World Class Faculty & Research / September 30, 2014

Twitter Cues from the Music World

A recent CBC Music report holds up music bands as models of good Tweeting skills, citing Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame as one example with 1.3 million followers. “@wakaFlockabsm has something for everyone,” the report says. “Fun interactions with fans, inspirational quotes and weird hashtags.”

Social media has become increasingly important for musicians to engage fans, promote output and subsequently lift record and concert sales — a dynamic analyzed in a recent study from the Smith School.

Marketing professors Yogesh Joshi, Liye Ma, William Rand, and information systems professor Louiqa Raschid, tracked Twitter activity for several rock bands for over two years to study how this activity impacts consumer engagement and sales.

Their research shows important distinctions in the levels of engagement for customers of new bands and established bands. For example, moderate-level engagement appears stable for established bands, but not so for new bands.

Furthermore, a tweet’s information content also has different effects on consumer engagement for new and established bands. While emotion is more effective for new bands, information is more effective for established ones.

Relative neophytes like Waka Flocka Flame, for example, might need high-level engagement driven by emotional tweeting to move the profit needle.

The researchers say their findings show that marketers should experiment with tweet content relative to brand strength and consumer profile.

Information is stickier than emotion for an established brand, but emotion works better for a newer brand.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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