What American Idol can teach us about social media


Aside from the fact that a bunch of celebrities Tweeted their outrage at the recent booting of Pia off the American Idol stage (folks, that’s how it works, someone’s got to go each week) watching American Idol can teach us a lot about good marketing practices in social media. Specifically, how to promote something without sticking a lot of self-serving ads in your Facebook or Twitter stream.

Have you ever noticed how heavily American Idol promotes other Fox shows? No? Well maybe that’s because they’re doing it in a smart way. For example, when cameras scanned the audience a few weeks ago, I shouted from my couch – “There’s Christian Slater!” Mr. Slater was in the audience with his daughter, who was holding up a sign of support for Lauren and Pia, and he was standing and clapping as enthusiastically as she was. It made you think, “wonder what he’s up to now?” As it turns out, he has a new show on Fox called “Breaking In” (which is HILARIOUS) if you haven’t seen it yet.

Another example is when Russell Brand – who is not even a musician – gave the Idol contestants some “advice.” He was pretty entertaining, but then you found out that he had a new movie out.

And the Ford music video is marketing genius, and I hope whoever thought of that at Ford is now retired on a big sum of money in the Caribbean somewhere. 

This is a good method to follow when promoting something on social media channels. Take something that is relevant to what you’re promoting, and post about it, blog about it, theorize on it and engage your audience. Make them wonder “what is that company up to now?” For example, if weddings are your business, post the Royal wedding video spoof, post an interview with the royal cake designer, post the images of the Royal wedding redone in Legos, etc. And then, after you’ve piqued the interest of your audience, and they think you’re super cool, and always providing them with interesting information, mention that fun weddings are right up your alley.

It’s the same thing that Idol does. And look how successful they are!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.