “Story” option, so people don’t have to scroll down their feeds to find the information they’re looking for. Especially with the unfortunate happening of the hashtag #blackouttuesday. Originally an idea for people to take a break from posting so only those sharing useful information can have the platform empty of “fluff” posts. But it turned into millions of people posting black squares using the hashtags #blacklivesmatter, and #blm. This flooded the hashtags, and anybody looking for information on the topic was stopped abruptly with this sea of uselessness. Only later in the day was the message spread to use the hashtag #blackouttuesday to prevent important posts from being overlooked.
With thousands of independent media outlets all over social medias I find one app quite useful. That app is Snapchat. Snapchat, with their discover page allows the users to scroll through thousands of public access stories. Large news broadcasters such as NBC news have public stories presenting information on topics in less than 3 minutes. This lets people who are in a hurry and perhaps don’t have time to read an article or watch a long video, have the ability to get information that is useful that fits their busy lifestyle. For those who have more time, there are stories such as; Pod Save America which is two guys talking about the politics happening than and there, even late night hosts Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah have stories where they share unbiased information and depending on the topic add a hint of comedy to relieve some of the tension and make it more interesting.
Social media shows both sides to protests. The good and the bad. Whereas traditional news broadcasters on television mainly show the negative side. Showing the good side of protests when others are only showing the bad side is important because although some outlets are exclusively showing the rioting, looting, and beatings by police officers. Social media shows both, and the fact that 95% of the protests have been peaceful. Showing protesters hugging, high fiving, protecting cops (in some cases), and even providing water to police officers knowing some are only there because they are ordered to be there.
One final piece of social media that I believe is overlooked a lot is Podcasts. There are thousands out there on any topic you can imagine. Podcasts are useful because they let the hosts have many guests as well as a large amount of time to speak about the topic. Most podcasts are between 30 to 60 minutes. Pod Save America for example. Mentioned earlier with them having a Snapchat story involving current news. On the podcast they go more in depth for people who watch Snapchat and are intrigued to dive further into the discussion.
These social media outlets allow everyone to be a part of the conversation. That is an extremely powerful tool for the public. Being able to see what their friends are saying, seeing what companies, celebrities, and politicians “support” the cause and calling them out on their bull****. Never, has the power truly belonged to the people.
What social media platforms do get your information from? What is your opinion on what happened with #blackouttuesday? Lastly, what do you think of what is happening in the United States at the moment?
Need to educate yourself? Here’s are some links to pages that can help you be aware, and a part of the solution.
There are many advantages in being in the instrument manufacturing industry. Sabian is a company that has been around since 1981 and has had to battle many obstacles in order to get where they are.
One of the greatest advantages of being in the instrument manufacturing industry is that your demographic is so large it is almost impossible to fail. Sabian has been smart with their targeting. They appeal to both men and women, and although through my experience of drummers/percussionists being predominantly men, Sabian has made a point to encourage women to play. They have sponsored such events as the “Hit Like A Girl” contest, which is a global contest encouraging women to show off their “chops”.
Another advantage is that drums and percussion instruments have no minimum or maximum age limit. They provide products for people of all ages. The approach they take is that no matter your age, if you are drawn to drums, then play. Sabian cymbals are relied on by those who use them for their career as well as people who play drums for a hobby. They are used by people from death metal bands to church bands, and have a sound and cymbal for everyone’s needs no matter their beliefs.
Their psychographic is still quite wide but is more specifically targeted to consumers who are in the middle to upper-class who are more liberal with their money. Although they offer a small collection of cymbals for those in the lower-class. They focus on the leaders of various communities by sponsoring them, and in some cases making custom series for the artists. Thus, bringing the attention to the leaders fans of the company and corresponding cymbals used.
The drumming community is enormous, and its reach is worldwide with hundreds of thousands of communities to join on social media and in person. Some are more specific with the brands used, series used, genre played, the country where you live, and what city you live in (some groups get even more specific). Sabian sponsors leaders in these communities which allows them to solidify their name as a trustworthy brand. The people they sponsor are not only in bands but are session/independent percussionists as well. In fact, they have 57 pages filled with artists they sponsor. Take a look!
A suggestion I would make for them in order to be more involved in their communities is to not only sponsor the leaders of large communities but leaders of smaller ones as well. Tapping into smaller, tighter communities and sponsoring their leaders would reflect hugely on them as a company and their appreciation of their consumers.
Since they are involved with communities worldwide and their target audience being so large, a couple problems have risen. Their two biggest problems are; people being unable to find the cymbals that suit their needs, and the fact that cymbals break but not everyone has the money to replace them.
The solution to their first problem was a marketing campaign with the slogan “What’s Your Sound?”. With that slogan they provide a profile for each series of cymbals they have. On top of that, they provide hundreds of videos to show artists what the cymbals sound like, and description of whether it has a bright, dark, washy sound, etc. This campaign won Music Inc. 2008 supplier excellence award for Marketing: Ad Campaigns.
