Last week, British soul singer Adele swept up the Grammy awards and won all six categories she was nominated for. She handily won the night’s top honours, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.
To many, Adele’s success has to do with her voice, but I think it’s more than that. Many vocalists can sing, but very few connect emotionally to mass audiences.
In honour of Adele’s six Grammys, I present six social media lessons we can learn from this British superstar.
1. Be different.
Describing the process of producing her multi-platinum album 21, Adele once said in an interview, “It’s all about the song and the music; I had no idea what was going on with the charts or what new videos have come out.”
While it is important to keep an eye out on what your competitors are doing, it’s still imperative for your organization to be creative and to adapt a social media strategy that is unique to your business. In social media, as in everything else, strive to be a leader and not a follower.
2. Be authentic.
Authenticity is a word that is often tossed around both in music and in marketing. Adele provides a good example of what it means to be truly authentic.
Recently, after fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld called her “a little too fat”, Adele responded with the following: “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”
Being authentic to herself has made Adele a more confident musician and a more successful entertainer. Having a clear picture of her identity has enabled Adele to shrug off criticisms that have nothing to do with her music.
In social media, don’t try to be someone else. Speak the language that is authentic to you, and you’ll attract the right kind of followers and fans. Be clear about your mission as an organization, and let that guide you with your social media efforts.
3. Cry, laugh, holler – show some emotions!
Have you seen Adele’s concert DVD? It’s a fantastic DVD that highlights Adele’s bright personality.
During the concert, the pop star laughs, teases, and flirts with the audience. Overwhelmed with emotions, Adele also cries at one point.
People are emotional creatures, so it’s only natural that we’re attracted to genuine emotions. Don’t be afraid to inject some emotions to your social media communications. When appropriate, laugh with your followers, show delight, or express disgust over something. People want to know that there’s a real person behind that Twitter or Facebook account.
4. Tell a fascinating backstory.
Going back to Adele’s DVD, one thing that makes it fun are the stories that Adele tells in between songs. Before starting a new song, Adele reminisces about its origin, what the lyrics mean to her, and who inspired her to write the song.
Stories are powerful, and not many companies use them to strengthen their social media strategy. What may seem mundane to you might be interesting to your followers. Don’t be afraid to tell the backstory — sometimes the story is more fascinating than the final product!
Images, in particular, are powerful storytellers. Share photos regularly to give your followers an inside look into your day-to-day operations. For a good example, check out what Starbucks is doing on Instagram.
5. Let your talent shine – don’t rely on antics!
Adele’s success has much to do with the fact that she is a breathe of fresh air. In the post-Gaga world, most pop stars rely on theatrics to get attention. Not Adele though. Backed by a band and nothing else, Adele commands the stage with her voice and emotions.
Social media marketers have access to many online tools. Flashy tools are introduced everyday. Sometimes though it’s not the ones with the most tools that win.
Go back to the basics: Focus on delivering a great product or service to your customers, and tell your story through engaging content. Use tools to highlight your products or services, not to distract away from them.
6. Be humble.
Adele has enjoyed critical and commercial success, but she has remained humble throughout this entire era. This humility is front and centre at this year’s Grammys — she acknowledged the people behind the project as well as radio programmers’ support for her success.
If you experience success in social media, stay humble and never stop learning. Have systems in place that will allow you to review your performance. Keep on listening to your community, and strive to use the feedback they give you to improve your business.
More importantly, give credit where credit is due. If you found a great article through a Twitter contact, make sure you’re giving the appropriate RT, MT or HT. Don’t be afraid to let others shine.
What have you learned from Adele?
Are you an Adele fan? What lessons have you learned from watching her success?