No doubt many of you will of heard the story about United Breaks Guitars. For many, this was the eye-opening moment that showed them the power of social media. If they thought it was a crazy fad that would pass or a waste of time, then this incident certainly changed a lot of peoples minds in the business world.
This is the story about Canadian musician David Carroll and his band travelling with United Airlines and the subsequent damage to his guitar by their baggage handlers. After nine months of fruitless negotiations with United Airlines about compensation, he decided to write a song about it, put it up on Youtube, the video went viral and the rest as they say, is history. With United Airlines offering all sorts of compensation (which David now refused), his fame was made and plenty of other offers came in, more than making up for his loss.
The moral of the story for businesses, is of course, don’t annoy your customers and never underestimate the power of social media.
However, the story of Matt McGuire is still about music but in a much more positive way. His story is one that has inspired many, including myself, that if you are really good at something, then tell the world about it.
By harnessing the power of social media, this has become much more possible and is now within the reach of ordinary people like you and me, and businesses should take note. There are a few lessons to be learnt here.
Matt McGuire is a young Australian drummer from Brisbane who at the age of six, was invited to join Ndugu Chancler on stage. Obviously a prodigy, McGuire has made drumming his career and has done pretty well out of it. Combining his skill of drumming with an astute understanding of the power of social media, Matt started covering other peoples songs and posting the videos on Youtube.
However, unlike many other musicians and drummers, rather than just copying the band, Matt seemed to add something to the song, somehow making it sound even better than the original. As Matt himself said, “Technique and visual performance whilst tastefully complementing the music is the key to how I play.”
Add to his skillful drumming and knowledge of social media a willingness to learn about the technical side of sound, audio, photography and videography, he has become a pretty formidable force online.
As his Youtube account began to grow, so did the number of views and his reputation. People started asking him to cover songs online and when he could or he felt the song was appropriate to his style he would oblige.
On the other side of the world, a couple of DJ’s were making themselves known as well. In fact very well known indeed and a lot more famous than Matt. Step forward Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, the duo more commonly known as The Chainsmokers.
These two, who got the name when browsing the internet one day and finding the domain wasn’t taken, decided to call themselves The Chainsmokers, were taking the music world by storm.
They have become one of the Electronic Dance Musics fastest growing acts with huge success worldwide. However, when doing live gigs, they themselves have admitted that they are always looking for something new to bring to the table – EDM is not the easiest genre to keep a crowd on its feet for 2-3 hours, as the guys are not exactly playing instruments themselves although they do sing live.
Coming across Matt McGuire performing a drum cover of their song ‘Paris’ online, they were suitably impressed and contacted Matt and offered him the opportunity to join them!
Now I might be wrong, but I think that this could be the first time in history, a big music act has added a significant member to their band through hearing about them on social media. This in itself is very significant and there are a lot of lessons that we can learn in our businesses through this musical match-up story using the power of social media.
Matt has since been on tour with the Chainsmokers, considerably livening up their live acts and this is a classic example of Stephen Covey’s ‘Synergy’, where 1 + 1 makes more than 2.
You might be wondering, well how can I put this in to practice myself? Well obviously the first thing is you have to be very good at what you do.
Once you have taken your business, service or product to a level that you know very few can match then why not tell the world about it?
Learn about the power of social media. Take brilliant videos and awesome pictures that tell your story. Tell your story to everyone you meet and ask them to share it and like it.
Keep going and never give up, because often the little things are cumulative. Make sure your website is good, you own your space on social media, your email marketing is spot on and the sales guys are telling the same story that you are online.
Then the good things will start to happen……