The solution to their second problem was an extremely smart decision. Cymbals take a lot of beating and musicians don’t want to spend thousands on cymbals that sound good but are thinner and will revert to using thicker cymbals, sacrificing the sound. Their solution to cymbals breaking was adding an unlimited 2-year warranty to all brand-new cymbals. This is perfect for many reasons. The first being that drummers who are in bands have relief that they can play however they want, even on the road and have the stress of playing “too hard” lifted off their shoulders. The next benefit of this is that consumers will likely pick Sabian over their competitors. Other cymbal companies such as Zildjian have a 2-year, one-time replacement policy. It is smart of Sabian to find Zildjian’s weakness on this especially because Sabian was started by members of the Zildjian family after some internal turmoil amongst family members.
I personally use Sabian cymbals because of the two solutions they provided. I found the cymbals that work perfect for me and I can play in comfort knowing I am covered for the first 2 years. Allowing me to not have to spend $1200 on cymbals every year, but every two to three years instead, therefore giving me more bang for my buck.
Do you think the 2-year unlimited warranty is an effective move for other companies to adapt?
Live streaming has become almost an essential part of having an online presence. But is it useful? I believe it all depends on what type of business or online persona you are. If you are representing a brand or if it is for personal gain to attempt life as an “Influencer”.
Representing a brand on livestreams is a route where you need to be careful of what you say, how you say it, and to make sure what you’re attempting does not come across as negative. Buzzfeed for example is a company who is great at using livestreaming and finding fun ways to attract their audiences. Here you can find one of their most popular videos as well as other companies who are using livestreaming effectively.
The route of an online persona however acquires more freedom in what you can say or do. It allows you to be more brash with the language you use and gives you the opportunity to be any type of person you wish to display. Take Josh Ostrovsky for example. You probably know him under his online alias as The Fat Jew. He doesn’t have to be as politically correct in his livestreams, unlike Buzzfeed who has a more family friendly, politically correct audience. In his livestreams he says whatever he wants and uses any consequences to build his brand of not giving a f***.
Now the question. Is live-streaming important to grow your audience?
I for one am trying to figure out an answer myself because during quarantine my band has been doing live-streams everyday for 5 weeks. A band is a tricky middle ground because you are a business, but you are also an online persona. Finding the right mix is difficult in order to still come across as genuine. We have held our live-streams mainly on Instagram and a couple on Facebook. My experience with doing daily live-streams was intriguing. At the beginning of doing daily live-streams it was great. There was an average of 15-20 people watching while live and an average of 30-40 people viewing afterwards. This only kept up for the first two weeks. The third and fourth week saw a decline to an average of 10-15 people viewing while live and an average of 25-30 people viewing afterwards. Not a huge decline, but a decline none the less. This fifth week however it has been on a steady decline. An average of 5-10 people viewing while live and roughly 20-25 people viewing afterwards. This raised many questions for me: “Was the content not as entertaining?”, “Is it because a large amount of people have hopped on the live-stream bandwagon?”, “Are less people watching live-streams now because life is slowly returning?”.
Many other questions followed. Although I will need to conduct more research.
A schedule and a few of the posters for live-streams we’ve done.
Besides Instagram and Facebook live-streaming there is a whole other world of live-streaming; Video game streaming, and there is a multitude of different platforms to stream on. Video game streaming has skyrocketed with the amount of people producing and the amount of people consuming compared to merely ten years ago. “E-Sports” are a big component of why streaming has become so popular in the video game world. With people flocking to sites such as YouTube Gaming, and Twitch to watch their favorite contenders play their favorite games. Its hard to ignore the numbers. View them here.
I had the opportunity to interview Martin Perez who is one of the co-founders of Stranded Fest on Instagram Live and ask him his opinion on if live-streaming is effective for bands specifically. He says “Live-streaming is still a young medium. It’s not quite saturated yet. Yes, people are hopping on the live-stream bandwagon especially during this quarantine but look at YouTube 5 years ago. People thought YouTube was over-saturated and would fizzle out, but it is still growing to this day with millions of active users. So yes I do think that live-streaming is an effective way for bands to display themselves, but it takes a lot of creativity to stand out amongst the thousands of other bands streaming daily as well” (Perez). Martin also mentioned that he streams himself playing video games quite frequently on Twitch and YouTube under an alias and said “The exponential growth that I have seen in game streaming and E-sports is crazy” (Perez).
In conclusion, I agree with what Martin said. Live-streaming is still a young medium and its full potential hasn’t been brought to the light yet. I believe it is important, but it is up to the content creator, whether that be; a company, an “Influencer”, a band, or a gamer to keep up with the platform and to make content interesting enough for people to want to hop on and watch a live-stream.
What are your thoughts on live-streaming? Is it a useful tool or is it a fad prone to fizzle out in the coming years? If you’re not convinced check out this article where they discuss the usefulness of live-streaming and the benefits it entails. Still not convinced? Give this article a read; 7 Powerful Benefits of Live-streaming.