I have a confession to make…when I’m not working in business development for a SaaS marketing technology company. I’m a huge hip-hop head, and these past two weeks have been like Christmas in Early August.
Let me explain for my non-rap informed colleagues. Following the release of his latest album Philadelphia rapper, Meek Mill, took to twitter blasting Toronto hip-hop megastar (and fellow album guest), Drake, for his lack of support in promoting the new album. Mill’s went on a 140 character blast, accusing Drake of using a ghostwriter (meaning Drake doesn’t write his own lyrics). Long story short, this tweet has erupted into a full blown feud or in the hip hop world, “beef.” Rather than focus on who is winning this beef (it’s Drake by a long shot) here’s a few takeaways to use for your own social media strategy:
1. Don’t $#it on Social
Let this sink in. A musical artist criticized another musical artist because they didn’t tweet about their album release - all of this ranting was done via social media for the world to see. There’s no doubt ego had a lot to do with that, but the point remains, social media is important; this is your chance to interact with your prospects and customers in 1-to-1 conversations. Make strong connections and these people could become referrals for future clients…or they could blow you off like Drake.
2. Timing is Everything
The initial shot of this battle occurred on July 21st. Following the twitterstorm that ensued, statements from Drake’s camp were posted on July 22nd. But in hip-hop, actions speak louder than words and by Saturday, July 25th, Drake had responded musically with the song “Charged Up” which he premiered on his OVO records radio show. Drake didn’t stop there. He didn’t even wait for a formal response before releasing “Back to Back” in the wee hours of Wednesday, July 29th. The track was a huge success, generating 22,000,000 plays on Drake’s SoundCloud account. Finally, on Thursday, Meek Mill responded with his musical retort “Wanna Know,” but it was too little, too late. The track was lackluster at best and Meek was heavily criticized for his performance as well as his tardiness. He had missed his moment. Drake had already put on two solid tracks. Following the release of these 2 tracks, Drake performed at his sold out show at OVOfest in his hometown of Toronto - opening with a sing-a-long version of “Back to Back.”
3. Content is King
As with any debate, there are supporters in both camps who will claim that their party is correct and justified and ultimately, winning. However to the many undecided, it’s the presentation of content that will sway them one way or another. If this beef has taught us anything, it’s that having relevant, meaningful and engaging content always wins. In the battle of Meeks vs. Drake, this victory goes to Drake. Not only has Drake published twice as much content, but he also cut more to the point and his songs addressed the issues that Meek had confronted him on.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Piggyback
Perhaps one of the best lessons learned from this whole situations is exactly that, make the most of every situation. Social gives us the chance to reach our audience, prospects, etc. in the moment. It allows us to engage in conversations outside the bubble of our own marketing efforts. Don’t be afraid to run with current events or happenings like this one from Whataburger.
Note that this got retweeted 107K times, and favorited over 77K. If you browse the Whataburger twitter page, you’ll notice that jumping on celebrity happenings is nothing new to them and it’s paying dividends with an average of 4.6k retweets/tweet. How does that stack up to others in the space? Well, Burger King averages 393 retweets/tweet and McDonald only averages 29 retweets/tweet. Taking this full circle, as Drake opens up his OVOfest set he uses a collection of tweets generated about his tracks, including the Whataburger tweet above.
In the past two weeks Drake may have only been focused on Meek Mill, and for that we should all be thankful. While he may claim that going online isn’t part of his day, if he continues with current form, he could “body” every social specialist, community manager, and web marketing guru in the biz.